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Your Link to Muskoka's Water!


Protecting Species at Risk 

We all have an important role to play in the recovery of Species at Risk.


Around Your Home & Cottage

  • If you have a Species at Risk on your property, don’t disturb or harass the species or their habitat. Be respectful and observe from a distance, especially during breeding season.
  • Keep wetlands! Many Species at Risk are threatened by habitat loss, specifically the loss of forest and wetland areas. You can help by protecting these areas and native vegetation on your property.
  • Create habitat on your property. Plant native species and leave dead standing trees when it’s safe as they provide habitat for bald eagles and shelter for many other animals. Make small brush piles in the forest to provide shelter and a place to rest for small animals.
  • Avoid using chemicals and pesticides as they have the potential to contaminate soil and water.
  • Use phosphate-free products whenever possible.
  • Maintain your septic system.

Near Water

  • Create a buffer along your shoreline with native plants. It helps to filter runoff, provides habitat, and minimizes erosion.
  • Build docks that minimize impacts to the shoreline and lake bed (e.g. floating docks).
  • Watch for wildlife when boating and keep wake to a minimum near shore.

On the Roads

  • Keep your eyes open for wildlife crossing the roads, especially turtles from May through October.


In Your Community 

  • If you spot a Species at Risk, report your sighting to the Natural Heritage Information Centre (NHIC), which tracks and maintains a database of many of Ontario’s species, or the local MNR Species at Risk Biologist. The more we know about the habits and whereabouts of these species, the better work and research we can do in our recovery efforts.
  • Get involved with a local nature club to learn more about Species at Risk and participate in their outings. In Muskoka, the Muskoka Field Naturalists and the Huntsville Nature Club are great places to start.
  • Many provincial parks have programs geared toward Species at Risk. Check out Algonquin, Arrowhead, Killbear and Massassauga Provincial Parks.
  • Become a Citizen Scientist! Volunteer with local stewardship organizations like the Muskoka ConservancyMuskoka Watershed Council, Muskoka Lakes Association, Lake of Bays Association, Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve, or your lake association. Get involved in your community!
  • Ontario Nature, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and Bird Studies Canada also have opportunities for volunteering.
  • Spread the word! Whether it’s online or in the yard with your neighbour, talking about Species at Risk makes more people aware of these animals. Tell others what you are doing to help and encourage them to get involved too.