Betreff: 1414 Nesting Double-CrestedCormorants IllegalAllDayShot,Presqu'ile Provincial Park near Belleville,Ontario,5/15
Von: Care2 Connect
Datum: 25 May 2006 02:42:19 -0700

A message from Suzanne

I received 2 very disturbing news to my personal mailbox.  I am so angry and helpless.  This is another scenario like MASSIVE SEAL SALUGTHERING in Canada. They eat the fish to survive is a criminal? 

Peaceful Parks Coalition
Media Advisory

1414 Dead Birds At Presqu'ile - Exclusion Zone Illegal

Toronto, May 24 2006: Most of the 1414 nesting Double-crested Cormorants
shot last week at Presqu'ile Provincial Park near Belleville, Ontario were killed on Monday May 15 in an all day shooting spree.  This was made possible by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) who enforced a 2.2 kilometre exclusion zone around High Bluff Island - the location of the bird colony where three thousands nesting cormorants will be culled this year.

One person was arrested and two others ticketed when they refused to leave
the exclusion zone during the cull.

The exclusion zone announced across marine radio and posted on the Canadian Coast Guard website was never legally authorized by the proper officials at the Canadian Coast Guard.  The Ontario Provincial Police enforced the exclusion zone and arrested observers without ever reviewing the authorization papers.  The OPP simply took the word of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources that everything was in order to prohibit observers from
witnessing the slaughter of hundreds of nesting birds.

It was the persistent enquires by organizers opposed to the cull to the Canadian Coast Guard that eventually confirmed the exclusion zone was illegal. The coast guard has since lifted the exclusion zone and replaced
it with a cautionary note for boaters.

"It's extreme. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources fooled both the OPP and the coast guard simply to advance their agenda to kill a bunch of birds that are causing no harm to anyone or anything," says AnnaMaria Valastro of
the Peaceful Parks Coalition.

"But the McGuinty government has always operated under a veil of deception when it comes to this issue.  They can’t justify the killing of thousands of native birds quietly nesting in a bird sanctuary in a provincial park."

The mass slaughter on Monday May 15 left countless of cormorants wounded and/or floating dead in the water.  Dozens of birds washed onto nearby beaches and wounded birds were rescued days later.  This prompted a complaint to the OPP against the Ministry of Natural Resources for causing pain and suffering to animals.  While the OPP investigated the compliant, the police stated that laying charges wound be difficult. It would require
identifying individuals that are directly responsible for the crime.

"That's easy," say Valastro.  "Ministry staff directly involved with implementing the cull and who are present during the shooting of nesting
cormorants should be charged criminally for inflicting cruelty to animals."

Observers continue to collect evidence.

Please contact AnnaMaria Valastro, Peaceful Parks Coalition at 416.785.8636.

Peaceful Parks Coalition
P.O. Box 326, Station B
Toronto, Ontario
M5T 2W2

Aac-friends mailing list
End of Aac-friends Digest, Vol 32, Issue 3

FW: Ministry continues to shoot even when parents are       feeding chicks (Animal Alliance of Canada)
Ministry continues to shoot even when cormorant parents are feeding chicks

Ministry fails to comply with EBR commitment –  “The shooting of birds with hatched young will be avoided…” Instead the Ministry plays ridiculous cat and mouse games with CDI observers who continue to document the plight of
the Presqu’ile ormorants.

PRESS RELEASE:  Toronto, Wednesday, 24 May, 2006:  The Ministry continues to shoot cormorants in the colony where parents are observed feeding young. When the Ministry amended its cormorant management strategy in 2004 to include killing as an additional management tool, it committed not to shoot
birds with chicks.

“The Ministry’s quest to kill cormorants reached a new low,” said Julie Woodyer, spokesperson with Cormorant Defenders International (CDI), the coalition of organizations observing the cull.  “Ministry gunman attempted to beat us to High Bluff Island this morning in order to kill as many cormorants as they could before we arrived to document their actions. 

They did so despite the fact that we notified Ministry staff and the Minister’s office that we observed cormorant feeding behaviour, an indication of the presence of life chicks.  We asked that the cull be suspended.  The Ministry staff should know that we can match them – for every hour they are on the island, we will be on the water monitoring their actions.  We intend to document parent birds feeding chicks and dead birds in or near nests with feeding parents, as we did last year.”

“We call upon David Ramsay, the Minister of Natural Resources, to call off the cull to protect the adult cormorants with hatched young, as his staff promised to do,” said Rob Laidlaw, biologist with Cormorant Defenders International.  “The Ministry made an absolute commitment to the public –[that] shooting birds with hatched young will be avoided – in their amended cormorant strategy document posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights web site.”

“The real joke is that the Ministry claims to be culling cormorants to protect the other sensitive species such as Great Blue and Black-crowned Night-Herons,” said Liz White, spokesperson for Cormorant Defenders International.  “Yet Ministry staff allowed a helicopter to land on High Bluff, right in the bird sanctuary at the height of nesting.  Their shooting activities and nest destruction actions are disruptive to the birds they claim to be protecting as they admit in their 2006 report.  And they drive all-terrain vehicles throughout the island, picking up and composting the dead birds.  We intend to document the Ministry’s actions to show that their actions are destroying, not protecting, a magnificent waterbird colony.”

For further information, please call Julie Woodyer and Rob Laidlaw at 613 475 3243 or 416 451 5976, or Liz White at 416 809 4371. 

For biological information about cormorants and information about Presqu’ile Provincial Park, call Doug McRae at 613 475 5014 or Barry MacKay at 905 472 9731

Cormorant Defenders International (CDI) is a coalition of animal protection and environmental organizations.  For more information about cormorants please access the website -

If you have concerns about this activity, please contact
the Honourable David Ramsay,
Minister of Natural Resources
Minister’s Office, 6th Floor, Room 6630
Whitney Block, 99 Wellesley St., West
Toronto, ON M7A 1W3
Phone:  416 314 2301
Fax:  416 314 2102

REMEMBER:  Phone calls, letters and/or faxes work best…e-mails have little impact on politicians (but are fast and cheap).

Sample Letter:
I am writing to ask you to stop the killing of the remaining 3,000 cormorants targeted for slaughter on High Bluff Island at Presqu’ile Provincial Park.  Observers close to the shore of the island have witnessed cormorant parents feeding their chicks and are now documenting it on video.

Video footage from 2005 showed dead cormorants, killed by your staff, hanging from the nests as their partners tried to care for the eggs and young.

You promised not to kill parent birds.  Your commitment to members of the public reads, “The shooting of birds with hatched young will be avoided…”

Parent cormorants take turns feeding their young, shading them from the sun, bringing water in their pouches to cool them off, protecting them from predators and keeping them warm.  Cormorant chicks require both parents to survive.

The Ministry gunmen are taking cruel advantage of this highly developed cormorant parental behavior knowing that even under fire cormorants will return to their chicks.  It is unconscionable that the Ministry would continue to shoot the adult birds knowing that young will be left to starve to death.

Therefore I am asking you to intervene immediately and stop the cull to prevent orphaned cormorant babies.  Thank you for your consideration in this matter.  I urge you to act quickly and stop the killing.

You might want to also contact the Premier of Ontario,
The Honourable Dalton McGuinty
Main Legislative Building, Room 281
Queen’s Park,
Toronto, ON M7A 1A1
Phone:  416 425 3745
Fax:  416 325 3745

Constituency Office
1795 Kilborn Ave.,
Ottawa, ON K1H 6N1
Phone:  613 736 9573
Fax:  613 736 7374

Barry Kent MacKay
Canadian Representative
Animal Protection Institute

The Double-crested Cormorant:
A target of prejudice and misinformation

Cormorant Drying

During the past few years, the Ontario government has killed thousands of Double-crested Cormorants, a native North American migratory bird, that nests in Ontario and winters in the southern United States.

The bird's alleged crime?
The angling community claims they are having an adverse effect on sport fish populations and that they kill the trees they nest in. Unfortunately cormorants are the victims of misinformation and prejudice.

They have returned to the Great Lakes ecosystems they inhabited in past years, but they have little, if any, effect on sport fish populations and the trees that may die in their nesting colonies are part of a natural process of succession. But because they are fish eaters, the sport fishing industry has been quick to condemn them.
Double-crested Cormorants are impressive, skillful aquatic predators that anglers have long viewed as competitors.

Recently, the sport fishing industry has been pressuring the Ontario government to drastically reduce cormorant numbers. Tens of thousands have already been killed during their most vulnerable time - their nesting season.

Dead Cormorants left in Nests
(Dead Cormorants Hanging in Nests)

Scientific research has repeatedly proven that cormorants have no substantial negative ecological impact on fish populations. In fact, the majority of their diet is alewife and round goby, both introduced species that have disrupted Ontario's natural ecosystems. The Ontario government however, is continuing to kill cormorants - to pacify an aggressive lobby against them.

Slaughtering a native waterbird species is unscientific, unethical and unnecessary. It is clearly not the best use of the Ministry of Natural Resources limited budget.

Total cost to date: in excess of 2 million dollars.

Please lend your support to the protection of native wildlife. Raise this issue with Premier Dalton McGuinty and David Ramsay, Minister of Natural Resources, today!">Email McGuinty

Dalton McGuinty, Premier
Legislative Building
Queen's Park
Toronto ON M7A 1A1
Fax: (416) 325-3745

Email Ramsay

Hon. David Ramsay
Minister of Natural Resources
6630-99 Wellesley St W, 6th Floor, Whitney Block
Toronto, ON
M7A 1W3
Tel: 416-314-2301
Fax: 416-314-2216

et them know that the killing of cormorants is an archaic, destructive and cruel method of wildlife management that has no scientific or ecological justification.

Double-crested cormorants are large, black water birds that have returned to the Great Lakes after being nearly wiped out by pesticides. Several thousand cormorants nest on High Bluff Island in Presqu'ile Provincial Park, just east of Toronto. Hunting and fishing groups have demonized the birds, claiming they are "eating all the fish" and destroying the environment, even though there is no basis to these claims. Responding to the vocal hunting and fishing lobby, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has been slaughtering thousands of cormorants over the past couple of years by shooting them as they nest. It is unscientific, unethical, unnecessary and cruel.

Cormorant Defenders International is seeking volunteers to assist with our "on-the-water" campaign during the upcoming Presqu'ile Provincial Park Double-crested cormorant cull in May - June 2006.

Observers are to be strategically positioned in kayaks, canoes and motor boats around High Bluff Island to observe the cull and to document the behaviour of the cormorants and other water birds prior to and during the operation. Collecting this information is essential to this campaign and will help counter the flawed arguments being used to justify killing the birds.

In addition, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources staff are unable to effectively carry out the cormorant cull while observers are present, so boats on the water around High Bluff Island have the potential to save hundreds or thousands of the bird's lives.
In 2005, Natural Resources was attempting to kill 5,500 birds, but due to the presence of the observers, they were only able to kill 1,867, meaning that more than 3,100 birds and their babies were saved due to our presence on the water during the cull. With more people helping we can save even more birds this year.

The call for volunteers has been very good so far, but we can always use more. Whether it's just a half day, a full day or even a couple of weeks, the cormorants can use your help. Accommodations and boats will be provided, but we encourage anyone with their own watercraft to bring it along.

In 2005, observers were on the water from dawn until dusk each day of the cull, but some days (particularly mid-week) staffing was low. But everyone who participated in this project said it was one of the most fun and rewarding actions they have ever been involved in. If you like the water, the outdoors and want to help save birds by volunteering in 2006, or if you would just like to make a donation of finances or equipment, please contact: Julie Woodyer, Zoocheck Canada 416-285-1744