Description of critical habitat for the Least Bittern in St. Clair National Wildlife Area, Big Creek National Wildlife Area, Long Point National Wildlife Area, Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area, Shepody National Wildlife Area, Upper Canada Bird Sanctuary, Philipsburg Bird Sanctuary, Nicolet Bird Sanctuary and Thousand Islands National Park of Canada

The Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis) is a migratory bird protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 and listed on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act. In Canada, the Least Bittern occurs south of the Canadian Shield in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. It breeds in freshwater and brackish marshes with tall emergent plants interspersed with open water.

The Recovery Strategy for the Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis) in Canada and the Multi-species Action Plan for Thousand Islands National Park of Canada, available on the Species at Risk Public Registry, identify critical habitat for the species in a number of areas, including federally protected areas.

Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to subsection 58(2) of the Species at Risk Act, subsection 58(1) of that Act applies, 90 days after this publication, to the critical habitat of the Least Bittern -- identified in the recovery strategy and the action plan for that species that are included on the Species at Risk Public Registry -- that is found within the following federally protected areas: St. Clair National Wildlife Area, Big Creek National Wildlife Area, Long Point National Wildlife Area, Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area, Shepody National Wildlife Area, described in Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Area Regulations made pursuant to the Canada Wildlife Act, Upper Canada Bird Sanctuary, Philipsburg Bird Sanctuary and Nicolet Bird Sanctuary, described in the Schedule of the Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations made pursuant to the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 and Thousand Islands National Park of Canada, whose boundaries are described in Schedule 1 to the Canada National Parks Act.

Interested parties are invited to contact Environment and Climate Change Canada by email at ec.protectionep-sarprotection.ec@canada.ca to request clarifications regarding the location, biophysical attributes and protection of this species’ critical habitat. Note, however, that some details may be withheld to protect the species and its critical habitat.

May 5, 2016

STEPHEN VIRC
Acting Director
Species at Risk Act Management and Regulatory Affairs
Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment and Climate Change Canada

KATHERINE PATTERSON
Field Unit Superintendent
Georgian Bay and Ontario East Field Unit Parks Canada Agency