EBR Registry Number: RB05E6803 Type of Posting: Regulation
Ministry: Natural Resources Status of Posting: Proposal
Date Proposal Loaded: 2005/06/28
Comment Period: 30 day(s)

Written submissions may be made between June 28, 2005 and July 28, 2005.


© Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2005

Proposal Title:

Amend Regulation 328 under the Endangered Species Act to remove Peregrine Falcon and apply territorial limitations to Bald Eagle, and amend the Species at Risk in Ontario (SARO) List to downlist the status designations for Bald Eagle and Peregrine Falcon.

Short Description:

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus alascanus) (provincially endangered) is a fish-eating raptor of lakes and rivers found throughout Ontario but particularly in the Lake of the Woods area of the northwest. Once widespread and regular in northern and southern Ontario, by the 1970’s the eagle population had reached a low point. The Bald Eagle was nearly extirpated in southern Ontario and markedly reduced elsewhere due to the effects of accumulated toxic chemicals. With a ban on the use of DDT, active management to protect nests, and recovery efforts including releases of captive raised young, the eagle population gradually recovered. There are now an estimated 1400 pairs in Ontario. The population level is highest in northwestern Ontario and is increasing in the south where there were 31 active pairs in 2004. The Bald Eagle is found across North America; it is considered not at risk in Canada by the national Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

The Bald Eagle was listed in Regulation 328 under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as “threatened with extinction” (endangered) in 1973. With the recovery of the population of this species, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) proposes to limit the area to which the Bald Eagle would be listed in regulation to the southern part of its Ontario range including all municipalities which are partly or entirely within the drainage basins of Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair and upper St. Lawrence River. This area corresponds to the geographic areas of Brant, Chatham-Kent, Dufferin, Durham, Elgin, Essex, Frontenac, Haldimand, Haliburton, Halton, Hamilton, Hastings, Kawartha Lakes, Lambton, Leeds and Grenville, Lennox and Addington, Middlesex, Niagara, Norfolk, Northumberland, Oxford, Peel, Perth, Peterborough, Prince Edward, Toronto, Waterloo, Wellington, and York (see Ontario Regulation 180/03 under the Territorial Division Act, 2002 for the municipalities in the geographic areas). In the rest of its range in Ontario it is proposed that the Bald Eagle be assigned special concern status and not be included in the regulation under the ESA. A map showing the area of southern Ontario in which the Bald Eagle would continue to be listed in regulation under the ESA can be viewed at the government offices or the weblink shown at the end of this notice. The Species at Risk in Ontario (SARO) List would be amended to reflect the endangered (regulated) status in southern Ontario and the special concern status elsewhere in the province.

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) (provincially endangered) is the largest falcon to nest in Ontario. Historically it occurred on natural cliffs across southern and northern Ontario. The population plummeted in the late 1950’s and by the 1960’s there were no Peregrine Falcon breeding in Ontario due to the effects of DDT on the eggs and young. In the 1970’s to the 1990’s recovery efforts with partners included captive breeding and release at southern and northern Ontario locations. The releases bolstered a gradually increasing natural population. At present there are 56 pairs of Peregrine Falcon in Ontario with the majority occurring on natural cliff ledges in the north. Twelve of the 56 pairs are found on city buildings or other structures at urban locations in the south. The Peregrine Falcon also breeds throughout North America. The anatum subspecies which breeds in Ontario was downlisted by COSEWIC from endangered to threatened in 2000.

The Peregrine Falcon was listed in Regulation 328 under the ESA in 1973. With the recovery of the population, the MNR proposes to remove this species from the regulation under the ESA and assign the Peregrine Falcon (anatum subspecies) to threatened status on the SARO List.

Purpose of the Proposal:

Revise Regulation 328 under the Endangered Species Act to:
• remove Peregrine Falcon from the list of species included in Regulation 328 under the Endangered Species Act (ESA); and
• amend the listing of Bald Eagle in the Regulation such that the regulation applies only in the municipalities which are partly or wholly within the Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair and upper St. Lawrence River watersheds (outside of these areas, the Bald Eagle will be designated as special concern).

Revise the Species at Risk in Ontario (SARO) list to:
• downlist Peregrine Falcon to threatened status; and
• assign the Bald Eagle a split status designation (endangered/special concern).

Other Relevant Information:

Assigning a status designation to a species at risk is based on provincial recommendations of the MNR’s Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario (COSSARO) and the national assessments by COSEWIC. COSSARO evaluated the status of the species in 2002 and recommended a status of special concern for the Bald Eagle and threatened for the Peregrine Falcon. These recommendations were discussed with non-governmental organizations, MNR staff and other conservation agencies in 2004. The comments from these groups identified a continuing need to provide a high level of protection to Bald Eagles in the southern part of the province where emerging diseases such as West Nile Virus and botulism, and pressures on eagle habitat are greatest.

If the designations for Bald Eagle and Peregrine Falcon are changed as described above, legal and policy protection would apply as follows. Both species will continue to be protected as Specially Protected Raptors under Schedule 7 in the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (FWCA) which protects them from hunting or trapping. The nests and eggs of the species also receive protection under the FWCA. Crown land nest locations will receive habitat protection as a provincially featured species (Peregrine Falcon) or as a locally featured species (Bald Eagle) during forest management planning. The Provincial Policy Statement under the Planning Act applies to the habitat of endangered and threatened species during planning approval of developments. Decisions affecting planning matters “shall be consistent with” policy statements issued under the Act. The Provincial Policy Statement prohibits development and site alteration in significant habitat of endangered and threatened species. The Peregrine Falcon would continue to receive such consideration on private lands throughout Ontario, while for Bald Eagle, it would only apply to private lands in the south where the endangered designation has been retained.

Copies of the Endangered Species Act and Regulation 328, as well as fact sheets for the two species can be obtained from the government offices and contact listed below.

The links appearing at the bottom of this notice connect to websites with background or additional information for this proposal:
- e-laws (view the Endangered Species Act and Regulations)
- Ontario Parks’ Species at Risk website (general information on species at risk in Ontario)
- Royal Ontario Museum Species at Risk website (fast facts on species at risk)
- map of Ontario showing the proposed area for which the regulation under the ESA will include the Bald Eagle as “threatened with extinction” (endangered).

Other Public Consultation:

The proposal to remove the Bald Eagle and Peregrine Falcon from the regulation under the ESA was discussed with non-government conservation and environmental organizations and other agencies.

Regulatory Impact Statement:

The environmental and economic consequences of the proposed status change for the two raptors are expected to be positive as the new designations will better reflect a true status of the species. Providing the correct status designation for species at risk ensures that status for species at risk is valued appropriately and that the conservation and protection inherent with a status is not compromised. The environmental consequences are anticipated to be positive as it recognizes the “good news” that the populations of two endangered species have increased and no longer need the highest level of protection possible. The economic consequences of the status change are likely to be neutral or slightly positive as economic development may be slightly less constrained within the habitat in the very few known cases where this may be an issue.

The anticipated social consequences of the amendment are expected to be positive. Many members of the public who have followed the fate of these birds will be encouraged that these species at risk have made a dramatic comeback. Downlisting the status of species at risk demonstrates that species can be brought back from the brink of extinction.

Comments should be directed to the following Contact Person:

Chris Risley, Species at Risk Unit
Biodiversity Section, MNR Fish and Wildlife Branch
300 Water Street
Peterborough, Ontario, K9J 8M5
PHONE: (705) 755-1838  FAX: (705) 755-1788

Some Government offices have additional information on this proposal for viewing. These are listed below:

Government Information Centre
Robinson Place Lobby
300 Water Street, Peterborough, Ontario, K9J 8M5
PHONE: (705) 755-2000

Government Information Centre
900 Bay Street, MacDonald Block Lobby
alternate phone: (416) 326-1234, Toronto, Ontario, M7A 1N3
PHONE: (800) 267-8097 FAX: (416) 325-3407

Additional material in support of this notice is available by clicking the following hyperlink(s):


All comments will be considered as part of the decision-making by the Ministry if they:
  1. are submitted in writing;
  2. reference the EBR Registry number; and
  3. are received by the Contact person within the specified comment period.

Please Note: No acknowledgment or individual response will be provided to those who comment. All comments and submissions received will become part of the public record.