Accordingly, specific population and distribution objectives are set for each of the four regional populations. The IAO was calculated using a 20-year time frame, as prescribed by COSEWIC. wide, sandy beaches). Recovery for the two southern populations focuses on habitat management and protection, whereas the larger northern populations support more active research programs (e.g. The results of the SEA are incorporated directly into the strategy itself, but are also summarized below in this statement. Available MSc thesis, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. Evaluate whether the 2005 Guidelines for Identifying Habitat require updating for the current application of identifying the biophysical attributes of critical habitat under, Analysis is under way to better understand the stress factors on the Massasauga related to human disturbance (. 2009) are several orders of magnitude smaller than for the Bruce Peninsula (4,000-8,000) and eastern Georgian Bay (13,000-22,000) (Rouse and Willson 2002). Setting fires and saving rattlers: managing an urban prairie. Personal communication with Gary Allen. Loss of hibernation sites via strip mining of upper aerobic peat layer. Increased numbers of snakes may result in an increase in predation of small mammals or other species. Although the Massasauga has been the subject of several studies, there are still many knowledge gaps that complicate recovery planning and prevent the articulation of specific quantitative objectives. S1: Critically Imperiled; S2: Imperiled; S3: Vulnerable; S4: Apparently Secure; S5: Secure; SNR: Unranked; SNA: Not Applicable; 5.1 Population and Distribution Objectives, 6. Both location and biophysical characteristics of critical habitat need to be described. Unpublished report for the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. In heavily forested areas, the edges of human created clearings, such as hydro lines, railway lines, and road edges may be particularly favoured (, Loss of hibernation sites via alteration of the water table. Prepared for World Wildlife Fund Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. The relative utility of RAPD versus microsatellite DNA markers for assessing population structure in the eastern massasauga rattlesnake. Approaches aimed at meeting the population and distribution objectives (section 6.2) are expected to benefit the Massasauga and have overall benefits to the broad range of natural communities (e.g. At Wainfleet, all of the few natural and semi-natural sites that remain and within which Massasauga were observed in the 1971 to 2010 period have been identified as critical habitat. Sites are typically found in areas of low canopy cover, such as forest openings, areas of bedrock outcropping, alvars, and along the shorelines of water bodies. Available The NHIC compiles data from a variety of sources (e.g. comm. In addition, the effects of road development and construction, which are elements of hydro development, are well documented. Young snakes resemble the adults - except that the rattle is less developed and their background colouration is greyer, resulting in a greater contrast with the brown blotches. Critical habitat mapped in part on FNs lands, if appropriate. Yagi, A.R. Global Range and Distribution of the Massasauga. Native species recruitment in these gaps should be promoted through plantings, as well as immediate removal of colonizing invasive species, or through other means. 2011). Chapman & Hall, London. Any records from anonymous observers were rejected. 277_3_1 Wainfleet Bog, straddling boundary of Wainfleet Township Municipality and City of Port Colborne, Niagara Regional Municipality, 2 kilometres from north shore of Lake Erie, southwestern Ontario. thesis, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON. Promote alternatives to traditional roadway construction through Massasauga habitat. On the Bruce Peninsula, sites are typically located in forested areas (dense and sparse forest) on karst topography with fissures extending to ground water. Figure 2. Here the presence of exposed rock (karst, alvar, and granite barrens) is key, and is used extensively by the species on the Bruce and along the Georgian Bay. Evaluation of the progress toward achieving Massasauga recovery will be reported in five years following final posting of this recovery strategy on the Species at Risk Public Registry, and every five years following, as per SARA (s. 46). At Wainfleet there is a significant gap in our knowledge of neonate and juvenile habitat use, behaviour, and survival. Gibbs. Activities likely to result in the destruction of critical habitat have been identified, while a schedule of studies lists the additional steps required to complete critical habitat identification. Reservations are required to camp at this park. Split into two populations in November 2012. Local gestation sites may be used by several females in a given season and are often used by the same individuals in successive breeding years. Non-pregnant females and males forage and mate in lowland habitats such as grasslands, wetlands, bogs and the shorelines of lakes and rivers. In individual states, the conservation status ranks for the Massasauga are as follows: critically imperiled (Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania); imperiled (Illinois, Indiana); vulnerable/apparently secure (Michigan); and unranked (Ohio and Wisconsin) (NatureServe 2009). Movement and Spatial Dispersion of Sistrurus catenatus and Heterodon platirhinos: Implications for Interactions with Roads. A 2X2 km grid was used for the Bruce and eastern Georgian Bay populations (the standard used by COSEWIC), whereas a 1X1 km grid was used for Ojibway and Wainfleet, due to the unique situation of the small remaining occupied habitat. prescribed burning, vegetation management, good forest management practices, or flooding (e.g. In comparison, six to 12 people die from lightning strikes each year in Canada. Level of Concern: signifies that managing the threat is of (high, medium or low) concern for the recovery of the species, consistent with the population and distribution objectives. The Massasauga, eastern Canada’s only venomous snake, is a stout-bodied, relatively small rattlesnake. PhD thesis, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. COSEWIC. Available at: (Accessed: 2009). Population viability analysis: applications for the conservation of massasaugas. Establish demographic targets for population viability and the quantity of habitat required for population persistence. In southwestern Ontario, the Massasauga is restricted to a few of the last remaining natural and semi-natural sites in the Ojibway area and in the Wainfleet area. Parent, C. and Weatherhead, P. J. The eastern Georgian Bay and Bruce Peninsula Massasauga populations are believed to be the largest and most secure found anywhere across the species entire range. Species Status: Endangered (Carolinian population) and Threatened (Great Lakes/St. The long-term recovery goal for the Massasauga in Ontario is the persistence of the species throughout its current range, by preventing extirpation of the Ojibway population; securing viable populations at Wainfleet, the Bruce Peninsula, and eastern Georgian Bay; and retaining a sufficient distribution and degree of habitat connectivity among local populations to maintain the current extent and area of occupancy throughout the Bruce Peninsula and eastern Georgian Bay regional populations. Critical Habitat Locations for the Massasauga. Removal of woody vegetation required for hibernation in Bruce Peninsula and Georgian Bay regional populations. Natural boundaries were defined where possible by interpretation of 30cm resolution orthophotography from 2006 (South Western Ontario Orthorectification Project 2006), and were reviewed by local experts. Spatial ecology of Sistrurus catenatus catenatus and Heterodon platirhinos in a rock-barren landscape. Therefore, proposed techniques must be site sensitive, with on-site personnel knowledgeable of the species needs. 20pp. It has a diamond-shaped head, vertical pupils, heat sensitive pits on each side of the face between the nostril and eye, and the tail ends in a small, well-developed rattle. Destruction is determined on a case-by-case basis. Direct destruction of habitat, in particular, loss of prey habitat. The Ojibway Massasauga population is the only one remaining today in Canada in tallgrass prairie-savannah, a vegetation community type which spread for approximately 820 km2 in the pre-settlement landscape of southern Ontario (Rodger, 1998). Success in the recovery of this species depends on the commitment and cooperation of many different constituencies that will be involved in implementing the directions set out in this strategy, and will not be achieved by Environment Canada and Parks Canada Agency, or any other jurisdiction, alone. 2008), and that there have no been observations of the Massasauga within these properties in the past ten years, brings into question the use of size alone as a determinant of population viability. 2009. Additional research and monitoring requirements will increase the knowledge relating to the ecosystem, habitats, and closely associated species, while public awareness initiatives may assist in raising awareness of other species at risk and shared threats. The main source of information on the Massasauga for all four regions was observation data from the Natural Heritage Information Centre (NHIC) in Peterborough, Ontario (NHIC 2010), including NRVIS (Natural Resource Values Information System) data. Promotion of alternatives to roadway construction may allow for alternatives that incorporate the environmental qualities of the site, with reduced footprints and environmental effects. The role of fire in Great Lakes alvar landscapes. The Massasauga occurs in the Great Lakes Region, including portions of Ontario and ten U.S. states (Figure 1). For Ojibway, encourage research to determine the amount of additional habitat is required to support a viable population. Therefore, any additional activity listed in Table 4 would constitute destruction of critical habitat in those regions. roads, trails, parking lots, and buildings), the footprint of existing cultivated areas (e.g. Parks Canada Agency. The total extent of occurrence of the species in Canada is approximately 9,000 km2. Hibernation site selection by eastern massasauga rattlesnakes (Sistrurus c. cateanatus) near their northern range limit. It is estimated that as much as half of the historical range of the species in Ontario has been lost over the past two centuries (Weller and Oldham 1993). Historic and current distribution and status of the eastern massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) in Ontario, Canada.

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