Species At Risk

Other Authorizations

Recognizing that, in some cases, a broad restriction may not be practical or even possible, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) allows the Minister the discretion to grant different types of permits or other authorizations, which apply to particular circumstances and include conditions, for activities that would otherwise not be allowed. These authorizations are intended to ensure that Ontario’s businesses and residents continue to prosper while protecting and recovering the province’s at-risk animals and plants.
Permits are one of the main types of authorizations issued under the ESA. Other authorizations include agreements and exemptions.

Authorization to Possess

Under the ESA, a species at risk can be transferred from the Ministry to a person to possess it for:

  • scientific or educational purposes, such as a mounted bird or a turtle shell found in the wild, and used by an education centre
  • traditional cultural, religious or ceremonial purposes, such as the transfer of eagle feathers to an Aboriginal organization for ceremonial dress
    Learn more

Agreements in the Act

An agreement is drawn up between two parties who agree on a set of provisions. An ESA agreement is a signed contract between a person, company or organization and the Ministry. There are two specific types of agreements listed within the Act:

Navigating the permitting process

How do I get a permit? How do I get a permit?

Find out what steps you need to take in order to get the permit you need.

Do I need a permit? Do I need a permit?

If the activity you are planning to do might affect species at risk then you may need a permit for your activity.

Permit Tracker ESA Permit Tracker

Use this tool to find out the status of permits and applications.

Other Authorizations Other Authorizations

These authorizations are intended to ensure that Ontario’s businesses and residents continue to prosper while protecting and recovering the province’s at-risk animals and plants.

Resources Resources

Check out this page for all kinds of information and how-to’s for a broad range of Endangered Species Act activities and topics.

Contact Us Contact us

Contact your local ministry office

Exemptions

Exemptions are similar to permits and agreements as they enable activities that would otherwise not be allowed under the ESA, but they only do so under specific circumstances set out in a regulation.

Exemptions requiring agreements

In Regulation 242/08 , there are both time-limited and ongoing opportunities to enter into an agreement with the MNR. The time-limited opportunities to enter into exemption agreements were for activities related to pits and quarries, developments and infrastructure, and drainage works that existed before the ESA came into force in 2008. These opportunities expired on June 30, 2010. A similar opportunity for waterpower facilities is still available.

Generally, the agreement:

  • requires you to take reasonable steps to minimize negative effects on the species
  • will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species in Ontario
  • does not conflict with any obligations in relation to an ESA Government Response Statement

An exemption agreement may also include other conditions or requirements, such as monitoring and reporting.

Other exemptions

These exemptions under Regulation 242/08 allow certain activities that would not otherwise be allowed under the ESA, if a set of specific conditions are met.

Find out more about these authorizations


Map of ontario What's at risk in my area?

Figuring out if you need an authorization, like a permit or an agreement, starts with identifying which protected species are in your area.

How do I get a permit? How do I get a permit?

Find out what steps you need to take in order to get the permit you need.

Contact Us Contact us

Contact your local ministry office