TORONTO - A group called Save Ontario Species is giving cautious praise for a new group of habitat protections by the provincial government.

It is particularly happy with protection announced for the Jefferson salamander and wood turtle, but says more could have been done for the American badger.

The three are among nine endangered species that have just received habitat protection under the Endangered Species Act. They also include the barn owl, eastern prairie fringed-orchid, Engelmann's quillwort, few-flowered club-rush, peregrine falcon and western silvery aster.

The coalition says protection for the Jefferson salamander, which is threatened with extinction in Ontario, and the wood turtle set a particularly strong precedent by closely following the science-based recommendations of the recovery teams.

It says the salamander will have its breeding, overwintering and migratory grounds protected, while the turtle gets greater protection against habitat loss as well as poachers in the pet trade.

But the group says the badger habitat regulation sets a poor precedent by reducing habitat to actual badger residences, few of which are known.

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