Species At Risk

York

Rapids Clubtail
Red-headed Woodpecker
Blanding's Turtle

Species at risk in York 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

Black Tern
Black Tern (Chlidonias niger)
special concern
The Black Tern is very social. It breeds in loose colonies and usually forages, roosts and migrates in flocks of a few to more than 100 birds, occasionally up to tens of thousands.
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.
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.
Hooded Warbler
Hooded Warbler (Wilsonia citrina)
special concern
Although these warblers appear to form monogamous pairs, recent DNA studies found that only about two thirds of females produce offspring that are fathered by their social mate.
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.
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 Rail
Yellow Rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis)
special concern
In the breeding season, males can be heard almost always at night giving their distinct clicking sounds "tic-tic, tic-tic-tic", which sound like two stones being banged together. Birdwatchers will use pebbles to imitate the call and attract rails out to the edge of the reeds where they can be briefly observed.
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

Redside Dace
Redside Dace (Clinostomus elongatus)
endangered
Redside dace are the only fish in Canada with the ability to jump out of the water to eat.

Insects

Rapids Clubtail
Rapids Clubtail (Gomphus quadricolor)
endangered
Larvae bury themselves under a fine layer of sediment and “breathe” through the exposed tips of their abdomens.
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.

Plants

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.
Eastern Prairie Fringed-orchid
Eastern Prairie Fringed-orchid (Platanthera leucophaea)
endangered
This orchid’s seeds are produced in huge numbers, but germination and seedling growth depend on the presence of special fungi in the soil.
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.

Snakes

Eastern Ribbonsnake
Eastern Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus)
special concern
Many species of snakes lay eggs, but Eastern Ribbonsnakes give birth to live young.
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.
Wood Turtle
Wood Turtle (Glyptemys insculpta)
endangered
Wood turtles do not begin reproducing until they are at least 17 years old.

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.