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Addendum to the Final Recovery Strategy for the Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus circumcinctus) in Canada (Proposed)
RE: Identification of Critical Habitat

Piping Plover, circumcinctus subspecies

March 16, 2007

Piping Plover. © Judie Shore.


This is an addendum to the final recovery strategy for the circumcinctus subspecies of Piping Plover, (Charadrius melodus circumcinctus), which was posted on the Species at Risk Act (SARA) Public Registry on November 6, 2006 (hereinafter referred to as the “2006 Piping Plover Recovery Strategy”). Section 41(1)(c) of SARA requires that recovery strategies include an identification of a species' critical habitat, to the extent possible, and examples of activities that are likely to result in its destruction. SARA also states that recovery strategies may be amended at any time, and that copies of the amendments must be included in the SARA Public Registry.

Research and analysis of information gathered regarding critical habitat for Piping Plover circumcinctus have advanced since the posting of the final 2006 Piping Plover Recovery Strategy. This addendum identifies critical habitat for Piping Plover circumcinctus to the extent possible at this time, and is provided as an amendment to the previously published recovery strategy. This addendum includes a list of wetland and/or riverbed basins across the range of the circumcinctussubspecies (i.e. Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta) that are likely to contain critical habitat. Where possible, the exact location of critical habitat within these basins has been specified at the quarter section level (see footnote 1, Table 2).

Quarter sections were selected as the typical basis for critical habitat identification because rural land in western Canada is generally owned and managed at the quarter section level, and land ownership can easily be tracked at that level. Tracking ownership of land identified as critical habitat in recovery strategies (or in addenda such as this) is important for the purpose of consulting with landowners and other persons whom the competent minister considers to be directly affected, as required under section 39(3) of SARA.

Consultations are important with regard to the identification of critical habitat in order to make all affected parties, including landowners, aware of the potential legal implications associated with critical habitat under SARA. Sections 58 and 61 of SARA contain prohibitions against the destruction of critical habitat in various circumstances defined in the Act. These consultations are also important as they serve to engage all affected parties in a cooperative approach to critical habitat management and protection under SARA.

Critical habitat has been identified in 65 quarter sections in 20 basins at this time. Within these quarter sections, critical habitat is defined as the area of the shore between the ordinary high-water mark and the water's edge, as Piping Plovers are terrestrial shorebirds that use the shore area between the water's edge and terrestrial vegetation. The identification and protection of the critical habitat identified in this addendum will contribute significantly to meeting the recovery goal of 1626 plovers documented over three international population censuses, set for Piping Plover circumcinctus in the 2006 Piping Plover Recovery Strategy (Environment Canada, 2006).