Friday, March 19, 2010

Tell SARA You Support the Protection of Endangered Species in Canada

Did you know that the public is invited to comment on matters pertaining to the protection of endangered species? Yes! Your voice is important. The Government of Canada is committed to working with all Canadians to ensure that species at risk and their critical habitats are protected. SARA (the Species At Risk Act) actively supports this commitment, providing the public with an opportunity to comment on proposed documents. Visit the Species at Risk site and get involved today.

In the meantime, here is just one of the species on the endangered list — the Eastern Foxsnake, pictured above. White's Wetland, being situated in the Carolinian forest zone of southwestern Ontario, is particularly concerned about the plight of species such as the Eastern Foxsnake, whose numbers have been severely reduced by the extensive loss of wetlands through drainage and development. From what I have observed, with the push of industrial and residential development ever southward from the City of London, this loss of habitat is only going to get worse in the future. Land is being sold at unprecedented rates and small wooded areas along Wellington Road, some of the last remaining stands of woods in this area and no doubt home to small mammals and other species, will soon be bulldozed.

We need to remember that ALL species, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem to humans, play an important role in the scheme of things. Biodiversity must be protected.

Here is some data, courtesy of SARA, about this endangered snake:

The Eastern Foxsnake is found only in the Great Lakes region of North America. Approximately 70% of the species’ range is in Ontario, Canada, with relatively isolated locations in southeastern Michigan and northern Ohio in the United States. Within Ontario, the species’ distribution is highly disjunct, occupying three discrete regions along the shorelines of Lake Erie and Lake Huron. Eastern Foxsnakes in the Essex-Kent and Haldimand-Norfolk regions constitute the Carolinian population, and those further north, along the shores of Georgian Bay, constitute the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence population.

There are no reliable estimates of population sizes for Canadian populations of the Eastern Foxsnake. Despite the lack of direct quantitative data demonstrating a decrease in the Carolinian population, the sheer magnitude of wetland loss in southwestern Ontario, along with the proliferation of roads in that region, makes the probability of range contraction and population reduction extremely high.

The Eastern Foxsnake is the second largest snake in Ontario; it typically reaches lengths of 91 to 137 cm.

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