Campaign Chronicles - A2A Species at Risk

Species at Risk (SAR)

Did you know that there are over 50 species at risk in the Ottawa Valley?  CPAWS-OV participated in the Eastern Ontario Species at Risk (SAR) Stewardship Forum that took place, February 29th, 2012 in Manotick. Our delegates reported that, the meeting was primarily a summary of the thoughts and actions of those in attendance, rather than having a discussion concerning an action program. There was also some discussion about how the City of Ottawa responds to SAR through legislation. One of the interesting things mentioned by those who attended was meeting the people from the City of Ottawa responsible for dealing with SAR concerns.  We learned that if someone comes forth with a plan to develop an area within the city boundaries, it is reviewed for SAR by the City.

Detailed surveys for SAR reviews are required in order to flag any potential issues before development starts.  When conducting these reviews in attempts to produce a report the City is sometimes hampered by the lack of up-to-date data due to SAR's data is submitted to a provincial monitoring agency, Natural Heritage Information Centre in Peterborough, where data review and entry is not always available in a timely manner. This data is not available at the district/city level for quite some time (possibly up to 1-2 years).  This lag in time of the availability of crucial SAR data in order for those responsible for making sound decisions concerning land development is concerning and with support from those in the Ottawa region will hopefully be remedied in the near future.

American Eel

Eel mapRecent media reports have confirmed that people are more likely to be interested in protecting what humans consider to be the more attractive large mammals, such as tigers and elephants.  The American Eel is not as "cute" as a polar bear or wolf cub, but it is just as important to the biodiversity of our lands.  The American Eel is one of many species at risk in the Ottawa Valley area. CPAWS-OV has been active in efforts to protect the American Eel, especially near the Fitzroy Harbour area.

The American Eel is a freshwater fish whose broad range of habitats and migration patterns are still not fully understood by scientists. Dams and other river barriers are major contributors to habitat loss and population fragmentation this species of eel.  Turbines are also a cause of significant death or injury to many species who rely on rivers to thrive, procreate and survive. The Chat Falls Generating Station, owned by Ontario Power Generation, Inc., is being updated, and is a major impediment to the Ottawa Valley based population of American Eels’ migration pattern. Technologies have been developed, such as water ladders, and on a small scale are available permitting the passing of American Eels through these barriers ~ however many of our rivers do not have such mitigating environmental impact measures in place. CPAWS-OV is requesting that all possible and reasonable measures should be taken to ensure that the status of the American Eel is taken into account during development review processes.

Eastern Ontario Model Forest