On a sad note, the cormorant slaughter on Point Pelee's Middle Island has already claimed the lives of hundreds of birds. Liz and other activists are there, documenting the killing. For those who are not familiar with the issue, Cormorant Defenders International reports the following:
"The most significant threat to Double-crested cormorants are the very agencies charged with their protection. In Canada, those agencies are Point Pelee National Park & Parks Canada and Presqu'ile Provincial Park & the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR).
Parks Canada and the OMNR oversee three locations that are home to Ontario's largest cormorant colonies. Parks Canada controls Middle Island in Lake Erie, while the OMNR controls East Sister Island in Lake Erie and High Bluff Island in Lake Ontario.
Middle Island, a tiny speck of land in Lake Erie that became part of Point Pelee National Park in 2000, is threatened. A mass kill of the island's naturally occurring Double-crested cormorant population began in 2008 and will continue for a number of years. The plan to almost wipe out the birds on the island was scheduled to be in full swing in 2008, but a CDI legal challege in federal court delayed it considerably resulting in less than 250 birds being killed, instead of the many thousands that were originally targeted. CDI representatives observed the cull from boats positioned next to Middle Island and from a land-based station on neighbouring Pelee Island. In 2009, the cull resulted in the deaths of approximately 1,600 birds.
The park claims the kill is necessary to save Middle Island's vegetation, but changes to the composition of vegetation are part of the natural process of succession experienced wherever colonial birds are found. The cormorants pose no threat whatsoever to the survival of any plant or animal species and Middle Island is one of the few locations available where cormorants can colonize.
HELP CORMORANTS TODAY!
Raise this issue today with Environment Canada Minister Jim Prentice! Let him know that the slaughter of cormorants on Middle Island, part of Point Pelee National Park, must be stopped. Tell him cormorants are a part of the natural ecology of Middle Island and that it should be allowed to evolve in a natural way. Remind him that their is no way to humanely kill large numbers of birds in the field and that doing so is an archaic, destructive and cruel method of wildlife management that has no scientific or ecological justification.
Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment
Les Terrasses de la Chaudiere10 Wellington Street,
28th FloorGatineau, QC K1A 0H3
Fax: (819) 953-0279