Protecting Ontario’s Endangered Species – What Can YOU Do to Help?
In honour of Endangered Species Day on May 16, 2014 (established in 2006), Ingersoll District Nature Club will take a moment to highlight the endangered species in Oxford County, and inform you on how you can participate in their protection.
You may have noticed our ‘Endangered Species in Focus’ column under the News & Updates ; this is where we focus on a particular endangered species each week and provide you with facts on that specific species.
Below is a list of 30 (thirty) Endangered Species, Threatened Species and Species of Special Concern in OXFORD COUNTY:
ENDANGERED & THREATENED SPECIES OF OXFORD COUNTY
|Acadian Flycatcher||ENDANGERED||Eastern Meadowlark||THREATENED|
|Barn Swallow||THREATENED||King Rail||ENDANGERED|
|Cerulean Warbler||THREATENED||Loggerhead Shrike||ENDANGERED|
|Chimney Swift||THREATENED||Yellow-Breasted Chat||ENDANGERED|
|Black Redhorse||THREATENED||Northern Brook Lamprey||SPECIAL CONCERN|
|Laura’s Clubtail||ENDANGERED||Rapids Clubtail||ENDANGERED|
|Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee||ENDANGERED|
|Round Pigtoe||ENDANGERED||Wavy-Rayed Lampmussel||THREATENED|
|American Chestnut||ENDANGERED||Green Dragon||SPECIAL CONCERN|
|American Columbo||ENDANGERED||Large Whorled Pogonia||ENDANGERED|
|Eastern Flowering Dogwood||ENDANGERED|
|Eastern Ribbon Snake||SPECIAL CONCERN||Milksnake||SPECIAL CONCERN|
|Blanding’s Turtle||THREATENED||Snapping Turtle||SPECIAL CONCERN|
|Northern Map Turtle||SPECIAL CONCERN||Spiny Softshell Turtle||THREATENED|
– Be sure to check back weekly for further elaboration on the species indicated above
What is an Endangered Species?
- A species at risk of extinction because of human activity, changes in climate, changes in predator-prey ratios, etc., especially when officially designated as such by a governmental agency.
What is a Threatened Species?
- A species at risk of becoming endangered in the near future. A threatened species may have a declining population or be exceptionally rare.
What is a Species of Special Concern?
- A species that may become a threatened or endangered species because of a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats.
WHY SHOULD WE PROTECT ENDANGERED SPECIES??
- Plants and animals hold medicinal, agricultural, ecological, commercial and aesthetic/recreational value. Our quality of life and that of future generations depends on our preservation of plant and animal species;
- As species are lost, so are the options for future discovery and advancement;
- More than 20 million Canadians spend billions of dollars a year to practice “nature” activities such as mountain hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, photography, bird watching and visits to zoos or nature centres.
Did You Know?
- We live in a province with over 30,000 species of plants and animals, but more than 200 of those species are in trouble;
- Approximately 3079 animals and 2655 plants are endangered worldwide
- Of the 150 medicines most frequently prescribed, about 100 are derived from plants – more than 3 million heart disease sufferers would perish within 72 hours of a heart attack without digitalis, a drug from the plant called purple foxglove (Digitalis Purpurea);
- Millions of birds die every year because of collisions with windows. You can help by simply by placing window decals on your windows.
What Can YOU Do?
1) Learn about endangered species in your area
- Teach your friends and family about the wonderful wildlife, birds, fish and plants that live near you. The first step to protecting endangered species is learning about how interesting and important they are!
- The will to protect animals and nature in general demonstrates the value of society – Click the links in the above chart to start your discovery on the endangered species of Oxford County!
2) Visit, Become a Member, Participate or Volunteer at your local Conservation Area or Nature Space
- These protected lands provide habitat to many native wildlife, birds, fish and plants;
- Visit the Ministry of Natural Resources Webpage and learn more about the Stewardship Youth Ranger Program here
- The members of Ingersoll District Nature Club are the formal stewards of the Lawson Nature Reserve Ingersoll, Ontario – find directions here
- Plan a ‘Nature Day in Oxford County’ and visit one of the many sites listed here
3) Contact the Ministry of Natural Resources when you encounter an endangered species
- The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) provides an online form here to report your sightings to the Natural Heritage Information Centre. Photographs with specifics (ie. location, coordinates, viewing patterns, etc.) provide helpful assistance;
- Private land owners have a very important role to play in species recovery. You may be eligible for stewardship programs that support the protection and recovery of species at risk and their habitats. The will to protect animals and nature in general demonstrates the value of society
4) Start at Home
- Reduce the use of water in your home and garden so that animals living in or near water can have a better chance of survival;
- Use energy saving lights and appliances. Recycle – Keep trash out of the environment;
- Use fewer pesticides and herbicides that are harmful to endangered species. Be a smart consumer – don’t buy illegal products that harm endangered species;
- Plant native vegetation for wildlife habitat. This helps keep invasive species out;
- If you have friends that live on farms, encourage them to keep patches of bush as wildlife habitats and to leave old trees standing, especially those with hollows suitable for nesting animals