• ../../../images/Article_pics/April2018/april12/speciesatrisk/images/Blackburn.jpg

    Blackburnian Warbler. Found at Garrison Petawawa and considered Threatened under the Species at Risk Act, 2002. (Photo obtained from Google Images)

  • ../../../images/Article_pics/April2018/april12/speciesatrisk/images/Golden.jpg

    Golden-winged Warbler. Found at Garrison Petawawa and considered Threatened under the Species at Risk Act, 2002. (Photo obtained from Google Images)



Species at Risk and Migratory Birds


Posted on Thursday April 12, 2018

Human development and activity often has a direct impact on wildlife, and for the most part, these impacts are negative in nature. For instance, development projects almost always require habitat loss and human activities themselves can either directly or indirectly harm wildlife. Dramatic declines in wildlife populations and distribution over the last few decades, primarily caused by humans, have prompted our government to enact laws to prevent further species decline. These laws also protect wildlife in general to ensure sustainable ecosystems for the future. The Migratory Birds Convention Act and the Species at Risk Act are two such federal laws, and both are applicable to Garrison Petawawa.

The Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 (MBCA) ensures the protection of all migratory birds, their eggs, hatchlings, and even their nests. Almost all birds that don’t overwinter here are protected under this legislation. The Species at Risk Act, 2002 (SARA) ensures the protection of all species listed as Threatened or Endangered under the act, as well as their critical habitat. Garrison Petawawa currently has 16 species that require protection under SARA which include birds, bats, frogs, and turtles. There is a much larger number of birds that require protection under the MBCA.

It might not look like it yet with all the snow still on the ground, but many of these protected wildlife species are already arriving here from their wintering grounds or emerging from their hibernacula and others will continue to do so over the coming weeks and months.

Now that we are within the breeding season (April-September), any activities that may harm or harass wildlife or their residences, such as a bird nest, at Garrison Petawawa require a site assessment from Environment Services. Failure to comply with SARA or the MBCA can result in fines to the Department of National Defence, the person(s) who authorized the activity, or even the specific people involved in the incident itself, so make sure to contact Environment Services if you think wildlife may be at risk from your planned activity. The more notice they receive, the faster they will be able to respond and provide any mitigation measures, if necessary, to get the activities approved.

For details on wildlife site assessments please contact Matt Cybulski at matthew.cybulski@forces.gc.ca.