Province doles out $500K to protect endangered species in southwestern Ontario

The Ontario government has invested more than $500,000 into a three year project aimed at preserving a number of at risk species and their habitats across regions locally.

On Monday, the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks announced $561,000 in funding to Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) Canada, a charitable organization that produces, enhances and maintains ecosystem services on agricultural lands.

Funding is being made through the Species at Risk Stewardship Program, aimed at providing support for endangered species, and recovery and research projects led by individuals and groups such as ALUS Canada.

“Ontario’s agriculture sector is committed to a sustainable and resilient landscape across the province, and farmers recognize how wetlands and rivers play a critical role in our overall ecosystem,” said Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Lisa Thompson. “This investment in habitat restoration will complement existing best practices farmers already employ to maintain the soil health on their farms, which when coupled together with innovation and research is enabling farmers to increase their yield, year over year.”

Since 2015, the province has provided upwards of $2.2 million to ALUS Canada to support similar projects. This new investment will assist in restoring and preserving biodiversity in parts southwestern Ontario. According to ALUS Canada, more than 800 farmers in Ontario work with their local ALUS program to deliver valuable, ecological goods and services that benefit their communities and future generations. This investment will help those farmers continue that work.

“Southwestern Ontario is home to some of the most beautiful wildlife our country has to offer, and it is critical we do all we can to preserve it,” said Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton. “Our investments in projects like ALUS’ are critical for protecting endangered wildlife and their habitats, so they can thrive for years to come.”

Residents can learn more about species that are endangered locally, and what they can do to help by visiting the provincial government’s website.

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