Legal Protection Statement for the Critical Habitat of Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii), in Sable Island National Park Reserve of Canada

This statement describes how critical habitat of the Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii), is legally protected on federal land and water within Sable Island National Park Reserve of Canada (NPRC). It is made by the Minister responsible for the Parks Canada Agency pursuant to paragraph 58(5)(b) of the Species at Risk Act S.C. 2002, c. 29 (SARA). All sections referenced in this statement are reproduced in full in the attached Appendix 1.

The critical habitat of Roseate Tern was identified in the Recovery Strategy for the Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii), in Canada, as posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry in September 2010. The recovery strategy should be consulted for a detailed description of critical habitat, including its location and biophysical attributes, and examples of activities likely to destroy it.

Sable Island NPRC is a National Park Reserve listed on Schedule 2 to the Canada National Parks Act (CNPA), S.C. 2000, c. 32, which applies to park reserves (sections 2[1] and 39). Pursuant to subsection 6(4) of the Parks Canada Agency Act (PCAA), the Parks Canada Agency is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the CNPA.

The CNPA provides legal protection against the destruction of critical habitat for the Roseate Tern through the following provisions:

  • s.8(2) of the CNPA states that maintenance or restoration of ecological integrity, through the protection of natural resources and natural processes, shall be the first priority when considering all aspects of the management of parks.
  • s.2(1) of the CNPA defines “ecological integrity” as “... a condition that is determined to be characteristic of its natural region and likely to persist, including abiotic components and the composition and abundance of native species and biological communities, rates of change and supporting processes”, which therefore includes species at risk, and their habitat.
  • s. 10 of the National Parks General Regulations, SOR/78-213, prohibits removing, defacing, damaging, or destruction of any flora or natural objects except in accordance with a permit issued under the General Regulations and within the confines of s. 8(2) of the CNPA. As required by SARA s. 74, permits issued under s. 10 of the National Parks General Regulations must comply with the pre-conditions of SARA s. 73(3) for any activity that may contravene SARA ss. 32, 33, and 58.
  • s. 3 of the National Parks of Canada Highway Traffic Regulations (C.R.C., c. 1126), prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle within a park except on a highway except in accordance with a permit for a specified period and area.
  • s. 41 of the National Parks of Canada Highway Traffic Regulations (C.R.C., c. 1126), prohibits the operation of an all-terrain-vehicle within a park except for purposes of park administration and with the permission of the superintendent.

The protection measures listed above provide protection against destruction of critical habitat that may result from the activities likely to destroy as described in section 7.3 of the recovery strategy. Mitigation measures related to ss. 3 and 41 of the National Parks of Canada Highway Traffic Regulations are included in the Best Management Practice for Management of Permitted Motor Vehicle Use for Sable Island NPRC.

Appendix 1

Species at Risk Act, S.C. 2002, c. 29

Section 32. (1) No person shall kill, harm, harass, capture or take an individual of a wildlife species that is listed as an extirpated species, an endangered species or a threatened species.

(2) No person shall possess, collect, buy, sell or trade an individual of a wildlife species that is listed as an extirpated species, an endangered species or a threatened species, or any part or derivative of such an individual.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2), any animal, plant or thing that is represented to be an individual, or a part or derivative of an individual, of a wildlife species that is listed as an extirpated species, an endangered species or a threatened species is deemed, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to be such an individual or a part or derivative of such an individual.

Section 33. No person shall damage or destroy the residence of one or more individuals of a wildlife species that is listed as an endangered species or a threatened species, or that is listed as an extirpated species if a recovery strategy has recommended the reintroduction of the species into the wild in Canada.

Section 58. (5) Within 180 days after the recovery strategy or action plan that identified the critical habitat is included in the public registry, the competent minister must, after consultation with every other competent minister, with respect to all of the critical habitat or any portion of the critical habitat that is not in a place referred to in subsection (2),

  1. make the order referred to in subsection (4) if the critical habitat or any portion of the critical habitat is not legally protected by provisions in, or measures under, this or any other Act of Parliament, including agreements under section 11; or
  2. if the competent minister does not make the order, he or she must include in the public registry a statement setting out how the critical habitat or portions of it, as the case may be, are legally protected.

Section 73. (3) The agreement may be entered into, or the permit issued, only if the competent minister is of the opinion that

  1. all reasonable alternatives to the activity that would reduce the impact on the species have been considered and the best solution has been adopted;
  2. all feasible measures will be taken to minimize the impact of the activity on the species or its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals; and
  3. the activity will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species.

Section 74. An agreement, permit, licence, order or other similar document authorizing a person or organization to engage in an activity affecting a listed wildlife species, any part of its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals that is entered into, issued or made by the competent minister under another Act of Parliament has the same effect as an agreement or permit under subsection 73(1) if

  1. before it is entered into, issued or made, the competent minister is of the opinion that the requirements of subsections 73(2) to (6.1) are met; and
  2. after it is entered into, issued or made, the competent minister complies with the requirements of subsection 73(7).

Canada National Parks Act, S.C. 2000, c. 32

Section 2. (1) The definitions in this subsection apply in this Act.

“park reserve”
means a national park reserve of Canada named and described in Schedule 2.
“ecological integrity”
means “... a condition that is determined to be characteristic of its natural region and likely to persist, including abiotic components and the composition and abundance of native species and biological communities, rates of change and supporting processes”

Section 8. (2) Maintenance or restoration of ecological integrity, through the protection of natural resources and natural processes, shall be the first priority when considering all aspects of the management of parks.

Section 39. Subject to sections 40 and 41, this Act applies to a park reserve as if it were a park.

Parks Canada Agency Act, 1988, c. 31

Section 6. (4) The Agency is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Acts listed in Part 1 of the schedule and any regulations made under those Acts and the regulations listed in Part 2 of the schedule.

National Parks General Regulations (SOR/78-213)

Section 10. No person shall remove, deface, damage or destroy any flora or natural objects in a Park except in accordance with a permit issued under subsection 11(1) or 12(1).

National Parks of Canada Highway Traffic Regulations (C.R.C., c. 1126)

Section 3. (1) Subject to subsection (2), no person shall operate a motor vehicle within a park except on a highway.

(2) The superintendent may issue a permit for a specified period authorizing a person to operate the motor vehicle described in the permit on a specified trail or in a specified place or area in a park.

Section 41. (1) No person shall operate an over-snow vehicle in a park unless

  1. he has the written permission of the superintendent;
  2. the over-snow vehicle is licensed, registered and equipped as required by the laws of the province in which the park is situated;
  3. he operates it in accordance with such conditions and in such areas as the superintendent may specify; and
  4. that person and any passenger on the over-snow vehicle are wearing the equipment required to operate the over-snow vehicle by the laws of the province in which the park is situated.

(2) No person shall operate an all-terrain vehicle in a park except for purposes of administration of the park and with the permission of the superintendent.