PETERBOROUGH — Ontario is investing up to $4.5 million as part of its ongoing commitment to protect and recover species at risk and their habitats by funding research and recovery projects conducted by non-profit organizations, Indigenous communities and other expert groups across the province.
“The on-the-ground work carried out by stewardship organizations is extremely important to protecting at-risk plants and wildlife in Ontario,” said David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “Our government is proud to support its partners and the many important research and recovery projects they are undertaking this year to help preserve our province’s rich biodiversity for generations to come.”
Over 80 ongoing and new projects have been approved for funding from the Species at Risk Stewardship Program, including:
- Protecting and recovering at-risk turtles, including Blanding’s Turtle, through rehabilitation of adult turtles, education, field research, and disease surveillance, led by the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre.
- Outreach and habitat management for 21 species at risk, including the Monarch Butterfly, Eastern Ribbonsnake and Dwarf Lake Iris, in the Point Grondine area and on Manitoulin Island, led by the Wiikwemkoong Unceded Indian Reserve.
- Restoration of up to 50 hectares of tallgrass prairie, oak savanna and oak woodland habitat for species at risk, including the Red-headed Woodpecker and Eastern Hog-nosed Snake, led by the Long Point Basin Land Trust.
“The Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre greatly appreciates the funding provided by the Species at Risk Stewardship Program to support our many vital conservation programs,” said Dr. Sue Carstairs, Executive and Medical Director, Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre.
“I’m grateful to Minister Piccini for his leadership on this file. Last summer, he joined us on a tour of the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre and we saw firsthand the critical work they do, being the only such centre in all of Ontario,” said Dave Smith, MPP for Peterborough-Kawartha. “This historic investment will strengthen their work in ecological restoration and rehabilitation projects locally and across the province.”
Since 2018, the Species at Risk Stewardship Program has supported over 200 projects. The projects have contributed to the restoration of over 5,500 hectares of habitat for species at risk, engaged approximately 8,000 volunteers in conservation efforts, and created nearly 1,000 jobs.