Species Conservation Action Agency
Learn how this agency is working to help protect and recover species at risk.
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The Species Conservation Action Agency is a board-governed provincial agency responsible for administering and managing the Species at Risk Conservation Fund.
- is committed to contributing to the conservation of the province’s rich biodiversity
- makes investments in strategic, large-scale and coordinated actions that support positive outcomes for species at risk
- protects and recovers select species at risk and their habitats through investments from the fund
In 2019, the Species at Risk Conservation Fund was established, through amendments to the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA), to fund activities that are reasonably likely to protect or recover conservation fund species.
As of April 29, 2022, regulations are in effect that:
- designate conservation fund species
- prescribe how species conservation charges will be calculated and paid (O. Reg. 829/21)
- establish species conservation charges that businesses, municipalities and individuals must pay when they engage in activities under some prescribed conditional exemptions (O. Reg. 830/21)
Protection and recovery activities
The agency will:
- Develop funding plans to guide decisions on the types of activities that can receive funds from the Species at Risk Conservation Fund. Funding plans will be created for each conservation fund species and posted on this page once they are developed.
- Determine what projects and activities to fund for the protection or recovery of the conservation fund species. Activities that receive funding must contribute to the protection or recovery of these species.
- Provide information on the approach to funding projects and activities when available.
For more information, email SpeciesConservationAgency@ontario.ca.
Eligible species and activities
The following species at risk are designated as conservation fund species. This means that proponents may be able to contribute to the fund when their project is expected to impact these species.
- Butternut (Juglans cinerea), (tree, Endangered)
- Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), (bird, Threatened)
- Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna), (bird, Threatened)
- Eastern Whip-poor-will (Antrostomus vociferus), (bird, Threatened)
- Populations of Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) in the Ontario Shield Ecozone (turtle, Threatened)
Contact us for questions about how you may use the fund option in an ESA permit or agreement.
Who can pay into the fund
If your project impacts a conservation fund species, you may have the option to contribute to the fund, as a condition of a permit, agreement or conditional exemption.
Payments and refunds
How to make a payment
Businesses, municipalities or individuals must pay a species conservation charge, set out in the Species Conservation Charges regulation.
The proponent must calculate the charge on the day that it is paid.
If you hold a commercial account, species conservation charges should be paid to the Agency by electronic fund transfer (EFT). For all other account holders, species conservation charges are to be paid by wire transfer. Please contact the Agency to obtain the banking information that will be needed to make your payment: firstname.lastname@example.org
Specific information must be provided to the Agency and the Ministry at the time of payment as required by O. Reg. 829/21.Through the authorization and registration processes, proponents will receive a form to include the necessary information to the Agency. Proponents should provide this information by submitting the form available from the Ministry to both the Agency (at: email@example.com) and the Ministry (at: ESAreg@ontario.ca).
The agency is not responsible for determining whether a project or activity may proceed once a payment has been made.
Email SpeciesConservationAgency@ontario.ca with any questions about payments.
When the agency receives payment, they will issue you a receipt by email.
We can also provide accessible invoices upon request, including hard copy or large print.
How to request a refund
Refunds are only available in two situations:
- If a payment exceeds what was owing at the time of payment.
- If all or part of an activity has not begun and will not be proceeding.
If an activity, or part of an activity is not proceeding, payments are only eligible for a refund if:
- the request is received by the agency within 120 days of payment
- the activity, or part of the activity for which the refund is requested is no longer authorized under an agreement or permit (or exempt under a regulation) before the refund is provided
Email SpeciesConservationAgency@ontario.ca to request a refund.
Board of Directors
The Species Conservation Action Agency membership allows for three to five voting members, comprised of:
- one chair
- up to two vice-chairs
- up to three members
All members are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
Current Board of Directors
The current priorities of the Board of Directors are to establish operations of the Species Conservation Action Agency and recruit a Chief Executive Officer. The Species Conservation Action Agency looks forward to engaging parties interested in the Species at Risk Conservation Fund as early as summer 2023.
The Species Conservation Action Agency is committed to following the Ontario government service standards. We welcome feedback on our performance to help us improve our standards of service.
If you have any general comments or suggestions for improvement, please let us know by contacting SpeciesConservationAgency@ontario.ca.