Species at Risk Resources

This page provides additional resources for SARFIP applicants who wish to complete on-farm habitat enhancement or restoration projects in support of SAR. This is not an exhaustive list of supported projects or resources, but is intended to provide more information for those who are interested. More information on species at risk is available on the Species at Risk in Ontario website.

Additional Resources for Implementing your Species at Risk Focused Project

Information about species specific habitat structures and enhancements

Bat Houses and Bat Roosts

There are three species of endangered bats in Ontario: the eastern small-footed bat, the little brown bat, and the northern long-eared bat. Habitat loss and a disease known as white nose syndrome threaten these bats. You can help by building bat houses and/or simple bat roosts that can be used for day or night roosts.

Winter Bird Roosts

Many species of overwintering birds wait out stormy weather inside hollow tree trunks and snags. However, it may be hard for birds to find decent roosting spots. Build a winter bird roost to help shelter birds, consider the guidelines from CWF.

Pollinator Projects

Support native pollinators and plants (especially those at risk), by leaving hedgerows and natural places on your farm intact, planting nectar-rich plants (including beneficial crops and cover crops), and establishing suitable nesting sites on your land. Additional resources can be found here:

Nesting Structures for Birds

Help support at-risk birds by building nest boxes on your property. Remember that not all bird species will nest in boxes and that SARFIP is intended to support SAR. Consider also that some invasive or pest species will nest in boxes if they are not made to the proper specifications. General features of a good nest box can be found on NestWatch.

Barn Owl
This relatively small owl lives in southern Ontario, where it hunts in grasslands, old fields, and field edges and lives in barns or abandoned buildings. You can help by building a barn owl nest box on your property. Visit Birds Canada to get involved in the Ontario Barn Owl Recovery Project.

Barn Swallow
The barn swallow does not nest in boxes, but they will use nesting shelves mounted in trees or in the eaves of your homes or human-made structures. Hinterland’s Who’s Who has guidelines on how to build your own nesting shelf for barn swallows.

Red-headed Woodpecker
Widespread but rare in Ontario, the red-headed woodpecker lives in open woodland and woodland edges. The CWF has created some useful guidelines on how to build a nest box for the red-headed woodpecker.

Prothonotary Warbler
Learn how you can help by visiting the Carolinian Canada webpage. NestWatch has created guidelines on building an appropriately sized nest box for the prothonotary warbler.

Chimney Swift
Before European settlement, chimney swifts nested mainly on cave walls and in hollow trees. Today, they are often found in chimneys and other human-made structures. One way to get involved in chimney swift monitoring is through Ontario SwiftWatch, a Bird Studies Canada project. Learn about building your own chimney swift tower for nesting.
Note: There are regulations you must follow if you wish to modify a chimney or structure that is already habitat for a chimney swift. More information on modifying a chimney is available.

In-Stream Brush Bundles for Fish

In-stream cover is important for fish species of all sizes, including an endangered minnow, the redside dace. Placing brush bundles in streams provides an effective source of cover while also stabilizing stream banks. More information is available through the CWF, but you may need to consult with your Conservation Authority or a qualified biologist on the exact design.

Brush, Rock, and Log Piles

The CWF website has information on building your own brush and rock piles can be important habitat elements for wildlife; they provide animals with cover and are a good site for dens.

Snake Hibernaculum

Information on how to make a snake den for hibernation can be found on the Toronto Zoo and the Long Point Basin Land Trust. A simple overview is available through the CWF, and a Quick Guide to Helping Reptiles and Amphibians is available from Scales Nature Park.

Turtle Nest Site Construction

Information on ways to improve turtle habitat on your property – including construction of a turtle nest site – is available through the Toronto Zoo, with additional information available on nest site construction. It is suggested that you obtain help and advice from a biologist or other qualified third party if completing this project. “Stewardship of the Spiny Softshell Turtle” is a resource for landowners that covers all Ontario turtle species, it is a print-only publication available through the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority.

Creating or Enhancing Natural Corridors to Connect Fragmented Habitat for Plants and Wildlife

Resources for consideration:

Information about habitat restoration

Invasive Species Plant Control

The Invasive Plant Council’s BMP library provides guidelines for removal of a large number of plant species invasive and alien to Ontario. More information about invasive plant species can be found from the Ontario Invasive Plants Council.
Note: Mulching of woody plants in pastures must occur after August 1 to remove risk to ground nesting grassland birds.

Native Plant Nurseries and Seed Suppliers

Credit Valley Conservation produced a booklet showing nurseries and seed suppliers for native species, making it an excellent resource for tree planting, buffer strips, wetland restoration, and grassland planting. A chart depicts what they carry, from plants, seeds, trees and aquatic species. This booklet can be printed out or saved on a computer.

Research Papers

Nutritional Quality of Perennial Forages from May to August: Impact of Delaying First Cut on Dairy and Beef Production
— University of Guelph, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association

Risk or Reward: An Investigation of Ontario Farmer Perceptions of Species at Risk
— Lyn Garrah for the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association

Species at Risk Public Registry

The Species at Risk Public Registry (www.sararegistry.gc.ca) is your source for news, information, and documents related to species at risk in Canada. This website has been designed to help you better understand Canada’s approach to protecting and recovering species at risk, learn about species at risk and what’s being done to help them, and get involved in decision making and recovery activities. On this site, you can: review Canada’s strategy and legislation for protecting and recovering species; submit a comment on a document open for public consultation; sign up for our email newsletter to stay informed; learn about funding; or apply for a permit to carry out activities affecting species at risk.
Producers and others in the agricultural sector can have a direct impact on the recovery and management of species at risk by sharing their experience and knowledge of species when documents are open for public consultation. To receive notifications when recovery documents for species located in Ontario are posted to the website for comment, please email ec.eepontario-sarontario.ec@canada.ca with “add to list” in the subject line.

Farm Field Guides

Farming with Grassland Birds

Species at risk habitats on the farm

Children’s Activities

Species at Risk on Your Farm – Activity Book

Habitat Stewardship on Your Farm – Activity Book

Habitat supported by the SARFIP program

New SARFIP Poster

New SARFIP Trifold Brochure

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