FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO – May 7, 2021: Animal Alliance of Canada stresses that World Migratory Bird Day is important because it raises awareness about need to protect migratory birds and their habitats. It highlights the threats faced by migratory birds, points to their ecological importance, and stresses the need for international cooperation to conserve them.
That’s why it is so troubling that the Ontario government and Parks Canada fail to celebrate the spectacular return of the Double-crested Cormorant, whose population was driven to precarious numbers twice in the last two centuries and rebounded in the last 70 years.
Under Premier Ford, Ontario has declared the cormorant a “game bird”, which it is not, so that hunters can shoot them from mid-September to the end of December and let them go to waste. It is an outright attack on a migratory bird population that deserves our admiration and protection.
On days just before and after World Migratory Bird Day (May 8, 2021), Parks Canada is conducting a cormorant cull on Middle Island, part of Point Pelee National Park. Instead of celebrating and nurturing a spectacular waterbird colony, comprised in part of cormorants, Great Blue Herons, Black-crowned Night-Herons, and Great Egrets, the park has subjected this little island and its migratory bird population to yearly cormorant culls, killing over 20,000 of them to date.
This year is no exception even though Ontario is in an emergency lockdown. Parks Canada staff insisted that the cull must take place and the first day of shooting was May 6, 2021.
So once again, Animal Alliance of Canada, Zoocheck and Cormorant Defenders International urge the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson to signify the importance of World Migratory Bird Day and order his Parks Canada staff to cancel the cull.