Emergency order for the protection of the western chorus frog

The Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata), Great Lakes / St. Lawrence - Canadian Shield (GLSLCS) population (hereafter referred to as Western Chorus Frog (GLSLCS)) is a small frog, found in southern Ontario and southwestern Quebec. The species is listed as “Threatened” under the Species at Risk Act (SARA).

In the Montérégie region, located on the south shore of Montreal, more than 90% of the Western Chorus Frog (GLSLCS) historical range had been lost by 2009, primarily due to habitat loss and degradation. The extent of suitable habitat in the La Prairie metapopulation has decreased by 57.3% between 1992 and 2013, and further losses have been documented since 2013.

As a result of the threat to the Western Chorus Frogs (GLSLCS) located primarily in the municipality of La Prairie caused by the Symbiocité residential project, the Minister of the Environment has determined that the Western Chorus Frog (GLSLCS) is facing an imminent threat to its recovery. The recovery of the species as it is set out in the Recovery Strategy would be unlikely without immediate intervention. Therefore,an Emergency Order has been made under Section 80 of SARA.

The purpose of the Emergency Order for the Protection of the Western Chorus Frog (Great Lakes / St. Lawrence - Canadian Shield Population is to provide immediate protection to the Western Chorus Frog (GLSLCS) by preventing further loss or degradation of the habitat required for the La Prairie population’s survival. The Order prohibits activities that may adversely affect these frogs, in order to stabilize the population and help the recovery of the species.

In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) was conducted for the Order. The SEA concluded that the Order would have important positive environmental effects. Specifically, through the list of prohibited activities in this area of high ecological value, the Order is expected to directly support a number of Federal Sustainable Development Strategy goals and targets. Namely, it supports the goal related to conserving and restoring ecosystems, wildlife and habitat and protecting Canadians and its target to conserve and restore ecosystems, wildlife and habitat. In addition, this Order would fulfill the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy Target to meet the federal government’s obligation under the Species at Risk Act to evaluate populations and to add, reclassify or remove species listed under the Act and plan for their recovery. This includes the general administration of the Act. Finally, the Order would also support the goal of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy to maintain or restore populations of wildlife to healthy levels and the target that the wildlife conservation population trend (when available) at the time of reassessment is consistent with the recovery strategy for 100% of listed species at risk (for which recovery has been deemed feasible) by 2020.

For more information related to the Emergency Order for the Protection of the Western Chorus Frog (Great Lakes / St. Lawrence - Canadian Shield Population, please consult the Species at Risk Public Registry.

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