Monday, November 26, 2007

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good

In Going, Going, Gone, I reported that the black-footed ferret was teetering on the brink of extinction. The good news is they have made a come-back in Wyoming. In 1987, the last seven known ferrets were captured and placed in a breeding program. They have since produced 4,800 juveniles, many of which were returned to the wild.

The Bad

The Ontario SPCA reports that Parks Canada plans to cull (shoot) several thousand Double-crested Cormorants beginning in Spring 2008.

In the last five years, the cormorant colony has declined from 6,600 to 4,600 nests. Parks Canada would like to see a more substantial decrease in the number of nests on Middle Island, in an effort to stop and hopefully reverse some of the destructive effects this colony is having on the island.

From an OSPCA news release:

Parks Canada has stated that they will not proceed with the cull if there are enough objections from the public.

"Previous cormorant culls performed in North America have demonstrated that one in three birds that have been shot do not die immediately or without suffering, resulting in many birds suffering for days before finally dying," says Animal Care Program Manager Judith Wilson. "As well as being inhumane, culling is an ineffective solution to reduce a population. The killing of animals existing in an ecosystem simply provides opportunities for other individuals to occupy the vacancies left by the animals that were killed."

The Ontario SPCA encourages the public to express to Parks Canada and their Member of Parliament their objections to shooting Cormorants as a method of reducing the colony size and their preference for humane and more effective alternatives. Humane alternatives include leaving Middle Island to evolve through its natural processes or using alternative humane methods (such as deterrent techniques, predator platforms, nest destruction, and oiling and addling eggs) to manage the colony on the island.

Share your objections to culling
Email Parks Canada at
Contact your Member of Parliament. Call 1-866-599-4999 or visit Government Canada for contact information.

The Ugly

On November 18, a fleet of Japanese ships set sail, intending to kill over 1,000 whales, including 50 humpback whales, for "scientific purposes".

"Humpback whales in our research area are rapidly recovering," said Hideki Moronuki, whaling chief at the Fisheries Agency. "Taking 50 humpbacks from a population of tens of thousands will have no significant impact." He adds that killing whales allows marine biologists to study their internal organs.



NuclearToast said...

I want to focus on the good. The bad and the ugly are too depressing. Sigh.

Lynn Sinclair said...

Great idea! Later this week, I'll share some good news I just heard.