Accidentally trap a threatened or endangered species
The rules for licensed trappers who unintentionally trap a threatened or endangered species (also called incidental trapping).
Effective July 1, 2013.
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Ontario’s Endangered Species Act, 2007 protects endangered or threatened species — animals and plants in decline and at risk of disappearing from the province.
You need to follow certain rules if you are a licensed trapper and you accidentally catch an endangered or threatened species in your trap.
This is a summary of the provincial laws. You can find a complete set of provincial rules related to this activity in:
- Endangered Species Act, 2007
- Ontario Regulation 242/08 (General)
- be licenced to trap under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997
- be trapping according to law
- release an animal that is accidentally caught if it can survive in the wild
- kill it humanely if it cannot survive in the wild
Animals that are killed
A furbearing mammal: you must get a licence to possess a pelt.
Not a furbearing mammal: you must register the killing promptly with the Ministry of Natural Resources.
Animals that could survive
You do not need to register or get a licence if:
- you released the animal and
- you thought it had a reasonable chance of survival in the wild
How to register
Step 1: Download the Natural Resources Registration Guide
- print a copy or
- open the guide in a new window or tab
Step 2: Create a ONe-key ID and Natural Resources client profile
You need a ONe-key ID and a Natural Resources client profile to register online. ONe-key is a secure account that gives you online access to Ontario government programs and services.
Once you have a ONe-key ID, you will be asked to create an individual profile for Natural Resources registrations. Businesses are ineligible for this activity.
Open a new window or tab to create an individual profile
If you already have a ONe-key ID:
- sign in to ONe-key
- confirm your Natural Resources individual client profile
Open a new window or tab to sign in as a returning individual
Step 3: Register an activity
- select My Services from the main menu
- click on Create New Registration
- select Notice of Activity and Other Notices under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) from the registry options
- select Notice of incidental trapping
- register the activity
- submit the registration
Step 4: Receive confirmation
- receive an official Confirmation of Registration by email
- keep a copy as proof of registration
- registration is free
If you need assistance to register your activity, please call
If you can't apply online:
- download the registration form and user guide
- print, complete and mail the form
- wait for confirmation
Licence to possess a pelt
Contact your local Ministry of Natural Resources office to get this licence, which would allow you to keep a pelt, under certain circumstances.
These species are threatened or endangered:
- badger (American)
- fox (Grey)
- polar bear
Identify a species at risk
If you are unsure about a certain species — and would like help identifying or confirming what it is — you can see photos and get more information on the Endangered Species website.