“It’s not good natural resource management,” Fraser said. Cormoran is the Cornish name of the sea giant in the tale of Jack the Giant Killer. And I don’t think many hunters will go thru the difficulty of baiting or decoying as they would with ducks/geese. https://georgianbay.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Diet-Shift-of-Double-crested-Cormorants.pdf The reality is more complicated than that, experts and advocates say: cormorants are native to Ontario, recorded in Lake of the Woods as early as the 1790s. After an earlier version of the plan was proposed in 2018, one report author said the idea that a cormorant hunt would improve commercial or recreational fish stocks was “not supported by science,” according to documents obtained by CBC. Every one of these distructive birds should b shot. McLeod said he worries that humans think they know better than nature, an approach that can have unforeseen consequences. Cormorants have been shown to reduce biodiversity where they colonize and can lead to local fisheries concerns. 5. Other types of birds prefer to nest near them, Fraser said. Read […] If 1 per cent of Ontario hunters kill a total of 50 cormorants over the entire hunting season, the double-crested cormorant will be eradicated from the Great Lakes before Starbucks releases its pumpkin-spiced lattes. Conservation authorities in the Kawarthas and Nipissing, which the government singled out in its announcement of the hunt as having cormorant problems, said they hadn’t worked on the issue. 5. How utterly misguided this Ont government is. 6. ... Cororants eat very little native species choosing to feed on invasive non-native fish such as goldfish which have proven to be a real problem. Makes me sick. Even with some modifications in response to public feedback, the plan is deeply flawed, said Fraser, who also said it amounts to a cull. Cormorants are magnificent birds, part of our ecosystems, just like humans. (How likely is it instead that the carcasses will just be left to rot and wash up on nearby shorelines?). “The chance of someone actually shooting 15 cormorants per day for the entirety of the season is almost nonexistent,” Tonelli said. Low light conditions would be the greatest problem in differentiating them. The birds will move on eventually and the cycle of growth and regrowth will continue. They serve a useful purpose in the environment by providing guano, eating invasive fishes and birding opportunities for the burgeoning ecotourism industry of the province. The government and these groups call them “non-indigenous”, yet the government puts non-indigenous fish (salmon) in the lakes to increase the fishing licenses, they bring in non-indigenous ‘quail type’ birds (Chukar) from Thailand for hunters (that have managed to spread across Canada originating from the west coast). One, a 2006 government report on cormorants in Ontario, notes that although anglers are concerned about the impact on fish, “Various studies have shown that cormorants can have an impact on fish abundance and production… however, there has been no evidence to suggest that cormorants have been responsible for the demise of any species in the Great Lakes-wide fish community.” The report also notes that climate change, overfishing and toxic contaminants are more significant threats for fish stocks. I am on the South Channel of Georgian Bay and about 10 years we were infested with them. “Fishers should celebrate the existence of large colonies of cormorants,” said Liz White, a board member with the Animal Alliance of Canada who has campaigned against the cormorant hunt. “It’s an indication that the fish populations in the area that they’re nesting in are abundant and healthy.”. Governments have culled cormorants in the past at Ontario's Presqu'ile Provincial Park, and at Point Pelee. Responsible legal hunters as you refer to them will harvest their cull and deliver them to a disposal facility or bury them. This remarkably resilient bird has long been in government’s crosshairs. Why are politicians making wildlife decisions? I fish the BOQ and they kill a lot of the habitat on the islands with their feces. Then shoot some more! A study on the Niagara River showed that up to 85 percent of the cormorants’ diet during the breeding season consisted of the invasive, non-native round goby. If 1,000 hunters took home the bag limit of 15 cormorants per day for 10 days, they’d be killing 150,000 birds. If a property owner lives within the limits of a municipality section 31 of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation ACT does not apply as it is illegal to discharge a firearm within the limits of the municipality for public safety, leaving no recourse. A Call-Out to All of Us from Zoocheck Canada to Help Stop Ford’s Cormorant Shoot Fest. As a hunter and OFAH member I have long been involved in environmental projects that improve our world. “It’s not like I’m a renegade for the protection of cormorants… I don’t think any amount of hunting will affect them that much,” McLeod said. https://georgianbay.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/From-Yellow-Perch-to-Round-Goby.pdf You might have heard the Ontario government has announced that small game hunters will be allowed to kill 15 cormorants per day beginning September 15th and ending on December 31st. About 285,000 people currently hold the small game licence they’d need to hunt cormorants, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Staff realized the need to manage the birds in 2007 after they began to cause serious damage to the park’s tree canopy, Chreston said. I think the approach for a cull is not the best, but at least we are not using the bird like they do in many Asian countries as a way to catch fish, tying it’s throat and letting it dive for the fish and then pulling the fish out. These politicians are butting into something they know nothing about. your subscription today. There are many objections to the bird out there by people who do not know at all what they are talking about. Here are seven good reasons to condemn the hunt: 1. steep declines because of exposure to environmental contaminants, based more on socio-political than on ecological factors, https://www.toronto.com/opinion-story/10137878-ontario-s-newly-announced-fall-hunt-a-hate-on-for-cormorants-/, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwjksUczSTo&t=14s&fbclid=IwAR32LtVzepcmpmMvuqxvBGxRrHTNFcxK08pHA9NzU7tVJwWR6ak3kmRX_gY, https://georgianbay.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Diet-Shift-of-Double-crested-Cormorants.pdf, https://georgianbay.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Double-crested-Cormorant-Following-the-Round-Goby-Invasion.pdf, https://georgianbay.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Eating-the-Invaders.pdf, https://georgianbay.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/From-Yellow-Perch-to-Round-Goby.pdf, https://georgianbay.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/The-Invasive-Round-Goby-in-the-Diet-of-Nestling-Double-crested-Cormorants.pdf, The Scourge of the Birding Facebook Group: Cormorants – CanadianWoodcock.com, https://www.change.org/p/ontario-minister-of-natural-resources-and-forestry-john-yakabuski-stop-the-fall-hunt-of-double-crested-cormorants-in-ontario. Hunters will always get the you know what end of the stick, when we are some of the best conservationists out there. ON Melina. Charitable registration # 10737 8952 RR0001. There is a small island that we used to go to and fish, swim and picnic. “We don’t believe it’s justifiable to hunt cormorants just because they make a mess of trees when they nest.”. I've read through some of the comments here and some people think these birds are a non native invasive species. Sydenham River Nature Reserve Restoration, The Art of Giving: Finding Gratification through Nature. 7. We apply this method and op-portunistic collection of regurgitated fish to deter-mine fish species abundance in the diet of nestling cormorants in three breeding colonies in Hamilton Harbour, western Lake Ontario. Research has shown that the main components of cormorant diets vary significantly among forage, invasive, or economically important fish species. The initial legislation was insane… 50 Cormorants a day from April 1 to Dec 31st … the last thing anyone needs on a small lake is red necks shooting birds at the peak of summer when cottagers are trying to enjoy the lake! In the Ontario government’s own words, cormorant populations in the Great Lakes have “stabilized or declined slightly” since the early 2000s. Ontario’s Planned Cormorant Hunt – Setting The Record Straight Posted on August 10, 2020 by dougdraper | 1 Comment The ugly truth is that from September 15 to December 31, anyone with a shotgun and a hunting licence (in Ontario) will be able to kill up to 15 cormorants a day. Cormorants have long been maligned and persecuted in North America. The lake seemed to stabilize until about 15 years ago when the Cormorants first showed up…. The birds will also likely scatter and fly away if hunters are shooting at their colony, she added. These Cormorants are an indigenous species. These birds are beautiful unlike the ‘hunters’ who wish to slaughter them. Though McLeod said he’s not anti-hunting, he also said he questions the science behind it. “There are a lot of pigeons around, are they going to open a season on those? “We’re taking steps to help them deal with any local issues,” she said. Cormorants were almost wiped out by the insecticide DDT in the 1950s and ’60s. Share. “We end up time and time again doing things we shouldn’t have. You need an active subscription to post a comment. “A lot of our members were noticing that the islands and shorelines where cormorants roost really started to die off after a few years of cormorants being there.”, “We started pushing the government to do their own control program,” she added. Required fields are marked *, 214 King Street West, Suite 612 Toronto, ON M5H 3S6, © 2010 — 2020 Ontario Nature. “Everybody knows that cormorants are not a delicacy by any means,” he said. 4. In light of their destructive nature, not only on the environment but also on the bait fishing industry, the government has announced there will be a fall hunt of the cormorant. non-invasive technique of manual abdominal palpa-tion to stimulate regurgitation of stomach contents by cormorant chicks. 6. ... Eighty per cent of their diet is invasive species like alewives and round gobies, he said. The double-crested cormorant is a native bird to Ontario. It just sounds like an opportunity to use wildlife as target practice and I don’t see any hunter actually retrieving a dead specimen if it has no value to them. Kowalski also pointed to three papers discussing the issue. Here’s what you as an individual can do to express your objection to this unfortunate hunt. “We’re not really concerned about cormorant colonies, to be honest… there’s not a huge number,” said the association’s executive director Rupert Kindersley. Property owners already have recourse, under section 31 of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, to harass, capture or kill cormorants if they’re causing or are about to cause property damage. Professor Jim Quinn from McMaster University confirms that studies he has been involved with reveal that cormorants are feeding mostly on problem fish such as round goby and alewife. Managing invasive species in Ontario. I am glad this bird is eating invasive fishes and most of the trees they happen to nest in are either Crack Willows, an invasive, or pioneer trees such as Eastern Cottonwood or Trembling Aspen. Standing as tall as the average toddler, they have distinctive S-shaped necks, dark plumage and orange skin around their beaks. Harry…You have a very anthropocentric view of life! As a wildlife rehabber, I have gotten these birds in. “I was not raised to go and kill things for nothing, and that just seems like what it is to me… I don’t know what purpose that serves, killing a bunch of birds.”, When asked what evidence the government was relying on when pointing to cormorant problems in the Kawarthas and on Lake Nipissing, Kowalski said the ministry heard “concerns from property owners, hunters and anglers, and commercial fishers.”. Fraser also said she’s concerned that the government doesn’t appear to have set population targets for cormorants. This is such a very bad idea…the same thing happened in Oregon and there the bird population totally collapsed. Cormorant colonies have degraded many island habitats, forcing other animals to move on. The result? The government’s approach is not science-based. When it comes to conservation, it’s the journey, not the destination…, 30 by 2030: Ten things you should know about Canada’s new protected areas targets.

gtag('config', 'UA-36675338-1'); Select a category, then press the button. I cringe at the amount of woodland and farmland being lost to urban sprawl. The black waterbird bird mostly ate the invasive round goby instead … But the author of this article is blatantly lying – even if the Ford government initiated a targeted control program with specific population objectives and cull thresholds, Ontario Nature would oppose it. While their guano seems ‘destructive’ at first, returning rich nutrients to the soil is important for the ecosystem. I live on Head Lake in the Kawartha’s. The park’s cormorant population has grown, but damage to the tree canopy doesn't appear to be increasing. Photo by Elliotte Rusty Harold Update: The Ontario government has announced the 2020 fall hunting season for double-crested cormorants. so then the MNR introduced large mouth bass…. They’re “like eating a fish-duck,” he added. “This is labour intensive, but it’s quite successful.”. Apparently they spawn a month earlier than the Muskie and eat their eggs… what a shit show! I don’t hunt and never have hunted these areas but I just like having them there and now they are being lost and the fish will follow since they keep pushing the limits up to the river banks and they build retaining ponds or just pipe the storm drains into the creeks. I would hope this decision would be overturned, but chances are it will not. I read a few comments by some of these ‘hunters’..who are looking forward to this with gleeful anticipation. While it may be true an occasional common loon may fall victim to the hunt, knowledgeable hunters will have no difficulty telling the difference between the two species of birds as their markings are quite different. Until armchair critics are willing to get out & experince & do what the average hunter does they should realize their opinions hold no water! Changes to Ontario’s wildlife law threatens science based decisions and conservation, Blog. Still, others point to concerns about the impact cormorants can have on ecosystems. You “activists” get those cameras ready for our fall hunt on these invasive species. Your email address will not be published. In its announcement, the province framed hunting cormorants as a means of protecting local fish stocks and ecosystems. 7. Commonly found in fresh and salt water across North America, this relative of pelicans is an expert at diving to catch small fish. The earliest nesting record for cormorants in Ontario is from Black Bay in Lake Superior in 1920. Few people consider cormorants to be edible. Some states south of the border listed cormorants as endangered. That’s not the point. Plant-based meats are on the rise. The MNR in their infinite wisdom introduced Muskies. They do however eat the round goby that is an invasive species. Kowalski said “a number” of staff concerns were resolved in the government’s final proposal. The second paper, a 2004 report about cormorants at one provincial park in Ontario, recommends the birds be culled, but does not make mention of fish stocks. Hi Mireille, we agree there have been site-specific impacts (such as in Lake Erie islands). By 1920, the Parakeet was extinct from the face of the Earth. It will take an environmentally minded provincial administration in the near future a fair amount of legislative work to undo the damage done by this particular Government. Cormorants also eat a lot of fish, and anglers have long viewed them as competition. I protested to the MNR…. Ontario’s controversial new fall hunt for the double-crested cormorant has pitted outdoors’ and sportsmen’s groups against naturalist and birding organizations. I’m a hunter and proud of it, but I will not be hunting these birds. ON Melina. The Government of Ontario, apparently. That’s going to happen if people do not get up and say something. By 1931, cormorants were breeding in Lake Huron and by … Why should Ontario choose fish and/or fisheries over cormorants? Tonelli said the impact on fish stocks isn’t a top concern for the OFAH, though the organization is concerned that studies haven’t been done on how cormorants could affect smaller inland lakes, which they have recently started to settle on. Cormorants have rebounded from historic lows in the 1970s, after suffering steep declines because of exposure to environmental contaminants. In response to your 7 good reasons – 1. They are beloved by birdwatchers which is a billion dollar industry. There is no requirement for hunters to report what they’ve killed. The government plan may not seem to be science based but many municipalities along waterfronts are complaining about their water supplies being contaminated 2&3 Studies show … I have never seen a cormorant eat a goldfish or gobie, I have however witnessed a single cormorant dive, catch, surface and swallow 5 rainbow trout and salmon in less than 1 hour, studies can be misleading and manipulated 4. Thank you, Anne, for helping to educate people about this indigenous and misunderstood species. Much more than the city of Toronto or its surrounding municipalities. And when Melina says “Ontario Nature does not oppose hunting that is sustainable and conducted in an ethical fashion”, I almost spit out my coffee. You may agree or disagree which is your prerogative. These are beautiful birds and an important species. Have humans not destroyed enough wildlife already? The Great Cormorant lives along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean from Labrador down to the tip of Florida. I don’t mind at all if some trees perish where they nest. I also agree with the comment that states this mission is driven by cottage associations and people who do not necessairly want to look at the decrepid scenery these birds leave in their wake. Give me one example of sustainable hunting that Ontario Nature supports – and I mean SUPPORTS, not just fails to oppose. The Red-faced Cormorant lives in the southern regions of Alaska out into the Aleutian Islands. Hunting any birds — including ducks, geese, cranes — is cruel, anti-nature, macho and mindless. It is just a mess and the trees are all dying. The most aggressive technique they use involves knocking down cormorant nests using long poles, Chreston said. They’re incredible divers and can eat one-fourth of their weight in fish each day. Is it too much to ask that wildlife management be based on fact, not fiction? I am an avid outdoors person and think the picture of the Double Breasted Cormorant eating a Goldfish is very ironic. The Georgian Bay Association, which represents 3,000 families living along the northeastern arm of Lake Huron, said it isn’t troubled about the impact of cormorants on the ecosystem. Tonelli said that kind of math is unrealistic — there are a lot of cormorant habitats, such as provincial parks and municipal shorelines, where hunting isn’t allowed. Southern Ontario OverviewWith urban sprawl currently stretching from Oshawa to Hamilton and Niagara, and with growth estimates projecting approximately 4 million additional Ontarians for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) by 2031, healthy watersheds, intact wildlife habitat, and prime near-urban agricultural land are all being threatened by on-going urban sprawl. It has taken 10 years for the fish populations to recover to where they were pre-cormorant. Do you even know what the word means? Whatever draws in more property taxes right. Photo courtesy Gail Fraser. The third, a provincial discussion paper, says scientists are “currently working to determine if cormorants are having a significant influence on fish populations,” but does not include any conclusions. ON Melina. As it is written, the Ford government’s plan would allow hunters to kill as many as 50 cormorants per day. Nipissing First Nation Chief Scott McLeod, who has more than 25 years of fishery experience, told Canada’s National Observer in an interview that cormorants haven’t had an impact on the nation’s fishery. “Based on our monitoring data... the cormorants have not had an impact on the fish population along the Toronto waterfront,” she said. Many of us wrote letters to the current Ontario Government objecting to the hunting of Double-crested Cormorants. Wild Turkeys were not “seeded” into Ontario. Common loons may well fall victim to the hunt as they are difficult for many people to distinguish from cormorants on the water. Using the cormorant as a scapegoat. I agree that these types of decisions should be mostly placed onto the scientific environmental protection organizations. Translator Disclaimer 1 June 2010 Diet Shift of Double-Crested Cormorants in Eastern Lake Ontario Associated with the Expansion of the Invasive Round Goby James H. Johnson, Robert M. Ross, Russell D. McCullough, Alastair Mathers Your article is very misleading. Trudeau won't confirm reports U.S. seeking plea deal with Meng Wanzhou, How scientists saved rare seeds from Syria's war — and are now helping to feed the world. Posted September 13 th, 2020 on Niagara At Large. Jolanta Kowalski, a spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, said in a statement that the province has a healthy population of cormorants, and the hunt isn’t expected to change that. Andrea Chreston, a project manager for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) who works on managing cormorants at Tommy Thompson Park along the city’s shoreline, said rising numbers of cormorants there haven’t noticeably harmed fish populations. Reason #1 – Cormorants are Invasive/Non-native to Ontario I don’t know how this got started, but damn near everybody believes these birds don’t belong here. The study found that the cormorants were consuming 1.3 million bass per year. There are many aquatic ecosystems in Ontario with no invasive prey where native species make up their entire diet. “The potential impacts to local fish populations, habitat, and other nesting waterbirds is well-documented in the primary scientific literature,” she said. “They have a long history of people not liking them,” said Gail Fraser, a professor in the faculty of environmental and urban change at York University who has studied cormorants since 2006. Killing of Cormorants, at the rate of 15 per day, in the time span of 3 and a half months will greatly reduce the population of the bird. So Anne’s arguments in Point #1 are true, but irrelevant because it wouldn’t change Ontario Nature’s position. Our mandate is not to actively support hunting, but to ensure that the hunting that does occur is sustainable, humane and does not compromise the ecological health of wildlife habitats, populations or species. Ontario’s controversial new fall hunt for the double-crested cormorant has pitted outdoors’ and sportsmen’s groups against naturalist and birding organizations. Shoot ‘em! Cormorant populations in Ontario have grown well above their historic numbers thanks to human caused introduction of alewife and round goby into the Great Lakes. Their populations exploded in the ’90s, and they began populating the Great Lakes once more. Some studies have shown that cormorants tend to feast on invasive fish species, rather than the ones humans like to eat. I support cormorant management but it’s unfortunate that the government has chosen to use regulated hunting as the tool to do so. 0 7. The double-crested cormorant is a prehistoric looking, matte-black bird with yellow-orange facial skin and a blue eye ring. Now the Ontario legislature is considering a bill that would put it, … They do it with indigenous (bears, deer, birds, coyotes) and non-indigenous. As long as that is the case, then we don’t oppose it. And then I saw the swarms of cormorants blackening the horizon as they like to fly a few feet above the water. 4. https://georgianbay.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/The-Invasive-Round-Goby-in-the-Diet-of-Nestling-Double-crested-Cormorants.pdf Cormorants are considered an invasive species on Manitoulin Island and in other areas of Ontario. The fall hunt is just another chapter in that regrettable history. The area was totally wiped out of fish.

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