No shooting of cormorants this spring at Presqu'ile Provincial Park
Toronto: In December 2009, a total of eleven groups and individuals filed with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MoE) for a Full Environmental Assessment challenging a proposal by Ontario Parks to continually kill White-tailed Deer and Double-crested Cormorants for the next ten years at Presqu'ile Provincial Park near Belleville Ontario. The proposal also eliminated public oversight and reporting.
The Ontario Ministry of the Environment is taking these submissions very seriously and until they make a decision, no shooting of wildlife can occur.
Ontario Parks cannot shoot nesting cormorants this spring. 'The birds are safe for now', says AnnaMaria Valastro, spokesperson for the Peaceful Parks Coalition. 'Since the Peaceful Parks spearheaded the campaign against the shooting of nesting cormorants in 2002, we presented a thorough submission to MoE, including the lack of public consultations, police reports, lack of accountability, but most importantly, the lack of scientific rationale.
The issue of White-tailed Deer is even more blunt. Park agencies across Ontario began shooting deer two decades ago with little or no information measuring negative impacts of deer browse on vegetation. Killing programs were justified on reports from other jurisdictions primarily from the United States. Twenty years later, the same agencies have either failed to produce impact studies or the data confirms that killing herbivore predators produce mixed results.
This spring, Point Pelee National Park is the only government agency in Ontario that is shooting nesting cormorants at Middle Island on Lake Erie. Shooting began in mid April. To date approximately 2000 birds have been killed.
‘The Point Pelee National Park wildlife management program was a primary example in our submission,’ states Valastro. ‘Of all the government agencies that introduced wildlife killing programs, Parks Canada was, and is, the most negligent. They had no scientific data to support either a deer cull or a cormorant cull, and to date have not produced any result-based reports for public review.’ Ontario Parks is clearly aiming for a similar program.
For more information, contact AnnaMaria Valastro cell 416.785.8636 or toll free at 1.877.785.8636
Note to the Editor:
Our full submission is found at this link.
Point Pelee National Park has been killing their resident deer herd since 1991 and has never produced consistent data measuring the success or failure of their program. The details are further outlined in our submission.
The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority has made a committment to protect the largest Double-crested Cormorant colony on the Great Lakes located at Tommy Thompson Park also known as the Leslie Street Spit.