It’s time to protect all migratory birds, including cormorants!
For more than 14 years, environmental and animal protection groups including Animal Alliance of Canada, Animal Protection Party of Canada, Born Free USA, Zoocheck and Earthroots have been working to gain protection for cormorants in Ontario and across Canada.
Double-crested Cormorants are native Ontario birds that have repopulated parts of their former range and fulfill a valuable ecological role. Not only do they benefit biodiversity but their presence signals healthy fish populations. They are an integral component of Ontario’s natural heritage and a key component of island ecology.
For too long, cormorants have been falsely accused of environmental damage, water pollution and even the decimation of fish populations which has led to official kill policies that have brought cormorants to the brink of survival. Although the population has rebounded, Premier Doug Ford is putting cormorants and other native birds at risk, such as Egrets and Great Herons, by allowing a province-wide hunting season of cormorants from March 15-December 31.
This regressive proposal will cause unimaginable cruelty to cormorants who are at risk of being eradicated from Ontario. Cormorants occupy only about 3% of island sites in the Great Lakes but because they are conspicuous, nesting on exposed islands and peninsulas, they are particularly vulnerable, being easily targeted and killed in their nesting sites. Small congregations could be wiped out in just a few hours, while larger colonies could be destroyed in just a few days or a week. Decades of conservation effort to recover the species will have been for nothing.
We know that Premier Ford is using cormorants as a political weapon.
Sportsmen campaigned for Doug Ford in 2018. Ford (now with Mainstreet Research showing him in a virtual tie with the Ontario Liberal Party he crushed during the last election – https://www.mainstreetresearch.ca/march-2020-ontario-poll-pc-33-liberal-33-23-green-7/) is convinced his political survival in the 2 June 2022 election depends on the sportsmen’s votes. He’s buying those votes with cormorants’ suffering and lives, and the visceral thrill sportsmen get when they kill animals.
However, throughout the Ontario government, good public officials, MPPs, scientists—and even some sportsmen—are appalled and horrified by what Premier Ford is doing.
They know Ford is dead wrong ethically, environmentally, and scientifically.
We need you!
Currently cormorants are provincially managed and not protected under Canada’s Migratory Bird Convention Act even though the same birds are protected federally under the US Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Our goal is to convince the federal government to list cormorants and other migratory birds, such as owls, pelicans and ospreys, under Canada’s Migratory Bird Convention Act, paralleling the US listing.
This requires cooperation between the provinces and the federal government and therefore involves both provincial and federal parties.
Please take a moment today to send a brief email or make a quick phone call to:
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada
Please also call or write the Prime Minister:
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
Let Minister Wilkinson know that you want Double-crested Cormorants to be included in the Migratory Birds Convention Act.
If you live in Ontario, please reach out to your local Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) to express your support for the protection of Double-crested Cormorants.
Let your MPP know (regardless of what party they represent) that you strongly disapprove of the changes to hunting regulations being proposed by Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government.
Find your Ontario MPP using your postal code at elections.on.ca
Thank you for helping us fight for the protection of cormorants, together we can make a difference and save these birds from certain death.