LETTERS: Expositor cormorant article called for shortcomings

Provincial cormorant proposal takes clear aim at the avian’s extinction

To the Expositor:

Re: MNRF proposes cormorant season, December 12, page 1.

I found this article very disappointing, not only because it contained factual errors but also for what it didn’t say about the impacts an open season hunt would have on the birds.

This proposal does not state that hunting of cormorants would be prohibited in urban areas or provincial parks.

Hunting is currently in permitted in several protected areas including waterfowl hunting in southern provincial parks such as Presqu’ile where cormorants also nest. This proposal makes no exceptions as to where cormorants can be shot. 

Even if the government limits the hunt to only those areas outside of protected areas, it does not prevent a hunter from shooting a cormorant once it leaves its colony to feed.  And since it takes both parents to raise their young, killing one nesting adult guarantees that the chicks will die of exposure and starvation. 

This article also failed to mention that the number of cormorants in Ontario number approximately 250,000, according to the MNRF.  

Doing the simply math at 14,000 birds killed by one hunter a year could realistically wipe-out the entire population if less than 500 hunters engaged and were successful in their hunt. 

That is the intention of this proposal—to reduce the cormorant to extinction status. And for what? Because sport hunters have an irrational ‘hate-on’ for this black bird despite the science not supporting their claims?

I, for one, love these birds and look forward to their return every spring. I am profoundly offended that one small group of people can dictate what happens to wildlife in this province. 

Sandra Jarvis

Owen Sound