Is Time Running Out for Ontario’s Cormorants?

Doug Ford’s ‘Small Game Hunt’ Could Mean the Decimation of an Entire Great Lakes Species

“If every small game hunting license holder in the province killed what they are legally allowed to kill, that would mean the death of 316 million cormorants.” – a statement from the wildlife advocacy group Zoocheck Canada

Double-crested cormorant © Colin Durfee CC BY 2.0

A Call-Out to All of Us from Zoocheck Canada to Help Stop Ford’s Cormorant Shoot Fest

Posted September 13th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

You might have heard the Ontario government has announced that small game hunters will be allowed to kill 15 cormorants per day beginning September 15th and ending on December 31st.

If every small game hunting license holder in the province killed what they are legally allowed to kill, that would mean the death of 316 million cormorants.

But there aren’t that many. The province estimates that there are only about 142,000 cormorants and most of them live in small colonies, often less than 50 birds, across the province.

In a few days time, those colonies are threatened with destruction. Hunters or fishermen who don’t like them will be able to eradicate entire colonies in just a day or two.

They are calling it a hunt but since cormorants are largely inedible, it’s not really a hunt at all. It’s a slaughter and the Ontario government changed the law to allow “hunters” to let the carcasses of the cormorants they kill rot.

Zoocheck is working hard doing everything we can to try to stop the hunt. As a founding member of Cormorant Defenders International, along with our colleague organizations and many experts, we’re pushing to expose and challenge the hunt. And there are many new groups and people speaking out along with us, including cottagers associations, nature and birding groups and others.

Hunters and fishermen and their enablers in the Ontario government have portrayed cormorants as a largely unwanted, destructive, invasive species. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, cormorants are enormously beneficial eco-engineers that consume invasive fish species, attract other colonial waterbirds (including, recently, white pelicans), create new habitat and fulfill many other important ecological functions. And having watched them for years, we also know they are stunningly beautiful birds with great personalities.

To help change the image of cormorants, we’ve started work on a mini-documentary film that shows how important, beneficial and beautiful they really.

You can be a part of it by supporting the film. With a donation of $25 or more, your name will be included in the film credits. CLICK HERE IF YOU’D LIKE TO HELP ( ).

Please also take a minute to sign a petition going to Premier Doug Ford and his Minister of Natural Resources, John Yakabuski. CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION ( ).

About Zoocheck Canada – Zoocheck Canada is a national animal protection charity established in 1984 to promote and protect the wellbeing of wild animals. We are the only Canadian organization with a specific focus on captive wild animal issues.

For more information on Zoocheck and its advocacy work, click on –

Here are a few links to other recent pieces posted in Niagara At Large on the Ontario Ford government’s planned cormorant kill –

Visit Niagara At Large in the days and weeks ahead for more news and commentary on this and related issues.

Double-crested cormorant rests along wetland shores © cuatrok77 CC BY-SA 2.0

NIAGARA AT LARGE Encourages You To Join The Conversation By Sharing Your Views On This Post In The Space Following The Bernie Sanders Quote Below.

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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