Many species in Ontario are in trouble. This guide provides information for species at risk which live, at least part of the year, in northern Ontario (from Algonquin Park and the French River northwards). Ontario Nature published the first edition of this guidebook in 2017 to raise awareness of species at risk, and since then, 10 new species have been listed as “at risk” in the northern parts of the province.
The United Nations released their report on the state of biodiversity in 2019 with many distressing statistics. Globally, 47 percent of the world’s natural ecosystems have declined and over 1 million species are at risk of extinction.
The extinction crisis is playing out in Ontario as well. Without meaningful action from governments, industries, and individuals around the province, many species will become less common, impacting ecosystem function and putting them at risk of extinction. Ontario Nature, along with our members and partnering organizations, will continue to advocate for the protection of wild species and wild spaces in Ontario. You can learn more at: ontarionature.org/endangered-species.
Read the digital version of the Species At Risk in Northern Ontario.
The species lives in the wild in Ontario but is facing imminent extinction or extirpation.
Endangered species and their habitat are protected under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act, 2007. However, that protection has been significantly weakened since it was enacted.
The species lives in the wild in Ontario, is not endangered, but is likely to become endangered if steps are not taken to address factors threatening it.
Threatened species and their habitat are protected under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act, 2007. However, that protection has been significantly weakened since it was enacted.
The species lives in the wild in Ontario, is not endangered or threatened, but may become threatened or endangered due to a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats.
Special Concern species and their habitats do not receive protection under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 or under the Species at Risk Act.
The species lives somewhere in the world and at one time lived in the wild in Ontario, but no longer lives in the wild in Ontario.
While extirpated species are protected under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act, 2007, their habitat is not, unless prescribed by another regulation.
Original authors: Mallory Vanier, Dr. Julee Boan, Amy Stachejczuk and Dr. Anne Bell
Update author: Jake Guggenheimer
Copyright: First printed in 2017, updated in September 2022 © Ontario Nature
Contributor: Noah Cole
Funding: We are grateful for the support of FedNor and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.