Multi-species Action Plan for Thousand Islands National Park of Canada [Proposed]

This collage consists of 7 colour photographs of species at risk that occur in Thousand Islands National Park.; Gray Ratsnake, Least Bittern, Northern Map Turtle, Pugnose Shiner, American Water-willow, Deerberry, and a Five-lined Skink.

Proposed

Species at Risk Act
Action Plan Series

Recommended citation:

Parks Canada Agency. 2015. Multi-species Action Plan for Thousand Islands National Park of Canada [Proposed]. Species at Risk Act Action Plan Series. Parks Canada Agency, Ottawa. vi+ 33 pp.

For copies of the action plan, or for additional information on species at risk, including COSEWIC Status Reports, residence descriptions, recovery strategies, and other related recovery documents, please visit the Species At Risk Public RegistryFootnote 1.

Cover illustration: Photos by Sheldon Lambert and Josh Van Wieren, Parks Canada Agency

Également disponible en français sous le titre:

Plan d’action visant des espèces multiples dans le parc national du Canada des Mille–Îles [proposition].

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of the Environment, 2015. All rights reserved.

ISBN ISBN to come

Catalogue no. Catalogue no. to come

Content (excluding the illustrations) may be used without permission, with appropriate credit to the source.

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Recommendation and Approval Statement

The Parks Canada Agency led the development of this federal action plan, working together with the other competent minister(s) under the Species at Risk Act. The Chief Executive Officer, upon recommendation of the relevant Park Superintendent and Field Unit Superintendent, hereby approves this document indicating that the relevant Species at Risk Act requirements related to action plan development have been fulfilled in accordance with the Act.

Recommended by:

____________________________________________________
Jeff Leggo
Superintendent, Thousand Islands National Park of Canada, Parks Canada Agency

Recommended by:

____________________________________________________
Katherine Patterson
Field Unit Superintendent, Georgian Bay and Eastern Ontario Field Unit, Parks Canada Agency

Approved by:

____________________________________________________
Alan Latourelle
Chief Executive Officer, Parks Canada Agency

 

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Preface

The federal, provincial, and territorial government signatories under the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk (1996)Footnote 2 agreed to establish complementary legislation and programs that provide for effective protection of species at risk throughout Canada. Under the Species at Risk Act (S.C. 2002, c.29) (SARA), the federal competent ministers are responsible for the preparation of action plans for species listed as Extirpated, Endangered, and Threatened for which recovery has been deemed feasible. They are also required to report on progress five years after the publication of the final document on the Species At Risk Public Registry.

Under SARA, one or more action plan(s) provides the detailed recovery planning that supports the strategic directions set out in the recovery strategies for the species. The plan outlines what needs to be done to achieve the population and distribution objectives (previously referred to as recovery goals and objectives) identified in the recovery strategies, including the measures to be taken to address the threats and monitor the recovery of the species, as well as the proposed measures to protect critical habitat that have been identified for the species. The action plan also includes an evaluation of the socio-economic costs of the action plan and the benefits to be derived from its implementation. The action plan is considered one in a series of documents that are linked and should be taken into consideration together with the COSEWIC status reports, management plans, recovery strategies and other action plans produced for these species.

The Multi-species Action Plan for Thousand Islands National Park of Canada is a SARA action plan (SARA s.47) for four species: American Water-willow (Justicia americana), Butternut (Juglans cinerea), Deerberry (Vaccinium stamineum), and Pugnose Shiner (Notropis anogenus). Measures described in this plan will also provide benefits for 30 other species of conservation concern that regularly occur in Thousand Islands National Park. The Minister responsible for the Parks Canada Agency (the Minister of the Environment) is the competent minister under SARA for the species found in Thousand Islands National Park of Canada and has prepared this action plan to implement the recovery strategies, as per section 47 of SARA. To the extent possible, it has been prepared in cooperation with Akwesasne First Nation, Environment Canada, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the province of Ontario as per section 48(1) of SARA.

The action plans developed under Parks Canada’s leadership support Canada's National Conservation Plan (NCP) by identifying practical actions in the three priority areas of conserving Canada’s lands and waters, restoring Canada’s ecosystems, and connecting Canadians to nature. In addition, the ongoing work of Parks Canada contributes to NCPgoals of encouraging local initiatives and partnerships that lead to tangible results.

Success in the recovery of these species depends on the commitment and cooperation of many different constituencies that will be involved in implementing the directions and measures set out in this action plan and will not be achieved by the Parks Canada Agency, or any other jurisdiction alone. All Canadians are invited to join in supporting and implementing this action plan for the benefit of the suite of species and Canadian society as a whole.

Implementation of this action plan is subject to appropriations, priorities, and budgetary constraints of the participating jurisdictions and organizations.

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Acknowledgments

Special thanks are owed to the Mohawks of Akwesasne Department of Environment, especially Henry Lickers and Peggy Pyke-Thompson for their input and perspectives. Thanks are also extended to partners who participated in the Action Plan Site Workshop: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Ontario Parks (Corina Brdar, Marie-Andree Carriere, and Shaun Thompson), Algonquin to Adirondacks Collaborative (Emily Conger) and the Eastern Ontario Model Forest (Erin Neave). Cooperation and data from the Ontario Natural Heritage Information Centre is greatly appreciated. Finally, thanks to Gabriel Blouin-Demers (University of Ottawa), Stephen Lougheed (Queens University), and Pauline Quesnelle (Carleton University) for their helpful insights into herpetofauna conservation.

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Executive Summary

The Multi-species Action Plan for Thousand Islands National Park of Canada is a Species At Risk Act action plan (SARA s.47) for four species: American Water-willow (Justicia americana), Butternut (Juglans cinerea), Deerberry (Vaccinium stamineum), and Pugnose Shiner (Notropis anogenus). The plan also outlines measures to monitor and manage 30 other species of conservation concern that regularly occur in the park. This plan applies only to lands and waters occurring within the boundaries of Thousand Islands National Park of Canada.

Where it has been determined that the park can conduct management activities to help recover and/or manage a species, park-specific objectives are identified in this plan and represent the park’s contribution to overall population and distribution objectives. Species at risk, their residences, and their habitat are protected by existing national park regulations and management regimes as well as by SARA. Additional measures that will contribute to the survival and recovery of the species in the park are described in this plan. These measures were identified based on threats and measures outlined in federal and provincial status assessments and recovery documents, as well as knowledge of the status and needs of each species in the park. Population monitoring measures are also identified for the species for which park specific objectives have been set.

No critical habitat is identified in this action plan. Measures used for protection of existing critical habitat are described.

Measures proposed in this action plan will have limited socio-economic impact and place no restrictions on land use outside of Thousand Islands National Park. Direct costs of implementing this action plan will be borne by Parks Canada. Indirect costs are expected to be minimal, while benefits will include positive impacts on park ecological integrity, greater awareness and appreciation of the value of biodiversity to Canadians, and opportunities for engagement of local communities and Aboriginal groups.

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1. Context

The Thousands Islands area has long been important to many First Nations. As European settlement expanded into the area during the 1800s, the area became known for its natural beauty and tourism potential. While some legal protection was afforded to the current park area as early as 1875, it was not until 1904 that Thousand Islands National Park of Canada (TINP) was established as the first Canadian national park east of the Rockies (Canadian Thousand Islands Heritage Conservancy, 2004), known then as St. Lawrence Islands National Park. The area was also officially designated by the United Nations in 2002 as a Biosphere Reserve. The designation recognizes the region as a place where people live, work and enjoy a variety of economic and recreational activities based on respect for the environment. The park consists of several ecologically important mainland properties and over 20 islands between Kingston and Brockville, Ontario. Because of the fragmented nature of the park properties, many of the stresses on the park’s ecosystem originate from outside its boundaries. For this reason, First Nations, local residents, conservation organizations, and other groups and land users play an important role in managing, restoring, and protecting the Thousand Islands ecosystem (Parks Canada Agency, 2010b).

The park is located at the meeting point of the St. Lawrence River and the Frontenac Arch. The rugged nature of the Frontenac Arch resulted in less anthropogenic landscape modification than most of southern Ontario and, as a result, the area remains important for migrating species and local species of flora and fauna (Snetsinger, 1997). The islands of the park are considered to be important “stepping stones” in the connectivity corridor linking Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario to Adirondack State Park in New York (Snetsinger, 2001). Being located in a transition zone, the park, for its size, is rich in biodiversity and provides habitat for many species that are at the northern or southern limits of their range.

Maintenance and restoration of ecological integrity is the first priority of national parks (Canada National Parks Acts.8(2)). Species at risk, their residences, and their habitat are therefore protected by existing national park regulations and management regimes as well as by SARA.

Recovery measures for species at risk will be integrated within the framework of Parks Canada’s ongoing ecological integrity programs. National parks maintain comprehensive, scientifically rigorous ecological integrity monitoring and restoration programs that are organized according to the major ecosystems present in the park. The recovery measures described in this action plan are therefore organized in the same manner. Parks Canada’s ecological integrity programs make contributions to the recovery of species at risk by providing inventory and monitoring data, and through the implementation of habitat restoration projects and other conservation measures. The species-directed measures outlined in this plan will in turn contribute to maintaining and improving the ecological integrity of Thousand Islands National Park by improving the conservation status of native species and their habitat and maintaining biodiversity.

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1.1 Scope of the Action Plan

The geographic scope of this action plan includes all federally owned lands and waters managed by Thousand Islands National Park of Canada (Figure 1). This multi-species action plan has been written specifically for Thousand Islands National Park because the Parks Canada Agency (PCA) is legally responsible for species at risk on PCA lands and waters, has the ability to take direct conservation action, and deals with different threats, legislation, and management priorities than areas outside the park.

This map shows Thousand Islands National Park of Canada, which is a group of islands along with some mainland properties at the southern end of the St. Lawrence River in Ontario. This multi-species action plan applies only within the boundaries of the Park.
Figure 1. Geographic scope for the Multi-species Action Plan for Thousand Islands National Park of Canada.

Species at Risk Act action plans are legally required for all SARA-listed endangered and threatened species once a final recovery strategy has been posted on the Species At Risk (SAR) Public Registry. This action plan is a SARA action plan (as per SARA s.47) for four species: American Water-willow, Butternut, Deerberry, and Pugnose Shiner.

In addition, this action plan is intended to provide a comprehensive approach to the recovery and management of all species of conservation concern that occur regularly in the park. The plan also addresses SARA-listed endangered and threatened species that occur regularly in the park but do not yet have posted recovery strategies, SARA-listed species of special concern, and species that have been assessed as threatened or endangered by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) but have not been listed on SARA or are under consideration for listing (Table 1).

Table 1: Species at risk included in the action plan for Thousand Islands National Park (status as of May 1, 2015). Accessible version of Table 1.
SpeciesScientific nameCOSEWIC statusSARA status
Species for which this is a SARA action plan
American Water-willowJusticia americanaThreatenedThreatened
ButternutJuglans cinereaEndangeredEndangered
DeerberryVaccinium stamineumThreatenedThreatened
Pugnose ShinerNotropis anogenusThreatenedEndangered
Species listed under the SARA for which recovery strategies are not yet posted
American GinsengPanax quinquefoliusEndangeredEndangered
Blanding’s Turtle (Great Lakes/St. Lawrence population)Emydoidea blandingiiThreatenedThreatened
Canada WarblerCardellina canadensisThreatenedThreatened
Common NighthawkChordeiles minorThreatenedThreatened
Eastern Musk TurtleSternotherus odoratusSpecial ConcernEndangered
Golden-winged WarblerVermivora chrysopteraThreatenedThreatened
Gray Ratsnake (Great Lakes/St. Lawrence population)Pantherophis spiloidesThreatenedThreatened
Least BitternIxobrychus exilisThreatenedThreatened
Little Brown MyotisMyotis lucifugusEndangeredEndangered
Pale-bellied Frost LichenPhysconia subpallidaEndangeredEndangered
Western Chorus Frog (Great Lakes/St. Lawrence – Canadian Shield population)Pseudacris triseriataThreatenedThreatened
Eastern Whip-poor-willAntrostomus vociferusThreatenedThreatened
Special concern species listed under the SARA
Bridle ShinerNotropis bifrenatusSpecial ConcernSpecial Concern
Cerulean WarblerSetophaga ceruleaEndangeredSpecial Concern
Eastern Ribbonsnake (Great Lakes population)Thamnophis sauritusSpecial ConcernSpecial Concern
Five-lined Skink (Great Lakes/St. Lawrence population)Plestiodon fasciatusSpecial ConcernSpecial Concern
Grass PickerelEsox americanus vermiculatusSpecial ConcernSpecial Concern
MilksnakeLampropeltis triangulumSpecial ConcernSpecial Concern
MonarchDanaus plexippusSpecial ConcernSpecial Concern
Northern Map TurtleGraptemys geographicaSpecial ConcernSpecial Concern
Peregrine Falcon (anatum/tundrius)Falco peregrinus anatumSpecial ConcernSpecial Concern
Rusty BlackbirdEuphagus carolinusSpecial ConcernSpecial Concern
Snapping TurtleChelydra serpentineSpecial ConcernSpecial Concern
Swamp Rose-mallowHibiscus moscheutosSpecial ConcernSpecial Concern
Species of conservation concern not listed under the SARA at this time (may be listed in the future)
American EelAnguilla rostrataThreatenedNot listed
Barn SwallowHirundo rusticaThreatenedNot listed
BobolinkDolichonyx oryzivorusThreatenedNot listed
Eastern MeadowlarkSturnella magnaThreatenedNot listed
Eastern Wood-peweeContopus virensSpecial ConcernNot listed
Wood ThrushHylocichla mustelinaThreatenedNot listed

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2. Recovery Objectives and Measures

The potential for PCAto undertake management actions at the park that will contribute to the recovery of each species was assessed. Park-specific population and distribution objectives were developed (Table 2) to identify the contribution that TINP can make towards achieving the national objectives presented in federal recovery strategies and management plans. Because they are directly linked to the park population and distribution objectives, monitoring activities are reported in Table 2 rather than in the tables of recovery measures (Tables 3 & 4). If there is little opportunity for the park to contribute to the recovery of a species, site-specific objectives and conservation actions may be limited to protection measures in place under the Canada National Parks Act and SARA, and population monitoring, habitat maintenance, and restoration through the existing park management regime. For many species, population and distribution objectives for TINP are not meaningful at the scale of this action plan for various reasons, including 1) threats cannot be controlled in the park or do not exist in the park (e.g., wide-spread disease, damming of St. Lawrence River, loss of overwintering habitat, hay harvesting); 2) species is only transient or does not occur on land over which the park has jurisdiction (e.g., migrates through park, breeding is not confirmed, occurs below high-water mark); 3) population within the park is a very small part of the Canadian distribution or is unknown or unconfirmed.

Table 2: Species information and objectives for species at risk in Thousand Islands National Park of Canada
SpeciesNational objectives (from recovery strategies and management plans as of August2014)Population & distribution objectives for TINPTrend in TINP over last 5 years (2008–2013)Population monitoringFootnote 3General information and broad park approach
Deerberry1. Halt the decline of mature individuals and number of populations.
2. Increase the number of populations to 10 or more, if introduction or re-introduction of 'new’ populations is deemed feasible.
1. Halt the decline of mature individuals and number of populations. 2. Maintain and augment (where necessary) two planted populations on Thwartway and Georgina islands and plant two new additional populations, if introductions are deemed feasible.Stable1. Monitor annual growth and population of both native populations. 2. Monitor annual growth and population of all planted populations (existing populations on Thwartway and Georgina islands and two new populations, if introductions are deemed feasible).Majority of Canadian population occurs in TINP. Continue to mitigate threats and introduce additional populations if feasible.
Blanding's TurtleMaintain, and where necessary and feasible, increase the distribution and abundance (Environment Canada, 2014c).1. Maintain an adequateFootnote 4amount of suitable habitat in the park. 2. Maintain current relative abundance of Blanding’s turtles for the park’s largest population 3. Maintain occupancy at two other known park locations.Decreasing1. Assess changes in the amount of habitat using satellite imagery from 1980 onwards. 2. Estimate the relative abundance of Blanding’s Turtles for the largest park population once every five years. 3. Confirm continued occupancy at two other known locations by observing at least one individual at least once every five years.Blanding’s Turtles occur at three locations in the park including one wetland complex which is almost entirely within the park boundary. This wetland complex holds a regionally significant population of Blanding’s Turtle.
Eastern Musk TurtleMaintain the distribution an abundance of the Canadian population (Environment Canada, 2014d).1. Maintain an adequate amount of suitable habitat in the park. 2. Maintain occupancy at four known park locations.Stable1. Assess changes in the amount of habitat using satellite imagery from 1980 onwards. 2. Confirm continued occupancy in four known locations by observing at least one individual at least once every five years.Focus on preserving appropriate habitat and mitigating threats at locations within the park that contribute to larger ecosystem-wide ranges.
Five-lined SkinkMaintain the distribution and number of viable element occurrences.Maintain appropriate habitat for Landon Bay population.UnknownAfter completion of a habitat suitability index to determine suitable habitat, assess habitat amount in the Landon Bay property every five years.Skinks are not widely distributed in the park and are cryptic and difficult to count.  Focus is on protecting and maintaining existing habitat.
Gray RatsnakeN/aConfirm continued occupancy of all known TINP hibernacula.DecreasingVisit each confirmed hibernaculum on park property during one year every five years for maximum of 3 visits per hibernaculum (if snake is found on visit 1, the other two visits are unnecessary).Five known hibernacula in the park.  Snakes leave park hibernacula and often travel outside park boundary, snake hibernating adjacent to park often travel into the park and provide juvenile recruitment.  Focus is on protecting existing hibernacula, finding new hibernacula and working with partners to promote connections between hibernacula in and adjacent to park boundaries.
Least BitternMaintain and, where possible, increase the current population size and area of occupancy in Canada.1. Maintain an adequate amount of suitable habitat in the park 2. Maintain occupancy at both known breeding locations.Stable1. Assess changes in the amount of habitat using satellite imagery from 1980 onwards. 2. Confirm continued occupancy in the two known locations by observing at least one individual at least once every five years.Least Bittern nest in  two wetlands in the park. Focus is on protecting and maintaining existing habitat.
MilksnakeMaintain populations throughout the known range and, where possible, fill knowledge gaps on demographics, habitat use and threats (Environment Canada, 2014a).Maintain occupancy at all known locations.UnknownConfirm continued occupancy in all known locations by observing at least one individual at least once every five years.Milksnakes are distributed throughout the park, often in developed areas.
Northern Map TurtleMaintain and, where necessary and feasible, increase the distribution and abundance (Environment Canada, 2014b).Maintain occupancy in Jones Creek Wetland Complex.UnknownConfirm continued occupancy in Jones Creek by observing at least one individual at least once every five years.Map turtles range widely outside the park and are often found basking just on the edge of the park boundary.  Focus is on protecting and maintaining existing habitat.
Snapping TurtleN/aMaintain occupancy at all known locations.UnknownConfirm continued occupancy in all seven known locations by observing at least one individual at least once every five years.Snapping turtles have large ranges that extend outside the park and have only a small percentage of their overall population in the park. Focus is on protecting and maintaining existing habitat within the park.
Swamp Rose-mallowMaintain current distribution and area of occupancy of extant populations.Maintain existing plants on Main Duck Island and investigate population augmentation.UnknownSurvey known plants at least once every five years and monitor introduced plants annually for at least the first 3 years after planting.Swamp rose-mallow is confined to Main Duck Island with minimal threats. Focus is on protecting and maintaining existing habitat.
Pugnose ShinerEnsure the persistence of self-sustaining populations at the 12 extant locations.No objective established: no threats known in park and TINP is of limited importance to the species' national recovery.UnknownRecord incidental observations.TINP manages very little aquatic habitat where Pugnose are found. TINP will continue to protect the water in which it is found and maintain natural shorelines on islands adjacent to important populations.
ButternutEnsure conditions that will allow for the restoration of viable, ecologically functioning, and broadly distributed populations within its current range in Canada.No objective established: no TINP management actions can contribute to the conservation of park populations  and TINP is of limited importance to the species' national recovery.UnknownRecord incidental observations.Determine if any canker-resistant trees occur in the park and collect genetic material if found.
American Water-willowMaintain (and, if possible, increase) the current number of individuals to maintain the actual number of locations (10) and prevent the decline in the quality of habitat.No objective established: no threats known in park and no individuals found on TINPlands.UnknownRecord incidental observations.None of the individuals are currently within TINP boundaries, however large populations are found immediately adjacent to park lands. Continue to ensure park management activities do not threaten the existing populations adjacent to our lands.
Little Brown Myotis, Barn Swallow, Bobolink, Canada Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Common Nighthawk, Eastern Meadowlark, Eastern Wood-pewee, Golden-winged Warbler, Peregrine Falcon (anatum), Rusty Blackbird, Wood Thrush, Monarch Butterfly, American Eel, Bridle Shiner, Grass Pickerel, Western Chorus Frog, Eastern Ribbonsnake, Whip-poor-will, American Ginseng, Pale-bellied Frost LichenN/ANo objective established: because no threats known in park (grass pickerel, pale-bellied frost lichen and peregrine faclon); or no TINP management actions can contribute to conservation within the park and TINP is of limited importance to the species' national recovery.UnknownRecord incidental observations and share with partners.Continue to contribute to drafting of recovery plans and identification of critical habitat. The park will continue to protect individuals and protect suitable habitat on park lands and  support partners where feasible on recovery and protection of these species.  Additionally, TINP will work with partners to conduct opportunistic surveys for under-surveyed species in the park and adjust management approaches appropriately when new populations are found.

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2.1 Measures to be Taken and Implementation Schedule

Measures that are proposed to achieve the site-based population and distribution objectives, along with measures required to protect the species and to learn more about them, are listed in Tables 3 and 4.

In addition to the implementation of conservation measures that contribute to species recovery, Parks Canada has an important role in promoting awareness and appreciation of species at risk. Providing opportunities for the public to learn about and experience national parks is a central component of Parks Canada’s mandate. Thus national parks afford an opportunity and are imperative for engaging the public in species at risk recovery.

Table 3: Recovery measures that will be conducted by Thousand Islands National Park. Accessible version of Table 3.
SpeciesMeasure #MeasureDesired OutcomeHow will progress toward the outcome be measured?Threat or recovery measure addressedTimeline
Wetland Community
Blanding’s Turtle, Eastern Musk Turtle, Least Bittern1Species at risk critical habitat warning sign and no motorized watercraft sign installed at mouth of important wetland shortly after critical habitat is identifiedWork with partners to control motorized watercraft access at mouth of important wetland.Signs installed by fall 2015 if critical habitat identified.Boating mortality (Environment Canada, 2014c, 2014d & 2011)2015
Coastal Wetland CommunityFootnote 52Remove early invasions of priorityFootnote 6alien invasive plants from park wetlands.Prevent invasive species from becoming established in park wetlands.If an early invasion is detected (through condition monitoring program, incidental sightings or reports) and is feasible to remove, progress will be determined by the number of plants removed.Exotic and invasive species (Environment Canada, 2011; Environment Canada, 2014b, 2014c, 2014d, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 2012).If invasion detected, the site will be visited annually for at least three years.
Coastal Wetland Community3Re-survey Skoryna and Escott Rd wetlands to determine if Blanding's turtles are present.Increase knowledge of turtle distribution in the park.Surveys completed and data shared with the Natural Heritage Information Centre (NHIC).Collect population, habitat and threat data to monitor turtles (Environment Canada, 2011; Environment Canada, 2014b, 2014c, 2014d, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 2012).2016
Swamp Rose-mallow4Assess and remove any immediate alien invasive plant risks around existing Swamp Rose-mallow plants.Reduce threat of invasive alien species to Swamp Rose-mallow.Decrease in number of plants or percent area covered by priority invasive alien plants close to Swamp Rose-mallow.Investigate the feasibility of employing best management practices/known methods of controlling European Common Reed and Hybrid Cattail, and implement these practices where feasible (Environment Canada, 2013a).2019
Pugnose Shiner5Assist the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on signage for critical habitat in the Park and assist with DFO-led research and inventory projects.Increase public awareness of Pugnose Shiner critical habitat and increase knowledge about populations of Pugnose Shiner.Installations of signage related to critical habitat by 2015. Provision of field support to DFO-led research in or near the park.2-1. Coordination with other recovery teams and relevant groups (Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 2012).2015
Forest Community
Deerberry6Plant and maintain two new Deerberry populations and maintain/
augment two recently planted populations until they are self-sustaining.
Increase number of Deerberry populations in Canada.(1) Number of new populations planted. (2) To ensure populations are persisting, number of stems, flowering heads and number of berries will be counted.Enhance or augment existing populations (Parks Canada Agnecy, 2010a).One new population planted in 2014–2015 and one more in 2016. Augmentation at other two planted populations is dependent on number of available seedlings and maintenance is ongoing until plants are self-seeding (usually about 2-5 years)
Deerberry7Remove all invasive plants within a 50-m buffer of Deerberry on West Grenadier and Endymion islands by 2018 and eventually remove all invasive plants from park property at both locations.Remove threat of invasive species to Deerberry on West Grenadier and Endymion islands.All patches of exotic species (including single plants or larger areas) have been GPS-mapped for both sites by 2016 and patches reduced in size by 2018.Invasive species is a low level threat (Parks Canada Agency, 2010a).2018
Deerberry8Continue to work with private landowner to identify and mitigate threats to non-park population.Maintain partnership with single landowner of the only private population in the country to mitigate threats to Deerberry as needed.Deerberry population on private land remains healthy and viable.Continue to work with private landowner on stewardship of non-park population (Parks Canada Agency, 2010a).Ongoing
Deerberry9Re-route trails away from Deerberry populations on West Grenadier Island and enforce closure of a portion of the trail.Closure of the portion of West Grenadier trail that runs through Deerberry population by fall 2014.Sign erected to close portion of trail.Plan and effect re-routing of trails away from Deerberry populations (Parks Canada Agency, 2010a).Re-route by 2015, enforcement ongoing.
Deerberry10Collaborate with agencies in the USA to obtain more information on New York populations.List of known locations and sizes of NY populations by 2018.Data obtained by 2018.Collaborate with agencies in the USA to obtain more information on New York populations (Parks Canada Agency, 2010a).2018
Five-lined Skink11Increase number of cover objects on Fitzsimmons Mountain.Microhabitat restored on Fitzsimmons Mountain by Winter 2014.An increase in number of cover objects, percent cover and number of skinks on Fitzsimmons Mountain rock barrenMaintain, and if possible, increase the amount of habitat and microhabitat available for Five-lined Skinks (Environment Canada, 2013a).2016
Five-lined Skink12Monitor effects of new Landon Bay trail on Five-lined Skink.Monitor usage and potential impacts of new trail at Landon Bay after opening in order to respond to any increased threats to the skinks.Potential effects on skinks recorded.Conduct threat analysis (recreation) at priority sites across the range of the population (Environment Canada, 2013a).Two years after the Landon Bay trail opens.
Cross-Community
Blanding's Turtle, Five-lined Skink, Gray Ratsnake13Enforce and increase awareness of poaching consequences (including sharing information with partners).Law enforcement involved in regulating potential poaching threats, and messaging provided regarding consequences of poaching.Enforcement officers involved when needed and messaging provided to partners and the public.Ensure existing laws and regulations are being enforced and raise awareness to reduce collecting (Environment Canada, 2014c); Promote compliance with existing legislation (Environment Canada, 2013a).Ongoing
All14Ensure provincial departments, conservation authorities and municipal governments are aware of SAR hotspots for consideration in official land-use plans. Provide input into development proposals that are referred by the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority.Share observations and sensitive habitat locations with conservation partners.Annual updates to species at risk database with any priority observations (new area, very vulnerable species, non-park land sensitive to development) reported directly to Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources SAR biologists.Encourage the submission of all records for all turtle species to the province (Environment Canada, 2014b, 2014c, 2014d).Ongoing
All15Work with partners to promote the protection of key species dispersal habitats. Work in partnership with the Leeds and Grenville Stewardship Council on issues related to gray ratsnake outreach and species at risk protection.All partners consider landscape ecology in SARdecisions.Attend partner meetings, keep key partners involved in park species at risk planning. Provide advice on initiatives.Promote protection of high ranking habitat parcels or networks through partners (municipalities, The Nature Conservancy of Canada, Ontario Parks, stewardship councils) and initiate acquisition, agreements, easements, etc. (Kraus et al., 2010).Ongoing



Table 4: Other recovery measures that will be encouraged through partnerships or when additional resources become available. Accessible version of Table 4.
SpeciesMeasure #MeasureDesired OutcomeHow will progress toward the outcome be measured?Threat or recovery action addressed
Wetland Community
All Turtles16Continue investigating Thousand Islands Parkway turtle mortality hot spots and mitigations. Participate in partner led road mortality mitigation projects on the Thousand Islands Parkway and Highway 401.Clearly understand where (or if) there are priority locations to invest in road mortality mitigation.Report produced with hotspots identified.Identify areas with high road mortality rates and implement mitigation approaches (Environment Canada, 2014b, 2014c, 2014d).
All Turtles17Public outreach to help reduce road mortality.Reduce turtle road mortality.Outreach delivered to all park visitors.Identify areas with high road mortality rates. Develop, assess, and where feasible, implement appropriate mitigation approaches (e.g., eco-passages across roads) to reduce mortality in these areas (Environment Canada, 2014b, 2014c, 2014d).
All Turtles18Work with St. Lawrence Parks Commission to ensure Thousand Islands Parkway shoulders aren't tilled after turtle eggs are laid.Destruction of turtle eggs due to tilling stopped.Shoulder tilling guidelines implemented.Develop and share, or use existing (and improve, if needed), beneficial management practices (BMPs) for the general public, landowners, land managers, and industry (Environment Canada, 2014b, 2014c, 2014d).
All Turtles19Work with partners to mitigate turtle by-catch mortality in commercial fishing nets.Reduce number of turtles killed in fishing netsSuccessful net mortality mitigations developed and implemented in all wetlands (and riverine environments) that TINP turtle populations use at any point in their life cycle.Where feasible, employ techniques to reduce turtle mortality from accidental fishing bycatch (Environment Canada, 2014b, 2014c, 2014d).
All Turtles20Provide turtle safety messaging to boaters around Central Grenadier and Mallorytown Landing.Promote awareness and reduce turtle mortality around docking areas.Species at risk warning and interpretation signs installed at Central Grenadier and Mallorytown Landing and interpreters include turtles as regular messaging to visitors.Identify areas with high rates of mortality from motorboats. Develop, assess, and, where feasible, implement appropriate mitigation approaches to reduce mortality in these areas (Environment Canada, 2014b, 2014c, 2014d).
Coastal Wetland Community21Assess viability of conducting hemi-marsh restoration in the Jones Creek wetland complex.(1) Determine the viability/desirability of restoration; (2) If criteria are met, complete hemi-marsh restoration.Completion of viability assessment and increase in amount of hemi-marsh in Jones Creek after restoration.Investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of different techniques for maintaining and creating open wetland areas, including prescribed burns or other artificial disturbance, within the Canadian range of Swamp Rose-mallow; Implement the appropriate techniques where feasible (Environment Canada, 2013b).
Coastal Wetland Community22Work with partners to assess the viability of conducting hemi-marsh restoration in west portion of Thompson Bay (an important component of the Grenadier Island wetland complex)(1) Determine the viability/desirability of restoration; (2) If criteria are met and partner support is available, complete hemi-marsh restoration.Completion of viability assessment and increase in amount of hemi-marsh in Thompson Bay after restorationInvestigate the feasibility and effectiveness of different techniques for maintaining and creating open wetland areas, including prescribed burns or other artificial disturbance, within the Canadian range of Swamp Rose-mallow; Implement the appropriate techniques where feasible (Environment Canada, 2013b).
Eastern Musk Turtle23Complete Eastern Musk Turtle inventory around TINP lands in Mallorytown Landing.Distribution of musk turtles known in Mallorytown Landing.Data collected and sent to the NHIC.Collect population, habitat and threat data to monitor turtles (Environment Canada, 2014d).
Least Bittern24Survey Skoryna property wetland and re-survey park wetlands to determine/confirm Least Bittern statusLeast Bittern distribution in the park determined.Skoryna survey completed and other priority park wetlands re-surveyed for Least Bittern.Conduct surveys and habitat assessments at priority sites as per Least Bittern recovery strategy (Environment Canada, 2011).
Swamp Rose-mallow25Complete full Swamp Rose-mallow inventory of south and southwest shorelines of Main Duck Island.Swamp Rose-mallow distribution known for Main Duck Island.Data collected and sent to the NHIC.Assess and monitor the distribution and habitat, population sizes and trends of Swamp Rose-mallow (Environment Canada, 2013b).
Bridle Shiner, Pugnose Shiner and Grass Pickerel26Cooperate with OMNR, DFO and university partners to survey Jones Creek complex, Brooker’s Creek, Adelaide Island, east Hill Island, Skoryna, Escott Rd. and Polly Creek pond for Bridle Shiner, Pugnose Shiner and Grass Pickerel.Park distribution of species at risk fish determined.Completion of survey at all seven wetlands and data shared with the NHIC.Conduct targeted surveys at new, suspected, and historic locations (Beauchamp et al., 2012; Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 2012) with advice from DFO.
Coastal Wetland Community27Retain TINP forest and wetlands adjacent to important TINP wetlands with known Blanding's Turtle, Eastern Musk Turtle and Least Bittern observations and work with partners/landowners to promote forest/wetland retention in these adjacent areas.Ensure suitable terrestrial habitat for wetland species at risk.Meet thresholds for adequate habitat (Zorn, 2012) for each park management planning cycle. For adjacent lands: locations and corresponding landowners/partners identified and communicated with.Protect areas large enough to maintain viable populations and increase connectivity (Environment Canada, 2011, 2014c, 2014d).
Blanding's Turtle28Create turtle-friendly eco-passage under County Road 5 near Polly Creek (initiate by getting involved in culvert planning process).Reduce turtle road mortality.Become involved in culvert planning process; eco-passage under County Road 5 created.Identify areas with high road mortality rates. Develop, assess, and, where feasible, implement appropriate mitigation approaches (e.g., eco-passages across roads) to reduce mortality in these areas (Environment Canada, 2014c).
Blanding's Turtle29Communicate with landowners adjacent to TINP to promote stewardship and nest protection.Landowners protect turtles and turtle habitat.Ongoing messaging to priority landowners adjacent to TINP.Identify areas with high rates of nest predation and employ, where feasible and with appropriate permits in place, known techniques to protect nests and reduce predation (Environment Canada, 2014c).
Swamp Rose-mallow30Augment Swamp Rose-mallow population to self-sustaining, genetically viable level if feasible.Increase population to self-sustaining, genetically viable level as determined by genetic testing and life history traits.Feasibility of population augmentation determined and population augmentedN/a
Forest Community
Butternut31Complete canker and site condition surveys for all known park Butternut, collect seeds from potentially resistant trees and share any data about canker-resistant trees or identify sites that promote localized recruitment / canker resistance to Butternut working group.Create seed bank of any canker-resistant trees in the park.Percentage of trees inspected for canker.Locate and monitor putatively resistant trees; Coordinate a seed collection program from resistant trees; Store backup seed/germplasm of resistant trees (Environment Canada, 2010).
Deerberry32Collaborate with the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve, St. Lawrence Parks Commission, and Niagara Parks Commission to identify and protect potential habitat for species dispersal.Ensure habitat exists to support future Deerberry populations.Suitable habitat identified and protected on lands adjacent to the park.Incorporate restoration of Deerberry into oak forest/savanna restoration measures being done by the Niagara Parks Commission (Parks Canada, 2010a).
Deerberry33Work with partners to determine conditions required for successful seedling establishment and habitat maintenance including the effect of fire, life history traits, pollination, and dispersal vectors.Effectively manage habitat for Deerberry within the park.Research measures identified in Deerberry restoration strategy have been initiated.Collect and cultivate a stock of cuttings and seeds from the two regions (underway); Continue to develop and improve a habitat model for Deerberry incorporating fire history and other life history and landscape variables as they become available (Parks Canada, 2010a).
Five-lined Skink34Finish previously initiated Five-lined Skink habitat suitability index and complete inventory on all new suitable properties to determine distribution in the park.Determine occupancy of suitable habitat in the park.Habitat suitability index and park inventory completed.Conduct surveys for Five-lined Skinks at priority sites along with studies of habitat use, typical movements and dispersal abilities in order to obtain better population-level data and to identify which element occurrences are viable (Environment Canada, 2013b).
Five-lined Skink35Work with researchers to identify TINPskink population dynamics, including population inventory, viability (numbers) and connections between different observations.Learn about Five-lined Skinks in the area to determine the best ways to protect and recover populations.(1) Inventories completed. (2) Population viability assessments developed. (3) Understanding of connections between park populations developed.Conduct surveys for Five-lined Skinks at priority sites along with studies of habitat use, typical movements and dispersal abilities in order to obtain better population-level data and to identify which element occurrences are viable (Environment Canada, 2013b).
Five-lined Skink36Assess state of currently occupied habitats and determine if it is necessary to re-introduce fire/stop succession in priority habitats.Determine if disturbance restorations are necessary for park populations.Best management practices developed for skink habitat.Develop and implement habitat conservation guideline (Environment Canada, 2013b).
Gray Ratsnake37Conduct telemetry studies on mainland properties to identify new hibernacula sites.Identification of all hibernacula on mainland properties.Data recorded and shared with the NHIC.Clarify essential habitat features associated with specific life history stages (Kraus et al. 2010).
Gray Ratsnake38Work with partners to determine the location of and maintain/improve connectivity between adjacent hibernacula where juvenile recruitment is necessary to sustain TINPpopulations (Including U.S. populations - namely Wellesley Island).With the help of partners ensure the maintenance of and connectivity with hibernacula adjacent to park properties.Maintenance of ongoing relationship with partners to share information about populations and best management practices.Determine how genetic connectivity among sub-populations is maintained. This includes the relative importance of different mechanisms such as juvenile dispersal, adult dispersal and multiple paternity (Kraus et al. 2010).

Promote protection of high ranking habitat parcels or networks through partners (municipalities, The Nature Conservancy of Canada, Ontario Parks, Stewardship Councils) and initiate acquisition, agreements, easements, etc. (Kraus et al. 2010).
Gray Ratsnake39Work with partners to protect broad corridors that facilitate long- and short-term genetic linkages within the Frontenac Arch population.Important corridors for ratsnakes are maintained for the Frontenac Arch population (either through partner acquisition, appropriate land-use planning or private owner stewardship).Land-use planning, private owner stewardship or partner acquisitions are considering ratsnakes and helping protect corridors.Promote protection of high ranking habitat parcels or networks through partners (municipalities, The Nature Conservancy of Canada, Ontario Parks, Stewardship Councils) and initiate acquisition, agreements, easements, etc. (Kraus et al. 2010).
Gray Ratsnake40Make priority property acquisitions to connect more hibernacula or work with other partners (e.g., land trusts) to protect key linkages.Acquire lands to add to the park that could help recovery of ratsnakes.Lands that will help with ratsnake recovery efforts are acquired when opportunities arise.Promote protection of high ranking habitat parcels or networks through partners (municipalities, The Nature Conservancy of Canada, Thousand Islands Watershed Land Trust, Ontario Parks, Stewardship Councils)and initiate acquisition, agreements, easements, etc. (Kraus et al. 2010).
Gray Ratsnake41Work with partners to improve the delivery/evaluation of stewardship messaging (including translation of existing partner communication resources).Improve effectiveness of ratsnake outreach messaging.Stewardship messaging is improved and evaluated with park partners to provide better support to park and partner communicators.Develop a communications plan whose target audiences include landowners, land-use planners, natural resource managers and other affected stakeholders (Kraus et al. 2010). Develop strategy for delivery of communication program to appropriate schools, Stewardship Councils, cottage associations, etc. (Kraus et al. 2010). Plan and develop stand alone resource presentation materials for adult audiences to be used by outreach extension volunteers (Kraus et al. 2010).
Gray Ratsnake42Provide interpretation (communicate anti-persecution, snake appreciation) messaging to all Thousand Island Ecosystem school visitors to TINP.Increase respect for snakes among local youth.Anti-persecution/
snake appreciation messaging delivered to all local school groups during visits to the park.
Develop (or improve) and distribute school education kits and lesson plans to schools within the range of Gray Ratsnake and other targeted school districts (Kraus et al. 2010).
Cross-Community
American Ginseng, Cerulean Warbler, King Rail, Little Brown Myotis, Western Chorus Frog43Complete park inventories.Determine park distributions of species at risk to protect individuals and habitat.Data recorded and shared with the NHIC.N/a
Snapping Turtle, Wood Thrush, Eastern Wood Pewee, Barn Swallow, Western Chorus Frog44Complete abundance surveys for newly listed still common species to establish a baseline for future restoration efforts.Establish baseline for species at risk monitoring.Abundance inventories completed for five species that are still currently common on park properties to provide key baseline information for future work.N/a
All45As opportunities arise to acquire property adjacent to TINP, focus on property that is important to SAR.Park is expanded in areas beneficial to SAR.Species at risk considered in land acquisitions.Habitat loss, degradation, and modification (Environment Canada, 2010, 2011; Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 2012; Parks Canada Agency, 2011).
All46Incorporate Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge into Species at Risk recovery, planning, and action.Incorporation of ATK into Species at Risk recovery at Thousand Islands National Park,
  1. Developing traditional knowledge fact sheets for SARA species that are in the Park.
  2. Developing the content and format for these worksheets by holding a joint workshop.
  3. Developing habitat suitability models or similar information products.
N/a

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3. Critical Habitat

Critical habitat is “the habitat that is necessary for the survival or recovery of a listed wildlife species and that is identified as the species’ critical habitat in the recovery strategy or in an action plan for the species” (SARA s.2(1)). As of August2014, it is not possible to identify any additional critical habitat in the park. Critical habitat has already been identified in the park in recovery strategies for Deerberry and the Pugnose Shiner and more will be identified in the future when possible (Table 5). Where critical habitat identification is not complete it will be identified in an upcoming or revised action plan or revised recovery strategy; refer to the schedule of studies in relevant recovery strategies for further details.

Table 5: Status of critical habitat identification in Thousand Islands National Park
Species with a final recovery strategy on the SAR Public RegistryCritical habitat identified in the recovery strategy?Is critical habitat identification complete?Will new critical habitat be identified in this action plan? How much currently exists in the park?
American Water-willowYesYes. Critical habitat has been identified for all extant populations.No. It is already identified.None occurs inside the park.
ButternutNoNo. Critical habitat has not been identified for the species yet.No. Information is not available to identify critical habitat in this action plan.
DeerberryYesNo. The critical habitat identified in the recovery strategy is a partial identification deemed necessary but not sufficient to meet population and distribution objectives.No. There is no additional information to identify critical habitat at this time. The majority of the identified critical habitat occurs inside the park (>80%).
Pugnose ShinerYesNo. The critical habitat identified in the recovery strategy is a partial identification deemed necessary but not sufficient to meet population and distribution objectives.No. Information is not available to identify additional critical habitat at this time. Very little critical habitat occurs in park waters (<1%).

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3.1 Proposed Measures to Protect Critical Habitat

There is no new critical habitat identified in this action plan. Critical habitat identified in other recovery documents within the Thousand Islands National Park of Canada is legally protected from destruction under section 58(1) of the SARA or through Orders made under subsections 58(4) and 58(5).

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4. Evaluation of Socio-Economic Costs and of Benefits

4.1. Socio-Economic Overview

The Species at Risk Act requires the responsible federal minister to undertake “an evaluation of the socio-economic costs of the action plan and the benefits to be derived from its implementation.”

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4.2. Costs

The total cost to implement the action plan for years 1-5 is estimated to be less than $200,000 and will be borne by Parks Canada out of existing salaries and goods and services dollars at TINP. This figure includes incremental salary costs, materials, equipment, and contracting of professional services for measures outlined in Table 3. No major socio-economic costs to partners, stakeholders or Aboriginal groups are expected as a result of this action plan.

4.2.1. Cost to Parks Canada

Many of the proposed measures will be integrated into the operational management of Thousand Islands National Park and there will be few new costs. These costs to the government will be covered by prioritization of existing funds and salary dollars at the site and thereby will not result in additional costs to society.

4.2.2. Socio-economic costs of implementation

The action plan applies only to lands and waters in Thousand Islands National Park, and does not bring any restrictions to land use outside the park. As such, this action plan will place no direct socio-economic costs on the public. However, minor restrictions may be placed on visitor activities on park lands and waters to protect and recover species at risk.

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4.3. Benefits

Measures presented in this action plan for Thousand Islands National Park will contribute to meeting recovery strategy objectives for Butternut, Deerberry, Pugnose Shiner, and American Water-willow, and will also contribute to meeting management objectives for Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon fasciatus) and Swamp Rose-mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos). These measures are expected to have an overall positive impact on ecological integrity and enhance opportunities for appreciation of the park and the species by visitors and the general public. This action plan includes measures that could result in benefits to Canadians, such as positive impacts on biodiversity and the value individuals place on preserving biodiversity (Federal, Provincial, Territorial Governments of Canada, 2014).

The proposed measures seek a balanced approach to reducing or eliminating threats to species-at-risk populations and habitats, and include protection of individuals and their habitat (e.g., restrictions to human activities within areas occupied by the species, combined with ongoing research and monitoring), potential species re-establishment, and increasing public awareness and stewardship (e.g., signage, visitor programs, and highlights in communication media).

For Butternut, this action plan will contribute to the recovery objectives of locating and monitoring putatively resistant trees and collecting seeds from potentially resistant trees. Specific measures in this action plan will complete canker surveys for all known Butternut in the park, collect seeds from park trees, and share data with the Butternut working group.

For Deerberry, implementation of this action plan will contribute to the recovery objectives of halting the decline of mature individuals and the number of populations and of maintaining and augmenting (where necessary) two planted populations on Thwartway and Georgina Island in Thousand Islands National Park (and planting two new additional populations, if introductions are deemed feasible). Specific measures in this action plan will enhance the available ecological knowledge of the plants’ life history, will reduce impacts from trampling, and will facilitate mapping, assessment and protection of Deerberry habitat in and adjacent to the park.

For the Pugnose Shiner, the measures in this action plan will contribute to the recovery objective of conducting targeted surveys at new, suspected, and historic locations. As well, TINP will be working with DFO to ensure installations of signage related to Pugnose Shiner critical habitat. Specific measures in this action plan will survey numerous locations within park boundaries for Pugnose Shiner.

For American Water-willow, implementation of this action plan will contribute to recovery approaches of engaging landowners and managers in protection of sites that neighbour or harbour American Water-willow populations and enhancing current knowledge of the distribution and abundance of American Water-willow (Parks Canada Agency, 2011). No specific measures in this plan are directly linked to recovery strategies because American Water-willow does not occur on land administered by Parks Canada. However, specific measures to preserve habitat within the park will benefit adjacent American Water-willow habitat and populations.

For the Five-lined Skink, this action plan will contribute to meeting the management objective of maintaining the distribution and number of viable element occurrences of Five-lined Skink (Great Lakes/St. Lawrence population). Specific measures in this action plan will ensure the maintenance of appropriate habitat for the Landon Bay population.

For Swamp Rose-mallow, this action plan will contribute to meeting the management objective of maintaining the current distribution and area of occupancy of extant Swamp Rose-mallow populations in Canada. Specific measures in this action plan will ensure the maintenance of existing plants on Main Duck Island and will potentially contribute to population augmentation.

Measures described in this plan will also provide benefits for other species of conservation concern that regularly occur in Thousand Islands National Park. These include Gray Ratsnake, Milksnake, Least Bittern, Blanding’s Turtle (Great Lakes/St. Lawrence population), Eastern Musk Turtle, Northern Map Turtle, and Snapping Turtle.

Potential economic benefits of the recovery of the species at risk found in Thousand Islands National Park cannot be easily quantified, as many of the values derived from wildlife are non-market commodities that are difficult to appraise in financial terms. Wildlife, in all its forms, has value in and of itself, and is valued by Canadians for aesthetic, cultural, spiritual, recreational, educational, historical, economic, medical, ecological and scientific reasons. The conservation of wildlife at risk is an important component of the Government of Canada’s commitment to conserving biological diversity, and is important to Canada’s current and future economic and natural wealth.

Implementing this action plan is expected to have benefits for park visitors, local residents and Aboriginal groups. These include opportunities to learn about and take part in the recovery of culturally important species at risk, opportunities for visitors, local communities, and Aboriginal groups to be involved in conservation issues in the Thousand Islands ecosystem, and greater awareness of the value of conservation in the region.

Parks Canada will also seek a Mohawk Council of Akwesasne Scientific Permit for this Action Plan to demonstrate the shared partnership between Parks Canada and the Mohawks of Akwesasne. Where possible, Thousand Islands National Park will incorporate traditional knowledge in the implementation of actions that protect species at risk. This also supports the goals under the Species at Risk Act “the traditional knowledge of the aboriginal peoples of Canada should be considered in the assessment of which species may be at risk and in developing and implementing recovery measures.”

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5. Measuring Progress

Reporting on implementation of the action plan (under s. 55 of SARA) will be done by assessing progress towards implementing the measures. Reporting on the ecological impacts of the action plan will be done by assessing progress towards meeting the site-based population and distribution objectives.

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6. References

  • Beauchamp, J., A.L. Boyko, S. Dunn, D. Hardy, P.L. Jarvis, and S.K. Staton. 2012.
    Management plan for the Grass Pickerel (Esox americanus vermiculatus) in Canada. Species at Risk Act Management Plan Series. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa. vii + 47 pp.
  • Canadian Thousand Islands Heritage Conservancy. 2004. Life on the Edge: The Cultural Landscape of the Thousand Islands Area. Thousand Islands Publishers Ltd.: Ganonoque.
  • Environment Canada. 2010. Recovery Strategy for the Butternut (Juglans cinerea) in Canada. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Environment Canada, Ottawa. vii + 24 pp.
  • Environment Canada. 2011. Recovery Strategy for the Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis) in Canada [PROPOSED]. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Environment Canada, Ottawa. v + 34 pp.
  • Environment Canada. 2013a. Management Plan for the Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon fasciatus), Great Lakes/St. Lawrence population, in Canada. Species at Risk Act Management Plan Series. Environment Canada, Ottawa. iv + 17 pp.
  • Environment Canada. 2013b. Management Plan for the Swamp Rose-mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos) in Canada. Species at Risk Act Management Plan Series. Environment Canada, Ottawa. iv + 18 pp.
  • Environment Canada. 2014a. Management Plan for the Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum) in Canada [Proposed]. Species at Risk Act Management Plan Series. Environment Canada, Ottawa. iii + 26 pp.
  • Environment Canada. 2014b. Management Plan for the Northern Map Turtle (Graptemys geographica) in Canada. [Draft]. Species at Risk Act Management Plan Series. Environment Canada, Ottawa.
  • Environment Canada. 2014c. Recovery Strategy for the Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) in Canada. [Draft]. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Environment Canada, Ottawa.
  • Environment Canada. 2014d. Recovery Strategy for the Eastern Musk Turtle (Sternotherus odoratus) in Canada. [Draft]. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Environment Canada, Ottawa.
  • Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Governments of Canada. 2014. 2012 Canadian Nature Survey: Awareness, participation, and expenditures in nature-based recreation, conservation, and subsistence activities. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers.
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada. 2012. Recovery strategy for the Pugnose Shiner
  • (Notropis anogenus) in Canada. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy
  • Series. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa ON. x +75 pp.
  • Kraus, T., B. Hutchinson, S. Thompson and K. Prior. 2010. Recovery Strategy for the
  • Gray Ratsnake (Pantherophis spiloides) – Carolinian and Frontenac Axis populations in
  • Ontario. Ontario Recovery Strategy Series. Prepared for the Ontario Ministry of Natural
  • Resources, Peterborough, Ontario. vi + 23 pp.
  • McPherson, Michelle. 2006. Integrated Vegetation Management of the Thousand Islands Ecosystem and St. Lawrence Islands National Park. Prepared for Parks Canada Agency, Ottawa, Ontario. 118 pp.
  • Parks Canada Agency. 2010a. Recovery Strategy for Deerberry (Vaccinium stamineum) in Canada. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Parks Canada Agency, Ottawa. iv+ 15 pp.
  • Parks Canada Agency. 2010b. St. Lawrence Islands National Park Management Plan. Parks Canada Agency. Ottawa. iv + 47 pp.
  • Parks Canada Agency.  2011. Recovery Strategy for the American Water-willow (Justicia americana) in Canada. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series, Parks Canada Agency, Ottawa. vi + 36 pp.
  • Snetsinger, Mary Alice. 1997. Historic Land Use Study Synthesis Report. St. Lawrence Islands National Park. Unpublished Report.
  • Snetsinger, Mary Alice. 2001. Assessment and Classification of St. Lawrence River Habitat in the FASTLINE Area: Analysis Pertaining to Fisheries and Benthic Macroinvertebrates. Unpublished Report.
  • Zorn, Paul. 2012.  Assessment of Spatio-Temporal Trends in Landscape Scale Habitat Change: St. Lawrence Islands National Park. Technical Compendium. Parks Canada Agency, Ottawa. 12 pp.

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Appendix A: Effects on the Environment and Other Species

A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is conducted on all SARA recovery planning documents, in accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals. The purpose of a SEA is to incorporate environmental considerations into the development of public policies, plans, and program proposals to support environmentally sound decision-making and to evaluate whether the outcomes of a recovery planning document could affect any component of the environment or achievement of any of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy’sFootnote 7 goals and targets.

Recovery planning is intended to benefit species at risk and biodiversity in general. However, it is recognized that recovery measures may also inadvertently lead to environmental effects beyond the intended benefits. The planning process, which is based on national guidelines, directly incorporates consideration of all environmental effects, with a particular focus on possible impacts upon non-target species or habitats. The results of the SEA are incorporated directly into the plan itself, and are summarized below.

Overall, it is anticipated that implementation of this action plan will have a beneficial impact on non-target species, ecological processes, and the environment in Thousand Islands National Park. This plan puts into practice recovery goals presented in recovery strategies already developed for some of the species at risk in this plan, which were subject to SEAs during the development of those documents (Environment Canada, 2010, 2011, 2013a, 2013b; Fisheries and Oceans, 2012; Parks Canada, 2010a, 2011). Further, this action plan was developed to benefit all species at risk that regularly occur in Thousand Islands National Park; all of these species were considered in the planning process, any potential secondary effects were considered and mitigated, and where appropriate, measures were designed to benefit multiple species. The planning process was also guided by priorities identified in the park’s ecological integrity monitoring program and the park’s management plan (Parks Canada Agency, 2010b). Consequently measures outlined in this plan address key management priorities aimed at improving the broader ecological health of the park. Finally, this plan outlines stewardship measures, educational programs, and awareness initiatives that will involve park visitors, local residents, Aboriginal organizations, and the general public. This will lead to greater appreciation, understanding, and action towards the conservation and recovery of species at risk in general.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

www.registrelep.gc.ca/default_e.cfm

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Footnote 2

www.ec.gc.ca/media_archive/press/2001/010919_b_e.htm

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Footnote 3

Where population and distribution objectives have been established for TINP, monitoring is designed to directly measure success in achieving those goals; otherwise baseline population monitoring efforts necessary for park stewardship, management and reporting are described.

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Footnote 4

Based on established thresholds for Blanding’s Turtles, Eastern Musk Turtle, and Least Bittern in the TINP wetland condition monitoring program (Zorn, 2012).

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Footnote 5

Species at risk considered part of the TINP coastal wetland community include Blanding's Turtle, Eastern Musk Turtle, Snapping Turtle, Northern Map Turtle, American Eel, Bridle Shiner, Grass Pickerel, Pugnose Shiner, and Least Bittern.

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Footnote 6

As determined by TINP’s Integrated Vegetation Management Plan (McPherson, 2006).

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Footnote 7

www.ec.gc.ca/dd-sd/default.asp?lang=En&n=F93CD795-1

Return to footnote 7 referrer