Notice of permit
Regional or Local Number: SARA-QR-2017-0380
Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 73 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. SARA-QR-2017-0380 is issued.
Scientific research for the conservation of the species
This permit authorizes to capture, handle and mark (“harm, harass, possess”) Wood Turtle in First Nation lands to contribute to evaluate the abundance of the local population, to identify habitat characteristics, to describe habitat use and to identify residences. Individuals may be marked (i.e. notching carapace scutes) and radio-transmitters may be attached to a maximum of 5 individuals each year. The radio telemetry monitoring will permit to evaluate the seasonal movements, to describe habitat use and to identify residences.
Start Date: 2017-06-07 End Date: 2020-12-31
Issuing Authority: Environment Canada
- Species at Risk Act
Location of Activity (province, territory or ocean):
(a) All reasonable alternatives to the activity that would reduce the impact on the species have been considered and the best solution has been adopted. Although other capture methods for turtles exist (e.g., by means of traps), the proposed hand capture is both the most efficient and least invasive for this species. Marking the turtles using the marginal scute notching method is the best solution for individually marking this semi-aquatic turtle. Although other methods for individual marking exist, such as painting on the carapace or PIT tag insertion, the chosen method is the least invasive and most permanent method allowing marking a large number of turtles that use aquatic habitat. Marking individuals with radio-transmitters allows conducting habitat use surveys by means of telemetry. Other methods exist but would involve recapturing the individuals by traps or chance, or marking turtles with GPS loggers. GPS loggers generate more data, but cost significantly more and funding would not be possible to follow this many turtles, and telemetry generates more data and causes less disturbance than recapture. The methods proposed have been used in many surveys for this species in Ontario and Quebec, as well as elsewhere within its range. They are well tested methods that cause little disturbance to the species and allow to follow a large number of individuals. The capture and telemetry surveys will provide information on habitat use and will allow identifying residences as well as key Critical Habitat features such as hibernation and nesting sites. (b) All feasible measures will be taken to minimize the impact of the activity on the species or its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals. Wood turtles will be captured by hand and by using dip nets with fine mesh. They will be handled briefly (10 mins if being marked and 30 mins if being radio-tagged) and released at site of capture. Each year, maximum of 5 turtles will be fitted with a radio telemetry transmitter; all methods have been approved by an animal care committee. c) The activity will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species. The disturbance level of this activity is low. The proposed methods are standard and have been used in a large number of studies and there is no indication of short or long-term negative impacts to the species. No mortality of individuals is expected from this project, and appropriate measures are taken so not to impact the individuals’ reproductive capabilities or normal development. The capture and telemetry surveys will provide information on habitat use and will allow identifying residences as well as key Critical Habitat features such as hibernation and nesting sites, hence, will be beneficial for the protection of this species.
Canadian Wildlife Service
Phone: (418) 684-5757
Fax: (418) 684-7045
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