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marketwire

Government of Canada Investing in Community Action to Preserve Local Habitat and Species at Risk in Ontario

Environment Canada

Sep 14, 2010 15:00

GUELPH, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 14, 2010) - The Honourable Michael Chong, Member of Parliament for Wellington Halton Hills, on behalf of Canada's Environment Minister, the Honourable Jim Prentice, today announced funding from the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk. In total, $638,345 in federal funding will support environmental action focusing on conservation and protection of species at risk and their habitats, helping to preserve Canada's biodiversity.

"As part of the International Year of Biodiversity, I am proud to be here to represent the success of the partnerships we are introducing into local communities towards the conservation and protection of species and risk and their habitats," said MP Chong. "As Canadians, it is up to us to be stewards and lead together in action towards the enhancement of our natural heritage."

"These projects will help to protect Canada's rich biodiversity for generations to come, said Minister Prentice. "The Government of Canada is proud to support the Toronto area through the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk. Your actions, large or small, will help to protect the abundance and variety of life that is part of our natural heritage."

Wildlife Preservation Canada's project related to the recovery of the endangered loggerhead shrike and constructive conservation of associated alvars and short grassland species is one of the five projects being announced today for funding through the Habitat Stewardship Program. This initiative includes activities that will focus on developing management practices for identified habitat, help refine the critical habitat model proposed and ensure that the model is constructively integrated into ecosystem management in the core areas identified for shrike population recovery in Ontario.

"Since the majority of shrikes nest on private lands, this funding is instrumental in our efforts to effectively engage landowners in the constructive stewardship of loggerhead shrike habitat," said Jessica Steiner, project manager with Wildlife Preservation Canada. "The support and participation of landowners are crucial to the success of recovery efforts. To date over 8,000 hectares of land used by shrikes have been enhanced or restored which is testament to the impact of the Habitat Stewardship Program and its ongoing success."

The goal of the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk is to contribute to the recovery and protection of species listed as endangered, threatened or of special concern under the Species at Risk Act.

Projects that will receive funding this year include stewardship actions to conserve habitat for plant species at risk, negotiations with landowners to develop voluntary Land Care Agreements, targeted educational outreach efforts to reduce the entanglement of species at risk in fishing gear, and the enhancement of water quality and aquatic habitat on private lands to benefit aquatic species at risk. They will be undertaken with many partners such as agricultural producers, private landowners, and commercial fishers. These projects will benefit many species at risk, including the north Atlantic right whale, steller sea lion, swift fox, and small white leek.

The Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk is administered by Environment Canada and managed cooperatively with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Parks Canada Agency. More information on the Species at Risk Act and the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk can be found on the Internet at: www.sararegistry.gc.ca or http://www.ec.gc.ca/hsp-pih/default.asp?lang=En&n=59BF488F-1.

For more information and to view a backgrounder on this announcement, please visit the Web site of Environment Canada, at http://www.ec.gc.ca/.