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Species at Risk


Species at Risk Screening (Sar) is an applied, two-day, fully online course focusing on how to determine which species at risk are known to occur in a particular area, how to identify potential habitat opportunities, and how to assign a relative potential for that species to be present. Online instruction will introduce participants to resources for species at risk records, demonstrate how to compile a species/ habitat screening table, and discuss how to determine habitat opportunities based on desktop assessment. Field exercise will guide participants through documenting and assessing the potential habitat opportunities for species at risk. Industry best management practices for mitigation will be discussed for common species at risk concerns.


Upon successful completion, participants will be able to: 

  • Identify species at risk known to occur in a particular geographic region 
  • Locate species and habitat information
  • Conduct a desktop evaluation of potential habitat opportunities for species at risk
  • Conduct a site reconnaissance to document and assess habitat opportunities for Species at Risk
  • Assign relative potential for a species at risk to be present based on habitat availability
  • Identify and contrast industry best practices for mitigation


Knowledge and experience with basic field skills such as map reading, compass, and GPS is recommended, along with some familiarity with vegetation/ plant community identification and wildlife signs.

Who attends this course?

Recent graduates looking for hands-on training, early-career ecologists, biologists, or technicians.

Personal Equipment Requirements

  • Waterproof field notebook
  • Camera (phone camera is acceptable)
  • Suitable all-weather boots (waterproof)
  • Appropriate clothing for field work
  • Field guides to local plants is optional but recommended. 
  • Google Earth Pro (free download)
  • Smart phone or printer for reviewing air photos is optional but recommended 
  • Compass (optional)
  • GPS (optional)

Instructor Profile

Maggie Pugh is an Ecologist with more than 18 years specializing in ecosystem assessment. She completed graduate research in Canada’s northern wetlands and has worked as an ecologist in the private sector for more that 15 years.  She is a seasoned field biologist with expertise in species at risk screenings and permitting, flora and fauna inventories, seasonal wildlife surveys, significant wildlife habitat assessment, rare species monitoring programs, wetland and vegetation community assessments, sediment/ erosion control and environmental monitoring. Maggie is an Ontario Wetland Evaluation System (OWES) evaluator, Butternut Health Assessor, and is certified in Ecological Land Classification (ELC).

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