Species at risk by region

Browse a list of species at risk in the selected Ontario region.


  • jefferson-salamander

    Jefferson salamander (Ambystoma jeffersonianum)

    Status: endangered

    Unlike most small animals, Jefferson salamanders can live a very long time - up to 30 years.


  • barn-swallow

    Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

    Status: threatened

    Barn Swallows make the long flight to Central and South America each fall, returning to southern Canada - including Ontario - each spring.

  • bobolink

    Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)

    Status: threatened

    These birds migrate from Ontario to Argentina - one of the longest migrations of any North American songbird.

  • cerulean-warbler

    Cerulean Warbler (Dendroica cerulea)

    Status: threatened

    Since this warbler is a bird of the tree tops, it is often best identified from below. Birdwatchers will recognize adult males by the thin dark band that crosses the upper part of the predominantly white breast.

  • eastern-meadowlark

    Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna)

    Status: threatened

    The Eastern Meadowlark is not actually a lark, but a member of the same family as blackbirds and orioles.

  • henslows-sparrow

    Henslow's Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii)

    Status: endangered

    The Henslow's Sparrow is a short-distance migrant, travelling only as far as the southern United States, primarily from Texas to Georgia.

  • least-bittern

    Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis)

    Status: threatened

    The Least Bittern is more likely to be heard than seen in its dense marsh habitat. The typical call given by males is a hollow, quiet coo-coo-coo. When alarmed, they can give a harsh kek-kek-kek call. They are most vocal in early morning and evening, but could potentially call anytime during the day or night.

  • louisiana-waterthrush

    Louisiana Waterthrush (Seiurus motacilla)

    Status: special concern

    The Louisiana Waterthrush is among the earliest long-distance migrating birds to arrive back to Canada in the spring, typically arriving by mid-April.

  • peregrine-falcon

    Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus)

    Status: special concern

    The peregrine falcon is one of the world's fastest animals, and has been clocked diving for prey at speeds of 160 km an hour.

  • prothonotary-warbler

    Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea)

    Status: endangered

    The Prothonotary Warbler was named after legal clerks in the Roman Catholic Church, known as prothonotaries, who sometimes wear a golden hood and a blue cape.

Fish and Mussels

  • lake-sturgeon

    Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens)

    Status: special concern (Southern Hudson Bay/James Bay population), threatened (Northwestern Ontario and Great Lakes-Upper St. Lawrence River populations)

    The oldest known specimen of this fish, from Lake Huron, is 155 years old.

  • redside-dace

    Redside Dace (Clinostomus elongatus)

    Status: endangered

    Redside dace are the only fish in Canada with the ability to jump out of the water to eat.

  • silver-shiner

    Silver Shiner (Notropis photogenis)

    Status: special concern

    Silver Shiners are easily confused with Emerald Shiners and Rosyface Shiners, which may have contributed to the fact that they were only confirmed in Canada in 1973, but may have always been present.


  • rusty-patched-bumble-bee

    Rusty-patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis)

    Status: endangered

    The Rusty-patched Bumble Bee gets nectar from flowers by biting a hole in the outside of it and sucking up the nectar with its tongue. This behaviour, called nectar-robbing, leaves marks on the flower than can help researchers detect the bees' presence in an area.


  • woodland-vole

    Woodland Vole (Microtus pinetorum)

    Status: special concern

    Woodland Voles are monogamous, and both males and females participate in caring for the young.

Plants and Lichens

  • american-chestnut

    American Chestnut (Castanea dentata)

    Status: endangered

    People used the American Chestnut for treating numerous ailments (from coughs and dermatitis to heart trouble), as a staple food and beverage, to build shelters, for firewood and as a source of dye. Early settlers soon realized the many important uses of this tree.

  • american-columbo

    American Columbo (Frasera caroliniensis)

    Status: endangered

    American Columbo may live for many years but it flowers only once and then dies.

  • american-harts-tongue-fern

    Hart's-tongue Fern (Asplenium scolopendrium)

    Status: special concern

    Hart's-tongue Fern has very specific habitat requirements, making transplantation and artificial propagation difficult.

  • broad-beech-fern

    Broad Beech Fern (Phegopteris hexagonoptera)

    Status: special concern

    Broad Beech Fern reproduces through spores. The spores are contained in a case-like structure called a sporangium. The sporangia burst upon maturity at the end of summer and the spores are scattered through the air.

  • dense-blazing-star

    Dense Blazing Star (Liatris spicata)

    Status: threatened

    Dense Blazing Star is able to grow in soil that is contaminated with cadmium by turning this toxic heavy metal into a non-toxic form in its tissues.

  • eastern-flowering-dogwood

    Eastern Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)

    Status: endangered

    The bright red fruit of this tree is poisonous to humans but can be eaten by over 50 species of birds and small mammals. These animals help distribute Eastern Flowering Dogwood seeds throughout forests.

  • hoary-mountain-mint

    Hoary Mountain-mint (Pycnanthemum incanum)

    Status: endangered

    Hoary Mountain-mint is a very fragrant plant that is attractive to bees and known to produce high quality honey.

  • red-mulberry

    Red Mulberry (Morus rubra)

    Status: endangered

    Unlike most fruit trees that are pollinated by insects, the flowers of this plant are pollinated by the wind.

Snakes and Lizards

  • common-five-lined-skink

    Common Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon fasciatus)

    Status: endangered (Carolinian population), special concern (Great Lakes/St. Lawrence population)

    When attacked by a potential predator, a skink's tail can autotomize: spontaneously break off and thrash for several minutes, distracting the predator so the lizard can escape. The tail is able to grow back at a rate of about six millimetres a week.

  • eastern-ribbonsnake

    Eastern Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus)

    Status: special concern

    Many species of snakes lay eggs, but Eastern Ribbonsnakes give birth to live young.


  • blandings-turtle

    Blanding's Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii)

    Status: threatened

    These turtles can survive in the wild for more than 75 years.

  • eastern-musk-turtle

    Eastern Musk Turtle (Sternotherus odoratus)

    Status: threatened

    Unlike other turtles, the Eastern Musk Turtle rarely leaves the water except when females lay eggs. It spends most of the day resting on the soft lake bottom, foraging for food or basking in the sun under floating aquatic vegetation in shallow water.

  • northern-map-turtle

    Northern Map Turtle (Graptemys geographica)

    Status: special concern

    The Northern Map Turtle is extremely wary and will dive into the water at the slightest provocation.

  • snapping-turtle

    Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)

    Status: special concern

    These turtles spend so much time underwater that algae grow on their shells. This helps them blend in with their surroundings.

  • spiny-softshell

    Spiny Softshell (Apalone spinifera spinifera)

    Status: threatened

    The Spiny Softshell turtle captures crayfish and molluscs by partially burying itself underwater in the sand or mud and snatching unsuspecting prey. Its snorkel-like snout allows it to take a breath of air while submerged.

Updated: February 6, 2018