Are red squirrels protected in Ontario

Are Red Squirrels Protected in Ontario? Why are red squirrels protected?

Are red squirrels protected in Ontario? For starters, Ontario protects red squirrels. To an untrained eye, all squirrels would look the same. They are cute and somehow furry and can move in any direction with ease and an instant. But as time goes by and their population continues to dwindle.

We are now facing a challenging crossroads for these excellent rodents. Can we still see them climbing up on trees like we used to do now? Are we part of the problem of their existence? Are there measures done so that they would still be around instead of being just a memory?

Are red squirrels protected in Ontario

Are red squirrels protected in Ontario?

Yes, red squirrels are protected under the Ontario Wildlife Act. This means that it is illegal to kill or harm a red squirrel, or to possess their bodyparts without a licence. It is also illegal to disturb them or their nests. More detail here:

Ontario, Canada, is a linguistically diverse place with over 2.8 million residents. Home of the famous Niagara Falls and considered a popular tourist attraction in North America. Sciurus vulgaris, commonly known as the Red squirrel, thrives in the forest and wilds of Ontario and places of North America.

The Red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) is listed on number 31 of “critically endangered” mammals at World Atlas. The Eurasian Red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) is also critical on IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). The Tamiasciurus hudsonicus and Sciurus vulgaris are on IUCN “Red List,” which makes them technically “hands-off” species.

The IUCN listed 33 endangered mammals in Ontario. These animals face extinction because of habitat loss, illegal hunting, and genetic alteration. The Ontario government has actively put conservation efforts into changing the status of these species.

Ontario protects Red squirrel with Ontario’s Endangered Species Act of 2007. The said Act provides direction for governments and other sectors like industry, resource users, landowners, and partners to preserve Ontario’s biological diversity. The Act promotes a productive and resilient red squirrel healthy ecosystem by protecting its biodiversity.

Here are the specifics of the Endanger Species Act of 2007

  • Government regulation and permitting procedures for activities that the Act would otherwise prohibit.
  • Recognition of the importance of species and habitat protection
  • Recognition and incorporation of community and the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge.
  • Encouragement and promotion of stewardship activities to help protect and recover species at risk
  • Greater accountability in government reporting requirements.

With that said, we can say that Ontario is deadly serious in its effort to protect all its endangered animal inhabitants.

Are red squirrels endangered in Ontario?

Red squirrels are an endangered species in Ontario. World Atlas listed this rodent at number 31 as a “critically endangered” mammal of Ontario. It also landed on the IUCN “red list,” which caused the government of Ontario to enact the Endanger Species Act of 2007.

But despite that, you can legally trap red squirrels if you secure a permit. But awareness has grown over the years, and the red squirrel population continues despite massive awareness drive continuing to spiral downwards. It is not only the red squirrel population that is being challenged but also other animals that live and thrive in the wild. 

There are a lot of threats that cause red squirrels to reduce numbers. Aside from human-induced damage, introducing the American grey squirrels into their habitat is causing a disturbance to their existence. The American grey carries the squirrel pox virus, which is deadly when it infects the red squirrels.

We know that any member of the ecosystem contributes a lot to keep its balance. Sad to say, even with Ontario’s government intervention, the population of red squirrels continues to go downwards. It would need a lot of effort both on the government and other organizations to help restore the people of the red squirrels to non-alarming levels. 

Why are red squirrels protected in Ontario?

Red squirrels are most active in spring and during autumn. If you plan to spot these cute and furry creatures, it is best to scan the woodlands during these mentioned seasons. During springs, red squirrels are out and feed on foliage and flowers and would shed their coats. These rodents hoard their winter stores during autumn, and you can see them running all over the woodland floors. 

In Ontario, The Endangered Species Act of 2007 is a step of the Ontario government to help curb the alarming rate of red squirrel population reduction by either natural or other means. Sometimes our inability to see the importance of something leads to several species of an animal population diminishing. If the red squirrel population becomes extinct, we can only guess what will happen next, but it won’t be good.

What is so essential in protecting the red squirrel population? Even if squirrels can get a little pesky because they steal many things and can cause some havoc in your properties, eliminating their population zero can have serious environmental repercussions. Without the red squirrels knowing it, their activities help spread seeds that can help replenish trees and plant population.

Are red squirrels protected in Ontario

Do you need a license to hunt squirrels in Ontario?

Complying with government regulations can help you secure a permit to hunt squirrels in Ontario. When wild animals like squirrels are causing damage to your property, it is not illegal to kill them. You can seek the services of licensed trappers or trappers to help you address whatever squirrel issues you’ll go to have.

There are places in Canada that can let someone hunt and eat squirrels, but in Ontario, legislations are just more stringent and, in fact, set a cap on the number of squirrels that one can hunt in a day. At one point, a 21-year-old university student, Martin Poirier, created a buzz when he launched a formal petition asking the Province of Quebec to make squirrel hunting legal. 

It is not technically illegal to hunt squirrels in Ontario. Still, the government is placing a cap on the number of daily kills and setting specific rules for tracking with and without a falconry bird. But if you are conscious of what’s happening with our world today, even if there are no regulations that state that it is deemed unfit to do something, you can start in your little way minor efforts to help save the animals and keep their extinction. 

In Summary

Red squirrels, grey squirrels, or whatever animal it may be, entail efforts from both the government and the private organizations and individuals to help them stay. I know we can help preserve the red squirrel numbers because it would be such a waste that you’ll be seeing squirrels from video clips and pictures after a few more years. After all, they are wiped out.

We are lauding Ontario’s effort in protecting the red squirrel population. I hope that the entire Canadian nation would also adopt a much more stringent set of regulations on squirrel hunting. The Endanger Species Act is a great start, but I guess we need more effort and more laws to put the squirrel population away from alarming levels.

Related Posts