Species At Risk

Elgin

Woodland Vole
Eastern Foxsnake <br/>(endangered)
King Rail

Species at risk in Elgin region

Amphibians

Jefferson Salamander
Jefferson Salamander (Ambystoma jeffersonianum)
threatened
Unlike most small animals, Jefferson salamanders can live a very long time – up to 30 years.

Birds

Acadian Flycatcher
Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens)
endangered
The Acadian Flycatcher only spends about four months of the year in Canada. The rest of the time, it is migrating or wintering in the tropical forests of Central America and northern South America.
Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
special concern
The raspy scream of the bald eagle often heard on movies and TV is actually from a red-tailed hawk. This bird actually gives a sort of watery, gurgling trill that doesn’t sound like it suits the bird.
Bobolink
Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)
threatened
These birds migrate from Ontario to Argentina - one of the longest migrations of any North American songbird.
Cerulean Warbler
Cerulean Warbler (Cardellina canadensis)
threatened
Since this warbler is a bird of the tree tops, it is often best identified from below. Birdwatchers will recognize adult males by the thin dark band that crosses the upper part of the predominantly white breast.
Chimney Swift
Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica)
threatened
These birds breed and roost in chimneys as well as other manmade structures, including air vents, old open wells, outhouses, abandoned cisterns and lighthouses.
Tortue musquée
menacée
Au contraire des autres tortues, la tortue musquée quitte rarement l’eau, sauf lorsque les femelles pondent des œufs. Elle passe la plupart de ses journées se reposant sur le fond meuble du lac, à la recherche de nourriture ou se réchauffant au soleil sous de la végétation aquatique flottante dans l’eau peu profonde.
Eastern Whip-poor-will
Eastern Whip-poor-will (Caprimulgus vociferus)
threatened
Chicks seem to hatch near full moons, giving parents more light for foraging so they can supply the extra energy demands of their rapidly-growing brood.
Henslow’s Sparrow
Henslow’s Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii)
endangered
The Henslow’s Sparrow is a short-distance migrant, travelling only as far as the southern United States, primarily from Texas to Georgia.
King Rail
King Rail (Rallus elegans)
endangered
During courtship, males present crayfish or small crabs to females in their bill.
Least Bittern
Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis)
threatened
The Least Bittern is more likely to be heard than seen in its dense marsh habitat. The typical call given by males is a hollow, quiet “coo-coo-coo”. When alarmed, they can give a harsh “kek-kek-kek” call. They are most vocal in early morning and evening, but could potentially call anytime during the day or night.
Loggerhead Shrike
Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)
endangered
Shrikes are sometimes called "butcher bird" because they impale their prey on thorns, barbed wire or sharp twigs.
Louisiana Waterthrush
Louisiana Waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla)
special concern
The Louisiana Waterthrush is among the earliest long-distance migrating birds to arrive back to Canada in the spring, typically arriving by mid-April.
Northern Bobwhite
Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus)
endangered
The male and female select the location for the nest and build it together. Both parents share the tasks of incubating eggs and caring for the young, however, it is not uncommon for one of the parents to incubate the first clutch once complete (often the male) while the other leaves to take another mate and start another clutch.
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)
special concern
In addition to a bill, woodpeckers have special anatomical features to help them dig holes in wood and find insects. A covering of feathers over the nostrils keeps out pieces of wood and wood powder. A long, barbed tongue searches crevices and cracks for food. And the bird's salivary glands produce a glue-like substance that coats the tongue and, along with the barbs, helps it capture insects.
Yellow-breasted Chat
Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens)
endangered
The Yellow-breasted Chat's song consists of a weird assortment of clicks, whistles ands even chuckles.

Fish

Black Redhorse
Black Redhorse (Moxostoma duquesnei)
threatened
During the breeding season, the body colour of the male Black Redhorse changes from bluish-silver to a darker greenish-black.
Eastern Sand Darter
Eastern Sand Darter (Ammocrypta pellucida)
endangered
During the breeding season, the normally drab-looking, male Eastern Sand Darters become flushed with yellowish colouration and can develop metallic blue and green colours on their cheeks.
Lake Sturgeon
Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens)
special concern (Southern Hudson Bay/James Bay population), threatened (Northwestern Ontario and Great Lakes-Upper St. Lawrence River populations)
The oldest known specimen of this fish, from Lake Huron, is 155 years old.
Silver Chub
Silver Chub (Macrhybopsis storeriana)
special concern
Pollution abatement in and around Lake Erie has improved water quality dramatically which has helped improve habitat conditions for the Silver Chub.

Insects

Laura’s Clubtail
Laura’s Clubtail (Stylurus laurae)
endangered
Laura’s Clubtail was first recorded in Ontario in 1999.
Rusty-patched Bumble Bee
Rusty-patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis)
endangered
The Rusty-patched Bumble Bee gets nectar from flowers by biting a hole in the outside of it and sucking up the nectar with its tongue. This behaviour, called “nectar-robbing”, leaves marks on the flower than can help researchers detect the bees’ presence in an area.

Mammals

American Badger
American Badger (Taxidea taxus)
endangered
When threatened, badgers release a foul smelling musk to drive off enemies.
Woodland Vole
Woodland Vole (Microtus pinetorum)
special concern
Woodland Voles are monogamous, and both males and females participate in caring for the young.

Plants

American Chestnut
American Chestnut (Castanea dentata)
endangered
People used the American Chestnut for treating numerous ailments (from coughs and dermatitis to heart trouble), as a staple food and beverage, to build shelters, for firewood and as a source of dye. Early settlers soon realized the many important uses of this tree.
American Ginseng
American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)
endangered
Aboriginal people have used American Ginseng for a wide range of medicinal purposes including treatment of headaches, earaches, rheumatism, convulsions, bleeding, fevers, vomiting, tuberculosis, gonorrhea and as a cure-all when other treatments failed.
American Water-willow
American Water-willow (Justicia americana)
threatened
American Water-willow (Latin name: Justicia americana) is named after James Justice who was an 18th century Scottish horticulturalist and botanist. “Americana” refers to the plant being native to the Americas.
Blue Ash
Blue Ash (Fraxinus quadrangulata)
special concern
Blue Ash is named for the dye which can be extracted by mashing and cooking the inner trunk bark. It was used by First Nations and early European settlers.
Broad Beech Fern
Broad Beech Fern (Phegopteris hexagonoptera)
special concern
Broad Beech Fern reproduces through spores. The spores are contained in a case-like structure called a sporangium. The sporangia burst upon maturity at the end of summer and the spores are scattered through the air.
Colicroot
Colicroot (Aletris farinosa)
threatened
Colicroot is also known as “Ague root” because it was used to treat some fevers, which were often referred to as “ague” in Middle English.
Common Hoptree
Common Hoptree (Ptelea trifoliata)
threatened
Common Hoptree is one of two native larval host plants for the rare Giant Swallowtail butterfly.
Crooked-stem Aster
Crooked-stem Aster (Symphyotrichum prenanthoides)
threatened
Bees and butterflies pollinate the flowers of the Crooked-stem Aster. The seeds are scattered by wind after ripening.
Dense Blazing Star
Dense Blazing Star (Liatris spicata)
threatened
Dense Blazing Star is able to grow in soil that is contaminated with cadmium by turning this toxic heavy metal into a non-toxic form in its tissues.
Eastern Flowering Dogwood
Eastern Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)
endangered
The bright red fruit of this tree is poisonous to humans but can be eaten by over 50 species of birds and small mammals. These animals help distribute Eastern Flowering Dogwood seeds throughout forests.
False Hop Sedge
False Hop Sedge (Carex lupuliformis)
endangered
The tiny flowers of False Hop Sedge are wind pollinated, so the plant does not attract many insects. However, the caterpillars of various butterflies, skippers, and moths feed on various sedge species, while a number of species of birds feed on the seeds.
False Rue-anemone
False Rue-anemone (Enemion biternatum)
threatened
Unlike other flowering plants, False Rue-anemone does not produce nectar to attract insects to pollinate its flowers. However, because it is one of the first plants to produce flowers in the spring, it is able to attract insects that don’t yet have tastier options.
Green Dragon
Green Dragon (Arisaema dracontium)
special concern
The Green Dragon’s root is bitter tasting and poisonous unless specially prepared, but it was used medicinally by Aboriginal people and European settlers.
Purple Twayblade
Purple Twayblade (Liparis liliifolia)
threatened
Purple Twayblade often grows in grassland savanna – one of the most endangered habitats in Canada. This extremely rare community supports an amazing diversity of wildlife, plants, butterflies and other insects.
Riddell's Goldenrod
Riddell's Goldenrod (Solidago riddellii)
special concern
Riddell’s Goldenrod has the potential to self-pollinate but it is primarily an out-breeder, pollinated by a variety of flies, bees, wasps, and moths.
Shumard Oak
Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii)
special concern
The Shumard Oak’s shiny, deep-lobed leaves help distinguish the species from the similar-looking Red Oak.
Small Whorled Pogonia
Small Whorled Pogonia (Isotria medeoloides)
endangered
The Small Whorled Pogonia appears to be primarily self-pollinated. The flowers lack nectar guides and fragrance and insect pollination has not been observed.
Spoon-leaved Moss
Spoon-leaved Moss (Bryoandersonia illecebra)
endangered
A previously unknown population of Spoon-leaved Moss was discovered in Welland County in 2002.
Swamp Rose-mallow
Swamp Rose-mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos)
special concern
The total Canadian population of Swamp Rose-mallow is estimated to consist of fewer than 10,000 plants.
Willowleaf Aster
Willowleaf Aster (Symphyotrichum praealtum)
threatened
Aboriginal people used Willowleaf Aster to treat stomach aches and injuries. They also smoked the dried leaves for good luck while hunting.

Snakes

Eastern Ribbonsnake
Eastern Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus)
special concern
Many species of snakes lay eggs, but Eastern Ribbonsnakes give birth to live young.
Gray Ratsnake
Gray Ratsnake (Pantherophis spiloides)
Endangered (Carolinian population), Threatened (Frontenac Axis population)
This snake is an excellent climber and may be seen up a tree or bush sunning, preparing to shed its skin or hunting for prey.
Milksnake
Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum)
special concern
The Milksnake got its name from the false belief that it takes milk from cows in barns, which it often inhabits. Milksnakes cannot drink milk, and are attracted to barns by the abundance of mice.

Turtles

Blanding's Turtle
Blanding's Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii)
threatened
These turtles can survive in the wild for more than 75 years.
Eastern Musk Turtle
Eastern Musk Turtle (Stinkpot) (Sternotherus odoratus)
threatened
Unlike other turtles, the Eastern Musk Turtle rarely leaves the water except when females lay eggs. It spends most of the day resting on the soft lake bottom, foraging for food or basking in the sun under floating aquatic vegetation in shallow water.
Northern Map Turtle
Northern Map Turtle (Graptemys geographica)
special concern
The Northern Map Turtle is extremely wary and will dive into the water at the slightest provocation.
Snapping Turtle
Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)
special concern
These turtles spend so much time underwater that algae grow on their shells. This helps them blend in with their surroundings.
Spiny Softshell
Spiny Softshell (Apalone spinifera)
threatened
The Spiny Softshell turtle captures crayfish and molluscs by partially burying itself underwater in the sand or mud and snatching unsuspecting prey. Its snorkel-like snout allows it to take a breath of air while submerged.

Planning work in an area with species at risk or their habitat?

Protection of species and habitat may have an impact on local planners, developers and land owners.



The Endangered Species Act


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.