Species at risk by region

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



  • 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.

  • black-tern

    Black Tern (Chlidonias niger)

    Status: special concern

    The Black Tern is very social. It breeds in loose colonies and usually forages, roosts and migrates in flocks of a few to more than 100 birds, occasionally up to tens of thousands.

  • 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.

  • whip-poor-will

    Eastern Whip-poor-will (Antrostomas vociferus)

    Status: threatened

    Chicks seem to hatch near full moons, giving parents more light for foraging so they can supply the extra energy demands of their rapidly-growing brood.

  • golden-winged-warbler

    Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera)

    Status: special concern

    Golden-winged Warblers tend to nest in loose groups or colonies that contain up to ten pairs of breeding birds

  • 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.

  • loggerhead-shrike

    Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)

    Status: endangered

    Shrikes are sometimes called butcher bird because they impale their prey on thorns, barbed wire or sharp twigs.

  • short-eared-owl

    Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus)

    Status: special concern

    Short-eared Owls are nomadic, meaning that individuals wander over large distances, usually settling in areas where prey densities are high.

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.


  • rapids-clubtail

    Rapids Clubtail (Gomphus quadricolor)

    Status: endangered

    Larvae bury themselves under a fine layer of sediment and breathe through the exposed tips of their abdomens.


Plants and Lichens

  • ogdens-pondweed

    Ogden's Pondweed (Potamogeton ogdenii)

    Status: endangered

    Pondweeds provide habitat for aquatic invertebrates, food for mammals and waterfowl, and hiding places for amphibians and fish.

  • pale-bellied-frost-lichen

    Pale-bellied Frost Lichen (Physconia subpallida)

    Status: endangered

    This lichen grows on the surface of other plants, rocks, or structures and derives nutrients from the air and rain.

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.

  • gray-ratsnake

    Gray Ratsnake (Pantherophis spiloides)

    Status: endangered (Carolinian population), threatened (Frontenac Axis population)

    This snake is an excellent climber and may be seen up a tree or bush sunning, preparing to shed its skin or hunting for prey.


  • 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.

Updated: June 20, 2016