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South Shore Species at Risk

Wanted Alive – not Dead:
Species at Risk on the County’s South Shore and what you can do to help protect them.

Did you know?

  • Over 30 of Ontario’s designated species at risk have been sighted on Prince Edward County’s south shore. (And many more if at-risk plant species and globally-imperilled alvars are included).
  • 20 of Ontario’s 32 species of birds at risk of permanently disappearing from the province are known to use the South Shore Important Bird Area (IBA), either to nest here or as a stopover and staging site during their annual migration. Some of the species that are known to use the South Shore IBA have not been seen in recent years.
  • The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) has designated the South Shore IBA as a priority area for restoring the endangered Bald Eagle. Environment Canada has a recovery strategy for the endangered Henslow’s Sparrow at Ostrander Point. The potential exists for the recovery of more than five additional species at risk.
  • The peregrine falcon, one of the world’s fastest animals – and one of Ontario’s species at risk – comes through the South Shore IBA during its annual migration.
  • The South Shore IBA has the fourth highest migration density of raptors in North America.
  • Six of Ontario’s eight hard-shelled turtle species are designated at risk. The endangered Blanding’s turtle, one of four at-risk species found on the south shore, has been known to travel up to seven kilometers in one season.
  • All eight bat species in Ontario, including two listed by the province as endangered, are found on the south shore.
  • The only known remaining Four-leaved Milkweed population in Ontario grows on Prince Edward County’s south shore.

There is still much to be learned about the species at risk that make the south shore of Prince Edward County such a unique place. This was made amply clear last spring at the Environmental Review Tribunal hearing for the Ostrander Point wind project. Sadly – and shockingly – the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) had no information on the numbers of any specific species at risk or how these species were using the south shore. The MNR relied solely on the wind developer consultants’ data on bat species, having no data of its own. The MNR had no information on movements of migratory bat species along the coastal shoreline. Wind energy project staff at MNR admitted that they had decided on the status of Henslow’s Sparrow at Ostrander Point based on two brief visits – one lasting 55 minutes, the other 75 – for the entire 324 hectare project site. MNR has no information on the size of the Blanding’s turtle population at Ostrander Point and surrounding area and the movements of these turtles are unknown.

You can help fill in some of the information gaps. If you live in South Marysburgh or Athol and if you see any of the unlucky 13 species at risk listed in the poster please record this information. Let us know through the contact information in the poster. 

Click the link below to view the over 30 South Shore Species at Risk.

South Marysburg – Athol Species at Risk#3  

South Shore Conservancy Board,
Sandy Goranson, Janice Gibbins, Paula Peel, Beth Harrington


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