Description of Critical Habitat of the Prothonotary Warbler in Big Creek National Wildlife Area

DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT

SPECIES AT RISK ACT

Description of critical habitat of the Prothonotary Warbler in Big Creek National Wildlife Area

The Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea) is a migratory bird protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 and listed on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act as an endangered species. In Canada, the Prothonotary Warbler breeds primarily along the shores of Lake Erie, nesting in cavities that were created naturally (e.g. by rot or decay) or excavated by primary cavity nesters such as Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapilla) and Downy Woodpeckers (Picoides pubescens), or in suitably designed artificial nest boxes erected for the species. The Recovery Strategy for the Prothonotary Warbler in Canada (www.sararegistry.gc.ca/document/default_e.cfm?documentID=952) identifies critical habitat for the species in a number of areas, including within the Hahn Marsh Unit of Big Creek National Wildlife Area, having central coordinates of Easting 538667 and Northing 4713889, Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM), Zone 17, and the Big Creek Unit of Big Creek National Wildlife Area, having central coordinates of Easting 543195 and Northing 4715682, Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM), Zone 17.

Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to subsection 58(2) of the Species at Risk Act, critical habitat of the Prothonotary Warbler in the Hahn Marsh Unit and the Big Creek Unit of Big Creek National Wildlife Area is described as follows:

Mature and semi-mature lowland deciduous swamp forests and riparian floodplain forests as described in the Ecological Land Classification framework for Ontario (Lee et al. 1998) and transitional zones of these areas, dominated by species such as silver maple, red maple, red ash, black ash, mature willow, buttonbush, and alder, and almost entirely covered with standing water or slowly flowing water from spring through June. Within these areas, critical habitat is identified as a 300 m area surrounding any cavity nesting site (natural or artificial) that has been occupied by a minimum of one breeding pair (see footnote 1) of Prothonotary Warblers during the breeding season for at least two separate years from 1999 to 2008 and where Prothonotary Warblers have been categorized as confirmed breeders (see footnote 2) in any single year between 1999 and 2008. Nest sites include those occupied by a pair breeding in natural nests or nest boxes specifically erected to attract the species. Confirmed and probable breeding evidence must be observed by reliable sources (see footnote 3) for the site to be considered critical habitat.

Excluded from this description of critical habitat are any upland habitats (consisting of forest ridges, cropland, and/or urban areas) and any anthropogenic features such as roads, houses, and other man-made structures other than nest boxes that are located within the Big Creek National Wildlife Area.

The Hahn Marsh Unit of Big Creek National Wildlife Area is described in Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Area Regulations made pursuant to the Canada Wildlife Act and repeated herein as all that parcel of land, in the regional municipality of Haldimand-Norfolk, in the township of Norfolk, formerly in the geographic township of South Walsingham, County of Norfolk, shown as Part 1 on a plan of survey deposited in the Land Registry Office for the Registry Division of Norfolk (Number 7) as Plan 37R 264, together with a right-of-way over Part 2 shown on said plan, said Part 1 containing 402.19 acres, more or less and said Part 2 containing 0.14 acres, more or less.

The Big Creek Unit of Big Creek National Wildlife Area is described in Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Area Regulations made pursuant to the Canada Wildlife Act and repeated herein as all those parcels of land, in the regional municipality of Haldimand-Norfolk, in the township of Norfolk, formerly in the geographic township of South-Walsingham, County of Norfolk, particularly described under Firstly to Fifthly as follows:

Firstly, those parcels shown as Parts 1, 2 and 3 on a Plan deposited in the Registry Office for the County of Norfolk as Deposited Plan Number R 17;

Secondly, the lands covered by the water of De Blagnier’s Pond in the marsh in front of lot 13, concession A;

Thirdly, the lands covered by the waters of Big Creek at ordinary level in the marsh in front of lots 10, 11 and 12, concession B, said lot 13, concession A and lot 14, concession A;

Fourthly, the reserve two chains in width inland from the water’s edge of Lake Erie in the marsh in front of said lots 10, 11 and 12, concession B, said lots 13 and 14, concession A and in the marsh lying east of the marsh in front of said lot 14;

Fifthly, that parcel shown as Part 1 on the Plan deposited in the Registry Office for the Registry Division of Norfolk as Deposited Plan Number 37R-980.

Less that part of the reserve described under Fourthly above lying within a parcel vested in the Dominion of Canada by Order in Council dated February 22, 1902; the parcels described under “Firstly” and “Fifthly” above containing together 1,500 acres, more or less and the parcels described under “Secondly”, “Thirdly” and “Fourthly” above containing together about 80 acres.

References

Lee, H. T., D. Leadbeater, P. Uhlig and K. Ursic. 1998. Ecological land classification for Southern Ontario: Training Manual. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Science and Information Resources Division, Science and Information Branch, Southcentral Science and Information Section, SCSIS Training Manual TM-01.

May 18, 2011

ROBERT MCLEAN
Executive Director
Canadian Wildlife Service

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