Species At Risk

Habitat and Species Protection

What does it mean for you?

Land owners and farmers play an important role in protecting species at risk and their habitat. But some may be concerned that current land uses and activities will be affected on property they own or manage. The Endangered Species Act provides tools to help balance the concerns of land owners and farmers and the needs of protected species. Activities can continue if there is no negative impact to species at risk and their habitat and many other activities can continue so long as conditions are followed. So having species at risk on your land likely doesn’t mean an overhaul of how you use your land — often it only takes small changes to current practices to create a huge benefit for species at risk.

The Ministry of Natural Resources can help you find ways to continue your activities and live with species at risk on your land.

Stewardship of the land

A positive outcome is possible when land owners and farmers seize opportunities to help Ontario’s wildlife while going about their usual business. In some cases, the act will allow certain activities if they are for the purpose of stewardship, or even offer incentives to help with the costs of protecting species at risk. Good stewardship means helping both species at risk and land owners, through cost-sharing initiatives to create or enhance wildlife habitat. Learn more.

Making a difference

Land owners and farmers are already making a difference for many species at risk in Ontario, from preserving Butternut trees on woodlots to creating habitat to help the Eastern Foxsnake.

You care about the land and want to make a difference. Cooperation and collaboration can make it easier to achieve your conservation goals, whether you decide to partner with other land owners, grassroots conservation groups, government or local industry. The Eastern Ontario Model Forest, for example, works closely with private land owners and local communities to sustain and enhance the forests of eastern Ontario. The model forest provides a unique forum where forest users can forge partnerships and understand different perspectives, share information and combine their expertise and resources.


Can you find ways to avoid negative impacts on protected species? Then you may not need an authorization for your activity under the Endangered Species Act.
Learn more

Permits and other authorizations

Some activities that affect species at risk or their habitats may require a specific type of permit or other forms of authorization.
Learn more


Blanding turtle

Endangered Species Act

Learn the basics


Permits and other authorizations

The Endangered Species Act offers flexibility tools that try to balance species protection and human activity.

Mobile phone

Contact your local ministry office

Often the best source of local information on species at risk is your nearest ministry office. Call with your questions or concerns.