Each year, Ontario invests in stewardship and research projects through the Species at Risk Stewardship Program. This program helps protect and recover plants and animals that are at risk.

The Species at Risk Stewardship Program was created under the Endangered Species Act to encourage people and organizations to get involved in protecting and recovering species at risk and their habitats through stewardship activities. It’s part of Ontario’s track record of strong environmental stewardship, preserving the rich biodiversity of our province for future generations.

The program objectives include:

  • improving the status of species at risk and their habitats by supporting stewardship and recovery actions
  • supporting stewardship and multi-partner approaches to species at risk protection and recovery
  • supporting community outreach and other tools and techniques to inspire and enable people to become involved in species at risk stewardship
  • supporting scientific research to help address important needs and knowledge gaps related to the protection, recovery and management of species at risk and their habitats

Who can apply

The fund is open to individuals and groups across Ontario, including:

  • academic institutions
  • businesses
  • consulting companies
  • Indigenous communities/organizations
  • individuals
  • industry organizations
  • landowners and farmers
  • municipal and local governments
  • non-government organizations

To be eligible for consideration, stewardship or research projects must benefit species listed as extirpated, endangered, threatened or special concern on the Species at Risk in Ontario list.

You can find more information, including eligibility requirements and annual funding priorities, in the 2023-24 Species at Risk Stewardship Program Guidelines.

How to apply

We are now accepting applications for the 2023-24 Species at Risk Stewardship Program. To apply:

Current projects

The following is a list of new and ongoing (multi-year) projects being supported by the Species at Risk Stewardship Program in 2022-23.

RecipientsProject title
8Trees Inc.Mitigating Drainage Impacts on the Wainfleet Bog for the Purpose of Managing Species at Risk Habitat
ALUSALUS Species at Risk Stewardship - Working with farmers and local community partners to create, enhance, restore and manage on-the-ground habitat conservation projects to support Species at Risk recovery in Ontario
ALUSSupporting Grassland Species at Risk on Agricultural Lands in Ontario
Anishinabek/Ontario Fisheries Resource CentreA/OFRC Lake Strugeon Study Program
Birds CanadaImplementing habitat creation and stewardship actions for multiple forest bird species at risk in southern and eastern Ontario
Birds CanadaIncreasing conservation and stewardship for Ontario's Endangered Piping Plover through improved habitat, outreach efforts, and collaborative partnerships
Birds CanadaTackling priority stewardship and research actions for rapidly declining aerial insectivore species at risk in Ontario
Blazing Star EnvironmentalHabitat management and monitoring to recover species at risk reptiles threatened by wind farm development and forest fire in Eastern Georgian Bay
Blazing Star EnvironmentalMeasuring detection probability and occupancy of Spiny Softshell to inform development of a new monitoring protocol.
Canadian Chestnut CouncilMitigating the effects of the invasive fungus (Chestnut Blight) on the restoration of American Chestnut by breeding Tolerance
Canadian Wildlife FederationRoost Habitat Characteristics of the Little Brown Myotis and Northern Myotis: Investigating bat box microclimate through citizen science
City of KingstonTurtle Crossing Mitigation Measures - Kingston, ON - Princess Street at Collins Creek for the detailed design, approvals and implementation of road-side exclusion fencing, eco passages and nesting areas
Conservation HaltonAquatic Species at Risk stewardship actions in support of endangered Redside Dace and American Eel recovery in Bronte, Sixteen Mile and Fourteen Mile Creek; utilizing monitoring, habitat rehabilitation, habitat assessment and fish passage barrier mitigation on private and public property
EcoTec Environmental ConsultantsConstruction and monitoring of Gray Ratsnake compost nest structures in United Counties of Leeds-Grenville
Federation of Ontario NaturalistsThreat mitigation, population enhancement and education on American Ginseng conservation in Ontario
Federation of Ontario NaturalistsPrescribed burns as a management tool to restore rare vegetation communities and species at risk habitat on Stone Road Alvar
Federation of Ontario NaturalistsRestoring habitat, implementing threat mitigation and raising awareness of Spiny Softshell within the Sydenham River Watershed
Forest Gene Conservation Association of OntarioResearch and Butternut Orchard establishment
Forests OntarioGrassland Stewardship Inititative: Habitat creation and enhancement to support the conservation and recovery of populations of Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark
Friends of Pinery ParkEvaluating Little Brown Myotis habitat characteristics using roost preference and movement patterns to guide habitat restoration, improve artificial roost design and raise awareness through stewardship
Haliburton Highlands Land TrustSearching for SAR in the Haliburton Highlands: increasing knowledge, awareness, and stewardship of species at risk through surveys for Branched Bartonia, and 'lost' lady beetles, while engaging the community with outreach and education.
Huron Stewardship CouncilCompleting the Conservation Picture for Queensnake Populations in Ontario by determining population estimates and monitoring threats
Huron Stewardship CouncilSpecies at Risk Turtle Recovery Actions and Monitoring: mitigating threats, improving nesting habitats and evaluating previous recovery actions
IndividualRed Mulberry (Morus rubra) Recovery for the Pelee Island Population
IndividualSpecies at Risk Bumble Bee Surveys in Northwestern Ontario to assess status and population trends
Lake Huron Centre for Coastal ConservationGreen Ribbon Champions: a beach and dune restoration program providing education, advice and resources to Lake Huron shoreline residents
Lakehead UniversityCaribou (Boreal Population) Monitoring Through DNA Analysis
Lambton Shores Phragmites Community GroupLambton Shores Coastal Wetland Restoration and Enhancement – Wood Drive - Three Year Plan
Long Point Basin Land TrustEnhancement and restoration of tallgrass prairie, oak savanna and oak woodland habitat on LPBLT nature reserves
McGill UniversityMeasuring and Managing Effects of Natural and Human-caused Habitat Alteration on Abundance and Survival of Fowlers Toads and other Amphibians at Long, Point Ontario
Natural Resource Solutions Inc.Implementing and Evaluating Methods for Habitat Creation and Stewardship Benefitting Norfolk’s Species at Risk Snakes
Natural Resource Solutions Inc.Innovative & Collaborative Activities, including research and monitoring, in Support of Butterfly Species at Risk Recovery
Natural Resource Solutions Inc.Innovative techniques for identifying critical habitat and mitigating threats to Jefferson Salamander and Jefferson-dependent Unisexual Ambystoma
Natural Resource Solutions Inc.Identifying Maternity Habitat for Species at Risk Bats in Southern Ontario
Natural Resource Solutions Inc.Research on the Jefferson Salamander and their unsiexual dependents: environmental drivers influencing migrations, re-surveying marked populations, and differences in dispersal between genotypes.
Natural Resource Solutions Inc.Implementation of a Standardized Monitoring Program to Assess the Health of Blue Ash (Fraxinus quadrangulata) in Ontario
Natural Resource Solutions Inc.Best Management Practices for Conducting Prescribed Burns in Tallgrass Species at Risk Habitat
North-south Environmental Inc.Development and implementation of a standardized survey protocol for Branched Bartonia and characterization of microhabitat conditions.
North-south Environmental Inc.Increasing knowledge of Purple Twayblade distribution and habitat in Ontario through the development of a standardized survey protocol and implementation at extant and historical sites.
Ontario Land Trust AllianceConserving Species at Risk Program - Enhancing capacity for land trusts to protect and recover species at risk in Ontario
Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement AssociationSpecies at Risk Farm Incentive Program (SARFIP): providing financial support to agricultural landowners for habitat creation, enhancement and protection to support species at risk
Ontario StreamsJefferson Salamander Habitat Rehabilitation and Eco-passage Project to assist safe passage of the species
Ontario Turtle Conservation CentreDirect mitigation of threats to At-Risk turtles through rehabilitation, education, headstarting, field studies, research and data-sharing
Pinegrove ProductionsPelee Island: A series of videos showcasing the island, it's SAR and natural habitats, and the wide range of local SAR conservation/stewardship efforts
St. Clair Region Conservation AuthoritySydenham River Stewardship, Outreach and Monitoring for Aquatic Species at Risk
St. Williams Conservation Reserve Community CouncilRestoring the Savanna Ecosystem, Reducing Direct Threats, and Filling Key Knowledge Gaps to Advance the Recovery of Multiple Species at Risk at the St. Williams Conservation Reserve
Tallgrass OntarioSurveys for Butler's Gartersnake and Purple Twayblade and Habitat Restoration at the Ojibway Prairie Complex, Windsor, Ontario.
The Nature Conservancy of CanadaRestoration and management of tallgrass prairie and oak savannah habitats in the Rice Lake Plains, for the benefit of species at risk and other wildlife
The Nature Conservancy of CanadaHabitat stewardship and threat reduction for SAR in the Carden Alvar and Napanee Plain
The Nature Conservancy of CanadaHabitat Improvement for Forest Species at Risk by restoring a breeding pond and removing invasive species in the Happy Valley Forest
The Nature Conservancy of CanadaManaging invasive species in Species at Risk habitat and assessing Emerald Ash Borer in Blue Ash stands on Pelee Island
The Nature Conservancy of CanadaRestoring Tallgrass Habitat for Species at Risk in the Southern Norfolk Sand Plain
Thunder Bay Field Naturalists ClubThunder Bay Gray Fox Project: documenting the distribution of Gray Fox in the Thunder Bay Judicial District
Toronto Zoo Wildlife ConservancyCollecting acoustic bat data through Community Science to understand distribution and activity of endangered bats in southern Ontario
Trent UniversityAssessing changes in population size and genetic structure to determine population targets for self-sustaining populations of Small-mouthed salamander and Unisexual Ambystoma on Pelee Island, and evaluating value and feasibility of conservation interventions
Trent UniversityConservation genomics of the Lake Superior caribou: investigating evolutionary origins, inbreeding, and adaptation to identify priorities for habitat connectivity
Univeristy of WinnipegBuilding on Bat Watch: Using Citizen Science to Find, Monitor and Conserve Ontario's Bat Species at Risk
University of GuelphConservation of Endangered Morus Rubra in Southern Ontario: Capacity Building for Red Mulberry Propogation
University of TorontoDevelopment of standardized survey protocols and monitoring programs for species-at-risk riverine dragonflies
WCS Wildlife Conservation Society CanadaWolverine recovery: Examining habitat needs, abundance and incidental harvest of wolverine on the Ontario Shield
Wikwemikong Unceded Indian ReserveExpanding management and long-term protection of Species at Risk in Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory
Wildlife Preservation CanadaBlue racer conservation on Pelee Island: a multi-faceted, collaborative approach to addressing knowledge gaps and community engagement
Wildlife Preservation CanadaImplementation of the Recovery Strategy for Eastern Loggerhead Shrike in Ontario
Wildlife Preservation CanadaRecovering Massasaugas at the Ojibway Prairie Complex and Greater Park Ecosystem (OPCGPE): a collaborative multi-stakeholder approach to achieving landscape connectivity and SAR recovery
Wildlife Preservation Trust CanadaButler's Gartersnake Recovery Project for Windsor-Essex County to protect, enhance and connect habitat
Wildlife Preservation Trust CanadaMonitoring species at risk bumble bees in southern Ontario: assessing changes to diversity and abundance over the last 50 years and engaging community scientists
Winter Spider Eco-ConsultingThe Manitoulin Phragmites Project: ensuring long-term success to support species at risk habitats