Species at Risk

Our health and quality of life depend on biodiversity – the interplay of native plants, animals and their habitats. Ontario’s rich biodiversity is under serious threat as a result of ever-increasing human activities. Two committees assess the status of Ontario species, the national Committee On the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and the provincial Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario (COSSARO). These committees of experts assess and designate wild species on the basis of six main categories.

Canada Warbler, one of Awenda’s Species-at-Risk, designated as “Threatened”

What we are doing

We encourage Park visitors to report any sighting of potential Species at Risk to Natural Heritage Education staff as soon as possible in order to confirm these species for park records. We encourage visitors to take digital photos and note the exact location of the sighting. Park staff will later use your description to take GPS coordinates and submit any valid records to the OMNR’s Natural Heritage Information Centre.

Hog-nose Snake June 27 2016 (7)
Park naturalist with an Eastern Hognosed Snake (Heterodon platirhinos) which is a Species-at-Risk classified as “Threatened.” Copyright 2016 Awenda Provincial Park, All rights reserved.

The Friends of Awenda has funded several major research projects since 2001 which has greatly increased our understanding of Species at Risk within the greater park ecosystem. The Friends’ research mandate will continue to contribute to species conservation efforts and aid with park management strategies.