Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada

Species at Risk

The Rideau Canal, with its many rivers, lakes and wetlands is home to numerous species at risk. Finding all of these rare species along the 202km canal can be a fun challenge!

Be part of the solution

If you spot any of the species in this field guide, you can help us protect them.

Look- Use this guide to identify species at risk along the canal.
Record - Note the species, date, time and location on the form provided.
Submit - Drop off the attached observation form at any Rideau Canal lockstation, or e-mail your observations to: SAR.EEP.Rideau@pc.gc.ca.

Status (accurate as of 2011)

Endangered Endangered - A species facing imminent extirpation or extinction.

Birds - Endangered
Plants - Endangered
Amphibians and Reptiles - Endangered
Fish - Endangered

Threatened Threatened - A species that is likely to become endangered if nothing is done to reverse the factors leading to its extirpation or extinction.

Birds - Threatened
Plants - Threatened
Mammals - Threatened
Amphibians and Reptiles - Threatened

Special Concern Special Concern - A species that may become threatened or endangered because of a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats.

Birds - Special Concern
Plants - Special Concern
Mammals - Special Concern
Amphibians and Reptiles - Special Concern
Fish - Special Concern

Birds - Endangered

Loggerhead Shrike
Loggerhead Shrike
©Bill Bouton / Flickr
Endangered Loggerhead Shrike

Key features - Robin-sized, a black mask covers the eyes to the back of the head
Look for them - in large open fields with occasional trees and shrubs

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Birds - Threatened

Golden-winged warbler
Golden-winged Warbler
©Karl Egressy
Threatened Golden-winged Warbler
Key features - a yellow patch on its wings and a black throat (grey throat in females)
Look for them - in swamp forests or near hydro lines and field edges

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Least bittern
Least Bittern
©Brian E. Small
Threatened Least Bittern
Key features - small heron, pointed bill, neck and sides warm orange-brown
Look for them - in large cattail marshes where they are secretive

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Peregrine falcon
Peregrine Falcon
©Tom Lusk
Threatened Peregrine Falcon (anatum race)
Key features - Crow-sized, very pointed wings, dark 'moustache' on the face
Look for them - on cliffs, bridges and buildings near wetlands, rivers and lakes

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Chimney swift
Chimney Swift
©Mike Veltri
Threatened Chimney Swift
Key features - very dark, shaped like a 'cigar with wings', rapid stiff wingbeats
Look for them - mainly near towns and cities where they nest in chimneys

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Red-headed woodpecker
Red-headed Woodpecker
©U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Threatened Red-headed Woodpecker
Key features - crimson head, neck, throat and upper breast, large white wing patches
Look for them - in swamp forests, forest edges and fencerows

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Birds - Special Concern

Cerulean warbler
Cerulean Warbler
©Karl Egressy
Special Concern Cerulean Warbler
Key features - blue colouration, two prominent white wing bars
Look for them - in forests with large deciduous trees and open space below

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Louisiana waterthrush
Louisiana Waterthrush
©Bob Moul
Special Concern Louisiana Waterthrush
Key features - white eyebrow stripe, dark narrow lines on both sides of the throat
Look for them - in densely wooded swamps, ravines and gullies near running water

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Short eared owel
Short-eared Owl
©Karl Egressy
Special Concern Short-eared Owl
Key features - a large, round head, with small tufts of feathers that look like ears
Look for them - in grasslands, marshes and old pastures at dusk

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Yellow rail
Yellow Rail
©Gordon Court
Special Concern Yellow Rail
Key features - small wetland bird, black and buff markings on back, yellow beak
Listen for them - in wetlands dominated by sedges; very rarely seen, call: 'tic-tic, tic-tic' like two stones being tapped together

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Red-shouldered hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
©U.S Fish and Wildlife Service
Special Concern Red-shouldered Hawk
Key features - reddish shoulders, brown tail with white bands
Look for them - in mature forests close to water

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Plants - Endangered

American Ginseng
American ginseng
©Andrée Nault
Endangered American ginseng
Key features - a central greenish-white flower that develops into bright red berries
Look for them - in moist and undisturbed mature forests

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Butternut
Butternut
©Jardin botanique de Montréal
Endangered Butternut
Key features - a tree with green, oval-shaped nuts, leaves have 11-17 leaflets on
a central stalk with a terminal leaflet
Look for them - in most forests along the canal

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Eastern Prairie Fringed-Orchid
Eastern prairie fringed-orchid
©Gary Allen
Endangered Eastern prairie fringed-orchid
Key features - a spike of showy, creamywhite flowers, each having a prominent lower petal and fringed tips
Look for them - in wetlands and old fields

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Ogden's Pondweed
Ogden's pondweed
©Dept. Agriculture, Ottawa
Endangered Ogden's pondweed
Key features - a stiffly branched stem and long greenish-brown narrow leaves
Look for them - in clear, slow-moving streams and rivers, beaver ponds and lakes

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Plants - Threatened

Blunt-lobed woodsia
Blunt-lobed woodsia
©Leslie Hunt
Threatened Blunt-lobed woodsia
Key features - leaves have blunt, rounded tips, main stem is straw coloured
Look for them - on rocky outcrops in mixed forest

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Deerberry
Deerberry
©Robert H. Mohlenbrock
Threatened Deerberry
Key features - a low shrub with loose clusters of hanging white flowers
Look for them - in dry open forests

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Plants - Special Concern

Broad beech fern
Broad beech fern
©Dr. Gunn Collection
Special Concern Broad beech fern
Key features - overall triangular shape, the underside of the leaves are fuzzy
Look for them - in shady forests where the soil is moist or wet

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Mammals - Threatened

Grey Fox
Grey Fox
©U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Threatened Grey Fox
Key features - grey to cinnamon coloured fur with a black stripe along the back
Look for them - in areas of dense brush in forests near water or marshes

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Mammals - Special Concern

Southern Flying Squirrel
Southern flying squirrel
©Canadian Wildlife Service, EC
Special Concern Southern flying squirrel
Key features - grey-brown fur; skin flap stretching from the front to back legs
Look for them - in forests along the canal

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Amphibians and Reptiles - Endangered

Spotted Turtle
Spotted turtle
©Parks Canada
Endangered Spotted turtle
Key features - prominent orange-yellow spots on a black shell
Look for them - basking in shallow fens or bogs forests

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Amphibians and Reptiles - Threatened

Blanding's Turtle
Blanding's turtle
©Parks Canada
Threatened Blanding's turtle
Key features - bright yellow lower jaw and throat, domed shell with yellow speckles
Look for them - basking along shallow waterways and wetlands with dense vegetation or crossing roads

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Gray Ratsnake
Black/Eastern/Gray ratsnake
©Parks Canada
Threatened Black/Eastern/Gray ratsnake
Key features - large size, black back with a white throat
Look for them - in spring, basking on rocky outcrops and in trees

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Stinkpot Turtle
Stinkpot / Musk turtle
©Parks Canada
Threatened Stinkpot / Musk turtle
Key features - domed shell and two light stripes on both sides of the head and neck
Look for them - in shallow water with little or no current and lots of aquatic vegetation, rarely seen out of water

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Amphibians and Reptiles - Special Concern

Five-lined Skink
Five-lined skink
©Parks Canada
Special Concern Five-lined skink
Key features - 5 cream to bronze-coloured stripes along the body; bright blue tail in young
Look for them - almost exclusively on rock barrens or outcrops with open water nearby

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Map Turtle
Map turtle
©Ryan M. Bolton
Special Concern Map turtle
Key features - yellow lines on the shell that resemble a topographical map
Look for them - basking on sunny rocks or logs in lakes and rivers with slow moving water

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Milksnake
Milksnake
©Ryan M. Bolton
Special Concern Milksnake
Key features - 'Y'- or 'V'-shaped, light-coloured patch on the back of the head
Look for them - in rural areas, often around old structures near water

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Ribbon Snake
Ribbonsnake
©Brian Morin
Special Concern Ribbon snake
Key features - pale half moon-shaped marking in front of the eye, very slender body
Look for them - along the edges of streams and swamps bordered by dense vegetation

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Snapping Turtle
Snapping turtle
©Parks Canada
Special Concern Snapping turtle
Key features - long neck and tail, large size, can be defensive if harassed
Look for them - on gravel roadsides or in slow-moving water with dense vegetation

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Fish - Endangered

Pugnose Shiner
Pugnose Shiner
©Konrad Schmidt
Endangered Pugnose Shiner
Key features - 'pugnose' face with upturned mouth and no chin (max. length 6cm)
Look for them - in clear water with abundant vegetation

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Fish - Special Concern

Bridle Shiner
Bridle Shiner
©Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans
Special Concern Bridle Shiner
Key features - a black band from the tail to the snout (max. length 6cm)
Look for them - in quiet, clear streams and occasionally in lakes

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

River Redhorse
River Redhorse
©Brian Gratwicke / Flickr
Special Concern River Redhorse
Key features - a broad, flat head and light red fins and tail (max. length 45cm)
Look for them - in medium to large rivers with a fast current

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry

Grass Pickerel
Grass Pickerel
©Konrad Schmidt
Special Concern Grass Pickerel

Key features - dark, vertical bars along the sides of the body (max. length 38cm)
Look for them - in warm, slow-moving streams, ponds and shallow bays

More info on the Species at Risk Public Registry