Species At Risk

Other Laws and Policies that Help Protect Endangered Species in Ontario

Ontario’s Endangered Species Act makes the province a North American leader in protecting species at risk. The act, which emphasizes science-based decision making, protects not only species but also their habitat.

But the Endangered Species Act is just one of many ways Ontario and Canada protect at-risk plants and animals and their habitat. Here are some of the others.

Other Laws and Policies

Ontario Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act

Under this law, you cannot hunt, trap, buy or sell "specially protected wildlife” listed in the act. A number of species at risk are included in that list.

Ontario Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act and Ontario Parks Policy

This law and related Ontario Parks policy include provisions to protect endangered species in parks and protected areas. Ontario's protected areas cover 9.5 million hectares of provincial parks and conservation reserves, or about nine per cent of Ontario – some of which include habitat for many at-risk species.

Ontario Crown Forest Sustainability Act

This law requires that Forest Management Plans take threatened and endangered species into account and protect them within the area covered by the plan.

Provincial Policy Statement under the Planning Act

This policy is used by land use planners and others to help make sure that species at risk are not harmed by land development.

Federal Species at Risk Act

Like Ontario’s Endangered Species Act, this federal law is designed to prevent wildlife species from becoming extinct and to secure the necessary actions for their recovery.

The federal list of species at risk is determined by the federal government, based on the recommendations of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. In most cases, the same species are on both the federal and provincial lists.

Ontario's Endangered Species Act complements the federal law. Where work has already been done by the federal government, such as the development of a recovery strategy, Ontario will consider the federal strategy and may adopt it as the provincial recovery strategy.

Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada

Learn about the national committee of experts that assesses species nation-wide. Learn more

See What the Law Says

Search and view all of Ontario’s laws at ServiceOntario's e-Laws website.

Endangered Species Act - Plain Language Overview

Read a brief summary of the law that guides how Ontario protects endangered plants and animals. Learn more

How the Endangered Species Act Works

Read about all the steps Ontario takes to protect species at risk. Learn more

Enforcing the Endangered Species Act

Learn more about how the ministry’s conservation officers educate Ontarians and enforce the law that protects endangered species. Read 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.