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Stewardship projects eligible for funding

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Applications are being accepted for the third year of Ontario’s Species at Risk Stewardship Fund, which supports volunteer efforts to protect and restore species at risk and their habitats across the province.

The four-year Species at Risk Stewardship Fund is part of the Ministry of Natural Resources’ stewardship-first approach to species protection.

The fund is available to landowners, farmers, aboriginal peoples, academic institutions, industries, municipalities, conservation organizations, and stewardship councils for eligible protection and recovery activities.

The application deadline is Dec. 12. The application package is available online at ontario.ca/speciesatrisk

During its first two years, the stewardship fund supported more than 200 projects covering a wide variety of activities, including protecting nesting sites for piping plover, improving habitat for wood turtles, cleaning up river wetlands, restoring tall grass prairie habitat, and monitoring and tracking Ontario’s woodland caribou to get a better understanding of their habitat requirements.

To be eligible for funding, a proposal must aim to do one or more of the following:

•improve the status of species at risk and their habitats through stewardship and recovery activities;

•encourage involvement in stewardship activities through outreach, education, or youth employment; and/or

•increase stewardship-related knowledge and skills of interested landowners or groups.

“I’m proud of the great work being done by volunteers across the province through the stewardship fund to protect and recover species at risk, and help us keep other species from becoming endangered in the first place,” said Natural Resources minister Donna Cansfield.

Ontario is home to more than 30,000 species, of which some 180 currently are identified as being at risk.

Ontario’s new Endangered Species Act took effect June 30, 2008, making the province a North American leader in species at risk protection and recovery.

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