10 years of culling cormorants and deer proposed for Presqu'ile Provincial Park

The public has an opportunity to comment on a controversial proposal to shoot both whitetail deer and double-crested cormorants for the next 10 years at Presqu'ile Provincial Park near Belleville, Ontario.  The comment period ends on Monday December 29th, 2008.

To review the background documents, please visit http://www.ontarioparks.com/english/pres_planning.html

If this proposal is allowed to pass without public opposition, it could set the stage for other culls in the provincial parks system and/or establish indefinite culls.  Ontario Parks, in their ‘screening’ document, have already stated that they anticipate little reaction for the proposed deer cull.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">

Below is a sign-on letter that describes the proposal in more detail, and can be emailed, faxed or mailed to Ontario Parks.  Please make sure you cc Premier McGuinty - he needs to know there is public opposition to this plan.

While the sign-on letter is available to you, individual personal letters are best and will carry more weight with the decision makers.

Corina Brdar, Zone Ecologist
Ontario Parks, Southeast Zone
51 Heakes Lane
Kingston, ON
K7M 9B1
Fax: 613-536-7228
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
Dear Ms. Brdar,

I am writing to express my opposition to Ontario Parks’ proposed culling program of both whitetail deer and double-crested cormorants in Presqu’ile Provincial Park.  Ontario Parks has already harassed and killed tens of thousands of nesting cormorants at Presqu’ile, and almost two hundred whitetail deer over the last 5 years.

I do not support Ontario Parks in their efforts to implement an unrestricted program to continually kill both deer and cormorants without any further public notification for the next 10 years; this would amount to a total of 15 years of continually culling native wildlife in Presqu'ile.  If this proposal is allowed to proceed, killing these animals will become routine and part of the overall park maintenance program.  Culling native wildlife in our protected areas is not in line with the true meaning of protecting ecological integrity.

This controversial proposal is unprecedented in Ontario’s provincial parks, perceived by most Ontarians as places of wildlife refuge.  If implemented this plan will allow the slaughter of native wildlife based on the discretion of government wildlife managers, and will block all input from the public and stakeholders.  Numerous experts believe that culling serves no real conservation concern; it does not reduce the local area's desirability to wildlife species nor its carrying capacity - it is also extremely costly.

Both whitetail deer and double-crested cormorants are native to Ontario, and play a vital role in maintaining ecological stability.  Double-crested cormorants are fish-eating birds and top aquatic predators.  Eliminating these animals from Presqu’ile will disrupt the natural processes occuring within the ecosystem which includes the aquatic ecology of Lake Ontario.  

Ontario Parks states that both deer and cormorants are ‘over-abundant’ and must be controlled however the idea that wildlife populations are exceeding natural limits and must be controlled by human intervention has no foundation in scientific study; the motivation to push this concept is a result of political pressure rather than ecological principles.  Populations have always been self-regulating through the abundance or shortage of food and habitat; a basic ecological principle that is true for all species.

If this proposal goes forward, Ontario Parks will be creating a legacy of killing wildlife in our province’s protected areas.  I oppose this proposal and support full protection of our native wildlife populations in Ontario’s provincial parks.

Sincerely,

 

cc

Premier Dalton McGuinty
Legislative Building, Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A1
Fax: 416-325-3745

 

For more information contact Amber Ellis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.