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American badger John Pitcher

Endangered Species

Ontario’s endangered species deserve better!

The government of Ontario has approved sweeping new exemptions under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) that will dramatically weaken protection for Ontario’s at-risk wildlife. The exemptions will allow industry to dodge crucial protection measures and will significantly reduce government oversight of harmful activities.

Ontario Nature has joined forces with Ecojustice and CPAWS-Wildlands League to sue the Province for unlawfully gutting Ontario’s gold standard Endangered Species Act. This spring, the government approved changes to the law that dramatically weaken protection for Ontario’s at-risk wildlife. So we’re taking them to court. The goal is to reverse the changes which allow industry to dodge crucial protection measures and significantly reduce government oversight of harmful activities.

Click here to learn why Ontario Nature opposes the government’s proposal to apply the exemptions to six species newly listed as at-risk in Ontario.

Click here for more information, updates and what you can do to help

Click here to read our press release announcing the lawsuit.

With your support, Ontario Nature will continue to fight for stronger protections for the province’s most imperilled plants and animals. Click here to get involved.

And we are not alone. Click here to read the letter that Ontario Nature, and more than 50 other organizations, sent to Premier Kathleen Wynne asking that the Endangered Species Act be upheld. And here’s a follow-up letter. Nothing beats these words of wisdom from Ontario Nature’s Youth Council imploring the Premier to stand up for endangered species.


Ontario is a vast province, nearly 900,000 square kilometres, which is bigger than France and Spain combined, and it is rich in biodiversity. But the province also contains more than 200 plant and animal species that are at-risk, meaning that these species are in danger of becoming extinct or of disappearing from the province. This number is growing every year. In response, Ontario Nature is actively involved in research, public education and policy work on behalf of species at risk.

Ontario Nature is continually working on ways to provide the greatest protection possible for at-risk species. We have been working towards the conservation of these species:


Ontario Nature collaborates with a variety of stakeholders on species at-risk research including government, farmers, naturalists and private landowners to promote Safe Harbour stewardship agreements under the ESA. We produce publications that inform conservation strategies for endangered wildlife and habitats. As well, we continue to support citizen-science through our Reptile and Amphibian Atlas that will inform how best to safeguard sensitive habitat for these imperiled species.


For decades Ontario Nature has been at the forefront of efforts to protect species at risk through strong legislation, regulations and policy. Since the ESA was passed in 2007 we have been advising the government on implementation and on innovative solutions to difficult issues through public consultations, and through participation on the Species at Risk Program Advisory Committee and the Bobolink Round Table.

Public Education

Ontario Nature promotes public awareness of and engagement in the conservation of all wildlife, including species at risk. We make public presentations, hold workshops and produce outreach materials.

Through our Action Alerts, we notify our supporters of opportunities to participate in public consultations and to comment on draft policies. We also provide opportunities for volunteers to be involved in direct, hands-on citizen science initiatives through projects like the Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario and the ongoing Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas project.

You can find more information about threatened and endangered species and Ontario’s Endangered Species Act on the Ministry of Natural Resources website.


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