Species at Risk

Species at Risk in SWCR

A “species at risk” is any naturally-occurring plant or animal that is in danger of extinction or of disappearing from the province. Once classified as “at risk” in Ontario, they are added to the Species at Risk in Ontario (SARO) List. The SARO list complements the Federal Species at Risk Act (SARA), which is based on the recommendations of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). COSEWIC is a committee of experts that assesses and designates which wildlife species are at risk of disappearing from Canada. In most cases, the Provincial and Federal SAR lists are similar but there are some differences in status designations.

The diverse forests, savannas, sand barrens, wetlands, ravines, and streams at the St. Williams Conservation Reserve support important populations of more than 20 species at risk.

Pictures of many of these species are provided below. By clicking on the Common Name you can learn more about each species, with regards to their range, biology and threats.

Plants ~ Insects ~ Reptiles ~ Amphibians ~ Birds ~ Mammals


American Chestnut
Castanea dentata
Photo by Mary Gartshore

Spotted Wintergreen
Chimaphila maculata
Photo by David White

Eastern Flowering Dogwood
Cornus florida
Photo by Bernt Solymár

Juglans cinerea

Virginia Goat’s-rue
Tephrosia virginiana

Bird’s-foot Violet
Viola pedata
Photo by Mary Gartshore


Danaus plexippus
Photo by Bernt Solymár

Frosted Elfin
Callophrys irus
Photo by Mary Gartshore

Karner Blue
Lycaeides melissa samuelis
Photo by Mary Gartshore


Blanding's Turtle
Emydoidea blandingii
Photo by Bernt Solymár

Snapping Turtle
Chelydra serpentina

Eastern Fox Snake
Pantherophis gloydi
Photo by Al Woodliffe

Eastern Hog-nosed Snake
Heterodon platirhinos
Photo by Bernt Solymár

Gray Ratsnake
Pantherophis spiloides
Photo by Mike Oldham


Jefferson Salamander
Ambystoma jeffersonianum
Photo by Bernt Solymár


Caprimulgus vociferus

Chimney Swift
Chaetura pelagica

Hooded Warbler
Wilsonia citrina
Photo by George Pond

Cerulean Warbler
Dendroica cerulea

Acadian Flycatcher
Empidonax virescens
Photo by George Pond

Louisiana Waterthrush
Seiurus motacilla

Golden-winged Warbler
Vermivora chrysoptera
Photo by George Pond

Canada Warbler
Wilsonia canadensis
Photo by George Pond

Eastern Wood-Pewee
Contopus virens
Candidate Species at Risk
Status Under Review

Photo by John Reaume

Wood Thrush
Hylocichla mustelina
Candidate Species at Risk
Status Under Review

Photo by John Reaume


Woodland Vole
Microtis pinetorum

American Badger
Taxidea taxus
Photo by Ron Ridout

Report any sightings of Species at Risk in SWCR!

Use this sightings report form to report your observations of Species at Risk or other rare species in the St. Williams Conservation Reserve. The information you provide will be sent to the St. Williams Conservation Reserve (SWCR) Community Council and be shared with the Ministry of Natural Resources but otherwise remain confidential. Reptile-at-risk sightings will also be shared with the Long Point Basin Land Trust’s Conserving Carolinian Reptiles program.

Please use discretion about telling others about the locations of any species that are vulnerable to disturbance. For example, do not give exact locations for at-risk reptiles or nesting sites of rare birds.

Thank you for helping us better protect Species at Risk in the SWCR!