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PostPosted: January 7th, 2019, 5:24 pm 
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frozentripper wrote:
If the cormorant cull is approved, it'll be interesting to see who wins, the cormorants, or the fishermen. Will shooting them out be enough to control their numbers? Esp over the long term, will fishermen have the guts and endurance to keep going out year after year to keep shooting? Interesting experiment, if it does happen. Also, possible objections to the gunfire... I could see birdwatchers, paddlers, boaters, anglers, having some objections if the disturbance goes on and on.


It's interesting that you're saying this. I was reading a book about animal tracking which was talking about how culling Coyotes in the USA had the exact opposite effect of what was intended. I don't remember the rationale which was presented as to why the coyote numbers increased after attempting to cull them, but it is worth contemplating the fact that sometimes mother nature spits out some real sidewinders.

frozentripper wrote:
Comments on the EBR registry aren't available for reading yet, at least not for me after a quick look. Also interesting, if there are more objectors to the cull, than those in favor in the registry numbers, will the cull go ahead anyway... (I sense some pro-cull bias on the part of MNRF here but maybe that's only my predisposition to see/imagine hidden agendas everywhere in government, esp during these buck-a-beer, for-the-people days, never mind the voters' rights to public consultation).


The MNRF is such a strange organisation. On the one hand, they have scientists on staff and retainer through various projects they have on the go, but then on the other hand, there are groups like Friends of Temagami who view the MNRF as nothing more than the public relations people for the logging industry. The fact that they're currently ruled by the buck a beer crowd really seems to suggest that the opinions of the scientists are being hushed in favour of the public relations people who are catering to OFAH in this instance.

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PostPosted: January 8th, 2019, 9:17 am 
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Another reason why the cull seems premature is that predators such as bald eagles which are known to prey on cormorants are also still in recovery from population collapses caused by pesticides. As predator populations continue to recover, they will impose a natural balance on the cormorant populations.

At the same time, if cormorant range is expanding from what we consider to be historical norms, then that will be in response to some environmental factors. With a native species expanding it's range directly adjacent to historic territory the best ecological approach is to let the evolution happen.

Song birds like cardinals and orioles have been expanding northward for at least the last 4 decades. Mammals such as raccoons and opossums have also been expanding their range northward.

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PostPosted: January 8th, 2019, 10:15 am 
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The MNRF is such a strange organisation. On the one hand, they have scientists on staff and retainer through various projects they have on the go, but then on the other hand, there are groups like Friends of Temagami who view the MNRF as nothing more than the public relations people for the logging industry. The fact that they're currently ruled by the buck a beer crowd really seems to suggest that the opinions of the scientists are being hushed in favour of the public relations people who are catering to OFAH in this instance.


IIRC, the economic benefits of Ontario fisheries, from both sportfishing and commercial fishing, exceed $2 billion each year, so that's going to affect decision-making on the part of MNRF. I haven't seen any estimates on how much cormorants are depressing money coming in from the industry, but maybe the info is out there somewhere.

The Ford administration, at least IMHO, is likely to see the dollars coming into the economy mostly and since declaring Ontario is now open for business, create policy based on that, rather than any science-based strategy. But we'll see, the decision hasn't been made yet and maybe science will be considered. And there is the first Ford administration budget due sometime in March, which might be an indication of where things are going.

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PostPosted: January 9th, 2019, 3:13 pm 
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As a point of trivia, pelicans have historically been resident in the prairies at points much further north than Geraldton.

Interesting point, and caused me to do some research on the mighty pelican, which is a very interesting bird. I'm not sure how they taste though. It appears that they are more common in the west, but they are very recent arrivals in my area, as shown by the table below:
Image

Their colonizing efforts have been speeding up in the last few years, to the ridiculous point. I was running a trip down the Kowkash river a few years ago, I had paddled it the year before, and there were 0 pelicans. This time, there were hundreds, nesting on an island at the north end of Flemming Lake. As I ran the rapids out of Flemming, I was ducking under pelicans, who seem to have an affinity for swimming in fast water.

Another species which has had a population explosion up here is sand hill cranes. Thirty years ago, I had never seen one. Around ten years ago, I started to see the odd one along the highway. Now they are regular visitors on the golf course and ditches between Longlac and Beardmore. They hang out in "bachelor flocks" and have the strangest cacophony of songs. They sing right behind my house, and it sounds like an alien invasion. My aboriginal friends tell me that they are extremely tasty, but I haven't tried one yet.

On the other hand, moose populations are crashing, and I like eating them.

Ticks are moving into the area, probably because white tail deer are coming in two, which might explain the moose crash, as the whitetails bring brain worm, a pest they can live with, but the moose cannot.

Now if only mosquito and blackfly populations would crash.........


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PostPosted: January 9th, 2019, 3:27 pm 
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I believe crane populations are still in recovery mode too. Although they are currently classified as "Not at Risk" they had historically suffered large population declines.

https://wildlife-species.canada.ca/bird ... SACR&sM=p1

Expansion of deer into historic moose habitat is frequently associated with changes in forest density with a more open forest being more favourable to deer and a more mature forest being more favourable to moose. Here in the south the recovery of the moose population in Algonquin is attributed to the recovery of the forest from early logging days.

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PostPosted: January 9th, 2019, 8:31 pm 
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Interesting...moose up here actually thrive on logging, as they dine on the new browse that comes up in the years following cutting. Ironically, some outfitters who have tag allocations encourage the logging companies to cut fairly close to their areas to increase moose hunting success. Caribou are the opposite, and it probably won't be long before there are only a handful of woodland caribou left.

Like the pelicans, the deer are coming from the west, and I have associated it with a general warming that has been slowly creeping into the north. If it weren't for the ticks, I would be happy to see the deer, as I like to eat them too.


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PostPosted: January 15th, 2019, 10:08 am 
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Over 10,000 signings so far in the anti-cull petition here, along with additional info on potential for damage:

https://www.change.org/p/derek-robertso ... cormorants

As always, it'll be interesting to see what government decides to do with all this. Still no summary of comments at the environmental registry.

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