New Ontario Regulations for Lepidoptera
Donald A. Davis
donald.davis at utoronto.ca
Sat Aug 28 16:48:20 EDT 1999
On January 1/99, the new Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (1997) was
proclaimed as law in Ontario. Under this Act, various species of
invertebrates are now given protection, and activities pertaining to
these species, such as capture and propagation, are regulated. We are
just now learning how this Act impacts on lepidopterists and others in
In fairness to those officials with our Ontario Ministry of Natural
Resources who must administer this Act, they are very supportive, eager
to learn about what invertebrate activities are taking place in
Ontario, eager to receive recommendations for changes to the regulations
to the Act. Under Schedule 11 of the Act, some invertebrates are given
"Specially Protected" status. As someone who regularly captures, rears
and tags monarch butterflies, it has been necessary to obtain a Wildlife
Scientific Collector's Authorization for this falls activities. It would
seem that those who put Schedule 11 together did not consult with
provincial entomologists (ie. Toronto Entomologists' Association).
Ministry officials will be attending the next regular meeting of the
Toronto Entomologists' Association at the Royal Ontario Museum in
Toronto on Sept. 25th. Your comments and recommendations to this writer
with regard to improving this Act would be appreciated.
Invertebrates and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act 1997
The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act 1997 received Royal Assent in
1997 and was proclaimed into force January 1,1999. This new Act
Game and Fish Act and has implications for a wide group of individuals
may be involved in activities or species that the Game and Fish Act did
previously deal with such as butterflies. Butterflies were totally
unprotected under the Game and Fish Act.
Butterflies listed as Specially Protected Invertebrates in Schedule 11
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act are as follows: Karner Blue, Monarch,
Virginia White, Mottled Dusky Wing, Bog Elfin, Black Swallowtail, Giant
Swallowtail, Old World Swallowtail, Pipevine Swallowtail, Spicebush
Swallowtail, Tiger Swallowtail, and Zebra Swallowtail.
Section 5 of the FWCA prohibits the hunting or trapping of specially
protected invertebrates which essentially prohibits the taking of the
listed butterflies for collecting purposes or any other purpose.
Section 40 prohibits the keeping of live specially protected wildlife
(includes butterflies) in captivity except under the authority of a
and in accordance with the regulations. Under the regulations a person
is issued a zoo licence may keep live game wildlife and specially
wildlife in captivity and also may buy, sell or propagate them.
Sub-section 40 (2) (b) allows a person to keep a single game reptile,
amphibian, specially protected mammal, specially protected reptile,
protected amphibian or specially protected invertebrate in captivity for
purposes of personal education. This would allow an individual to keep
butterfly of the species found in schedule 11(listed above).
Subsection 40 (2) © allows a person to keep game wildlife or specially
protected wildlife in captivity for any educational or scientific
any other purpose with the authorization of the Minister. This section
allows for keeping wildlife in captivity for introduction and recovery
programs and is also used in the case wildlife possessed prior to
proclamation of the FWCA. It could also apply to persons possessing
butterflies for education etc.
Section 45 of the FWCA prohibits the propagation of game wildlife or
specially protected wildlife except under authority of a licence. At
present time, only the holder of a zoo licence is allowed to propagate
specially protected invertebrates.
Section 46 prohibits the release of game wildlife or specially protected
wildlife that has been kept in captivity without the permission of the
Section 48 prohibits the sale or purchase of game wildlife or specially
protected wildlife without the authority of a licence. At the present
the only persons who can legally purchase and sell specially protected
invertebrates are the holders of a zoo licence.
Section 54 prohibits the release of wildlife or an invertebrate that has
imported into Ontario or propagated from stock imported into Ontario
the approval of the Minister. At the present time, an invertebrate that
been imported into Ontario by a permit issued by
CFIA under the Plant Protection Act is exempted from the requirement to
receive Minister's approval before release.
The FWCA closed a major loop hole in the previous legislation in that
regulations pertaining to species native to Ontario that came from
province or country were ruled by an Ontario Court of Appeal decision to
outside the jurisdiction of the Game and Fish Act. Clause 1(2)(d) of
FWCA provides that species referred to in the act include animals,
invertebrates or fish whether or not it originated in Ontario.
It has become apparent after discussion with many different people over
past few months that the restrictions and limitations contained in the
and Wildlife Conservation Act and regulations have greatly impacted the
activities of many lepidopterists in Ontario. There is provision
provide a regulatory scheme with respect to specially protected
(butterflies) which might address the majority of issues.
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
Box 7000, 300 Water St.
Peterborough, Ont. K9J 8M5
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