Please take action on the despicable "culling" taking
place in Presqu'ile Provincial Park in Ontario. Last year the Ministry of
Natural Resources killed 6030 double crested cormorants. This year their
target is 5500 because of pressure by hunting and fishing organizations.
Below is a press release in regards to the killing of cormorants still
feeding nestlings which Natural Resources promised they wouldn't do.
Barry Kent MacKay of the Animal Protection Institute is
asking people and organizations to "sign on" to protest this kill. You
will find the name and address of the Minister of Natural Resources below
the press release and the letter below that. Please copy and paste the
letter and form below then sign on and fax or mail to Minister David
For Immediate Release
Ministry of Natural Resources continues to kill even when
cormorant parents are feeding their chicks.
Ministry fails to comply with EBR commitment - "The shooting of birds with
hatched young will be avoided.
"Ridiculous cat and mouse games with observers continues in the fight to
save the Presqu'ile cormorants.
Toronto, Friday, June 3, 2005: 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 report states, "The shooting of birds with hatched
young will be avoided through modification in the timing of various
"The Ministry's quest to kill cormorants reached a new
low" said Julie Woodyer, Campaigns Director for Zoocheck Canada, one of
the organizations observing the cull. "Ministry gunmen attempted to beat
us to the punch by arriving earlier to kill as many cormorants as possible
before we arrived on the scene."
"The whole procedure is just ridiculous" continued Woodyer.
"Ministry staff should know by now that we can match them - for every hour
they are on the island, we will be on the water monitoring them. We now
have someone at the Island for 15 hours a day. We are determined to be
here until they stop shooting the birds. We intend to continue to document
parent birds feeding chicks and dead birds in and near nests with feeding
"Video tapes of the colony taken by observers show that
the cormorants have chicks" said Barry MacKay, Canadian Representative,
Animal Protection Institute. "In one sequence it appears that one parent
cormorant is feeding chicks with the other parent dead in the nest."
"Birders who have observed the colony on High Bluff Island
previous years estimate that over 60% of the nests would have hatched
young by now," continued MacKay. "David Ramsay, Minister of Natural
Resources promised not to shoot adult cormorants with young. Yet this
morning Ministry shooters roared over to the Island to see how many birds
they could kill before our observers arrived. You really have to question
the mentality of the Ministry staff who think it is OK to play cat and
mouse games in an effort to blow away more birds. Cormorants are dedicated
parents and try to tend their young even as they are being slaughtered by
"The real joke is the Ministry's line that it is culling
cormorants to protect the other species on the Island" said Woodyer.
"Ministry staff talk about how sensitive the Black-crowned Night-Herons
are to disturbance and yet they would be shooting throughout some days if
we were there. They continue driving all-terrain vehicles throughout the
island, picking up and composting the dead birds who fall to the ground in
addition they are circling the island with motor boats to pick up dead and
injured birds who are in the water from the days carnage.
Just the day before Ministry staff brought wood and
re-bars to the Island and proceeded to build deer exclosures."
"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, Director,
Zoocheck Canada. "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
Note: Please circulate to anyone you know. In the States
you can alter it to "area code" instead of "postal code". Fax or
snail-mail it in. Ask me (firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 905 472 9731) if
you have any questions. Please copy me. We are looking for both
individuals and groups to sign-on. Thanks - BKM] (Barry Kent MacKay)
Honourable David Ramsay,
Minister of Natural Resources,
99 Wellesley St. W.,
Toronto, ON M7A 1W3
Dear Mr. Ramsay,
Please bring an immediate end to the cormorant cull to
prevent the orphaning of babies who will die of exposure and starvation. I
am writing to ask you to stop the slaughter of 5,500 cormorants on High
Bluff Island in Presqu'ile Provincial Park, which started on May 24, 2005.
Observers of the cull have film footage of cormorant
parents feeding their young chicks. The video also shows dead cormorants,
killed by your staff, hanging from the nests as their partners try to care
for the eggs and the young.
You promised not to kill parent birds. You 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 behaviour 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 take the following actions:
1. Intervene immediately and stop the cull to prevent orphaned cormorant
2. Instruct your staff to stop "demonizing" cormorants in
order to build a case for their mass slaughter;
Thank you for your consideration in this matter. I urge
you to act quickly to stop the killing.
Go on to Why
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