New endangered species legislation in Ontario

New endangered species legislation introduced today in Ontario; see also backgrounder and notice of proposal. The text of the bill does not seem to be available yet.

It will be interesting to see if this new legislation will have any impact on reptile and amphibian keepers above and beyond the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997, which has done double duty as a kind of species protection act to compensate for the quite-dated endangered species legislation last updated in 1984, but which does, I think, a journeyman’s job of regulating human interactions with sensitive species. (Penalties under the FWCA for killing, capturing, or selling protected species have a stiffness equivalent to other endangered-species laws.)

The main issues appear to be questions of land stewardship, habitat protection and the mechanism by which status is evaluated — none of these is addressed by the FWCA.

If anything, I expect changes to differentiate between levels of endangeredness, above and beyond what has already occurred in the regulations. See the list of species at risk in Ontario.

I’ll follow up when I have a chance to look at the bill itself.