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Roseate Tern (Sterna Dougallii)

Appendix C

Implications of critical habitati dentification

Section 58. (1) of SARA states that “…no person shall destroy any part of the critical habitat of any listed endangered species or of any listed threatened species…”. This prohibition is enacted if:

(a)   the critical habitat is on federal land (which includes the internal waters of Canada, the territorial sea of Canada, and reserves and any other lands that are set apart for the use of a  band under the Indian Act), in the exclusive economic zone of Canada, or on the continental shelf of Canada;

(b)  the listed species is an aquatic species; or

(c)   the listed species is a species of migratory birds protected by the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994.

Based on the recommended definition of critical habitat above, section 58. (1) prohibitions would immediately be enacted on Country Island and Sable Island, and in aquatic habitat identified around specific sites, as these are the only sites that are on federal land. Section 58. (5.1) essentially states that critical habitat for migratory birds on non-federal lands would be restricted to the nest site, as per the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994. Therefore, SARA protection for critical habitat on non-federal lands would be limited to Roseate Tern nests. Legal protection of the remaining critical habitat would be governed by provincial or municipal legislation.  Prohibitions under SARA at these sites would come into effect only if it was deemed that these sites were not “effectively protected” by provincial legislation or other means, and then would require that the federal cabinet make an order to do so. This would require consultation with the province and the landowners.

The enactment of prohibitions protecting critical habitat does not automatically prohibit specific activities. Only activities that destroy the habitat would be prohibited. On federal lands regulations may be enacted to legislate what can and cannot be done on critical habitat, including when and how activities must be conducted.

Information about what is being done to protect critical habitat must be published in the Public Registry every six months until the critical habitat is protected or no longer needs to be protected.