The law

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.

Source law

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)

The rules

You must:

  • 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

Natural Resources Registration Guide

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 1-800-387-7011.

If you can't apply online:

  • download the registration form and user guide
  • print, complete and mail the form
  • wait for confirmation

Notice of Activity Form Notice of Incidental Trapping

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.

Find an MNRF district office

Furbearing mammals

These species are threatened or endangered:

  • badger (American)
  • fox (Grey)
  • polar bear
  • wolverine

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.

Get more details about a species