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Migratory Birds Regulations in Canada – July 2011

Cover of the publication: Migratory Birds Regulations in Canada, July 2011

Canadian Wildlife Service
Waterfowl Committee

CWS Migratory Birds
Regulatory Report Number 33

Table of Contents

Document Information


Document Information

Migratory Birds Regulations in Canada – July 2011

Migratory Birds

Photo: Migratory Birds

For more information on migratory birds, please visit the following website:

Environment Canada’s Migratory Birds website.

Helpful Tip:

Canadians may be exposed to avian–borne viruses when birdwatching, hunting or handling migratory birds and other wild game. Environment Canada recommends the following website, maintained by the Public Health Agency of Canada, for information on minimizing the risk of exposure.

Cover Art:

The Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp, entitled Spring–time at the marsh, features the Green–winged Teal. It is a creation of Canadian wildlife artist Pierre Girard of Ste–Anne–de–Sorel, Quebec.

Through a special partnership with Environment Canada, Wildlife Habitat Canada receives the revenues from the sale of the Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp, purchased primarily by waterfowl hunters to validate their Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permits. The conservation stamp is also sold to stamp and print collectors and those interested in contributing to habitat conservation. In 2010–2011, Wildlife Habitat Canada provided $1.15 million for 31 conservation projects across Canada. This in turn leveraged $14.4 million in additional funds for wildlife habitat conservation in Canada.

For more information on Wildlife Habitat Canada or the conservation stamp and print program, please call Wildlife Habitat Canada at 613–722–2090 (in the Ottawa region) or toll–free at 1–800–669–7919. You can also obtain this information from Wildlife Habitat Canada's website.

Migratory Birds Regulations in Canada
July 2011

Canadian Wildlife Service Waterfowl Committee

CWS Migratory Birds Regulatory Report Number 33

Authors:

This report was prepared by the Canadian Wildlife Service Waterfowl Committee, and edited by Renée Bergeron of the National Office of the Canadian Wildlife Service.

Correct citation for this report:

Canadian Wildlife Service Waterfowl Committee. 2011. Migratory Birds Regulations in Canada: July 2011. CWS Migr. Birds Regul. Rep. No. 33.

Comments:

Comments regarding this report, the regulation–setting process or other concerns relating to national migratory game birds should be sent to the Director of Population and Conservation Management Division at the national office of the Canadian Wildlife Service of Environment Canada at the following address:

  • 351 St. Joseph Boulevard, Gatineau, QC  K1A 0H3

Region–specific comments should be sent to the appropriate Regional Director, Canadian Wildlife Service, Population Conservation Service, at the following addresses:

  • Atlantic Region: 17 Waterfowl Lane, P.O. Box 6227, Sackville, NB  E4L 1G6

  • Quebec Region: 1141 Route de l'Église, P.O. Box 10100, Quebec, QC  G1V 3W5

  • Ontario Region: 4905 Dufferin Street, Toronto, ON  M3H 5T4

  • Prairie and Northern Region: Twin Atria No. 2, 4999 98 Avenue, Edmonton, AB  T6B 2X3

  • Pacific and Yukon Region: 5421 Robertson Road, R.R. #1, Delta, BC  V4K 3N2

This report may be downloaded from the following web site.

Catalogue No. CW69–16/33–2011E–PDF
ISBN 978–1–100–17049-7

Information contained in this publication may be reproduced, in part or in whole, and by any means, for personal or public non–commercial purposes, without charge or further permission, unless otherwise specified.

You are asked to:

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© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of the Environment, 2011

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Background

Canadian hunting regulations for migratory game birds are reviewed annually by Environment Canada, with input from the provinces and territories and a range of other interested stakeholders. As part of this process, the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) of Environment Canada produces three reports each year. The first report, Population Status of Migratory Game Birds in Canada (and Regulation Proposals for Overabundant Species), commonly called the November report, contains population and other biological information on migratory game birds, and thus provides the scientific basis for management. The second report, Proposals to Amend the Canadian Migratory Birds Regulations (the December report), outlines the proposed changes to the annual hunting regulations, as well as other proposed amendments to the Migratory Birds Regulations. Proposals for hunting regulations are developed in accordance with the Objectives and Guidelines for the Establishment of National Regulations for Migratory Game Bird Hunting. The third report, Migratory Birds Regulations in Canada, (the July report) summarizes the hunting regulations for the upcoming hunting season. The three documents are distributed to organizations and individuals with an interest in migratory game bird conservation, to provide an opportunity for input into the development of hunting regulations in this country.

The process for the development of regulations in Canada requires that any changes be in the form of final proposals by late February of each year. That means that regulations must be set without the benefit of knowledge about the breeding conditions and production forecasts of the coming year. This does not usually present difficulties because the hunting regulations are based on trends over several years, but in some cases the results from recent harvest surveys or breeding population surveys conducted in May and June will indicate that changes in the national approach are needed to ensure conservation of migratory game birds. In this case, Environment Canada will process a regulatory amendment and issue a bulletin updating these regulations.

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Annual Schedule for the Development of Hunting Regulations

The annual schedule for the development of hunting regulations is based on the requirement to have the annual hunting regulations made into law by early June of each year:

  • End of November – Population Status of Migratory Game Birds in Canada report (and Regulation Proposals for Overabundant Species), containing biological information on migratory game birds, is distributed and posted on the Environment Canada (EC) Nature website by CWSHQ Population and Conservation Management Division (PCMD).
  • November – CWS regional offices develop proposals for hunting regulations in consultations with the provinces and territories and interested stakeholders.
  • December 1stCWS Regions provide to CWSPCMD and CWS Conservation Service Delivery and Permitting Division (CSDP) the proposed changes to hunting regulations (with justifications) for the upcoming year, as well as any other information that should be included in the report on Proposals to Amend the Canadian Migratory Birds Regulations, including advance notice on items for future years. Descriptions of zone changes are sent by CWS Regions to the Surveyor General of Canada Lands for review, approval and translation.
  • Early January – CWSPCMD posts on the EC Nature website and distributes the Proposals to Amend the Canadian Migratory Birds Regulations report containing the regulation proposals to allow for public, inter‑regional and international consultation.
  • Mid to late February – CWS Regions finalize regulation proposals following the public consultation period.
  • Late February – Final proposals, as well as the final text of the regulations and regulation summaries, are sent by CWS Regional Directors to CWSCSDP.
  • March through April – CWSCSDP prepares legal documents and obtains approvals of the regulatory proposals.
  • Early June – Hunting regulations become law.
  • Early July – Hunting regulation summaries are available on the EC Nature website.
  • Early July – CWSPCMD distributes the Migratory Birds Regulations in Canada report containing the final proposals for hunting regulations and the hunting regulation summaries.
  • Early August - Hunting regulations summaries are available at Canada Post outlets.

Note to American Readers

The annual cycle of regulation development takes place earlier in Canada than in the United States. To meet the requirements of the process for the development of regulations in Canada, proposals for hunting regulations must be finalized no later than late February of each year. Canadian representatives at the summer Flyway Council meetings and other hearings are not reporting on what is being considered, but on what has been passed into law.

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Breeding Population Surveys

The results of the 2011 breeding population surveys will be described in detail and compared to historical data sets in the Population Status of Migratory Game Birds in Canada report published in fall 2011.

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American Black Duck Harvest Strategy

Progress on the development of an international American Black Duck harvest strategy based on the principles of adaptive harvest management has been published in previous CWS Migratory Birds Regulatory Reports. To summarize, in fall 2004, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and CWS agreed to work towards finalizing an adaptive harvest management approach to determine appropriate levels of harvest for American Black Ducks in Canada and the U.S., based on breeding ground survey information. Models were initially based on wintering ground surveys, but they are currently being revised to include breeding pair information.

Meanwhile, Canada and the U.S. (including CWS, USFWS, eastern provinces and states of the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyways) agreed on an interim international harvest strategy that has been in effect for the 2008–2009 and 2010–2011 seasons. The interim strategy was extended for an additional year (2011–2012) to allow for the completion of a formal strategy based on the principles of adaptive harvest management.

The interim harvest strategy is prescriptive, in that it calls for no substantive changes in hunting regulations unless the Black Duck breeding population, averaged over the most recent three years, exceeds or falls below the long–term average breeding population by 15% or more (the long–term average breeding population is defined as the average composite estimate for the entire survey area between 1998 and 2007 inclusive). It allows additional harvest opportunity (commensurate with the population increase) if the three–year average breeding population exceeds the long–term average by 15% or more, and requires reduction of harvest opportunity if the three–year average falls below the long–term average by 15% or more. The strategy is designed to share the Black Duck harvest equally between the two countries; however, recognizing incomplete control of harvest through regulations, it allows realized harvest in either country to vary between 40% and 60%.

The American Black Duck Harvest Strategy Working Group will continue to keep the appropriate regulatory consultative bodies in Canada and the U.S. informed of progress as tools are developed for implementation of adaptive harvest management for American Black Ducks. More details on the adaptive management study can be found on the University of Georgia website.

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Revising the North American Waterfowl Management Plan

(An update to the report by the NAWMP Revision Steering Committee, printed in the CWS Migratory Birds Regulatory Report Number 30, July 2010)

Goals: The North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP, or the Plan) is being revised in recognition of the rapidly changing landscape even at the celebration of its 25th anniversary. The proposed purpose of the revised Plan is “to sustain North America’s waterfowl populations and their habitats at levels that satisfy human desires and perpetuate waterfowl hunting.  Plan goals will be accomplished through partnerships guided by sound science”.

Rationale:  In many ways, waterfowl offer more complex management challenges than many other natural resources. The large number of species, each with its own dynamics, presents a myriad of challenges magnified by the migratory nature of waterfowl. International coordination of conservation efforts is essential. Waterfowl managers have eagerly accepted these challenges for more than a half century, and each generation has produced visionaries who provided valuable contributions for continuing progress.

The history of waterfowl management in North America includes many notable mileposts. Among these are the Migratory Bird Conventions – international treaties between the U.S. and Canada (1916) and between the U.S. and Mexico (1936); creation of the U.S. “Duck Stamp” and Canada’s Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp; establishment of the flyway council system; the tri–national North American Waterfowl Management Plan; and creation of the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund. The waterfowl management community has reached another milepost.

For the most part, managers have approached waterfowl conservation in an increasingly specialized manner, which has led in many instances to fragmented consideration for harvest, habitat and hunters. Scientific advancements in each of these arenas during the past decade have illustrated the relationships among these segments. More explicit linkages among habitat, harvest and human dimension goals can lead to more effective management of waterfowl and wetland resources in the future.

In August 2008, waterfowl policy makers and technicians convened in Minneapolis at The Future of Waterfowl Management Workshop to discuss the benefits of integrating harvest, habitat and hunter management into a more coherent system that better utilizes limited resources to benefit waterfowl and the people who enjoy them. It was agreed that the Plan revision was the appropriate venue for developing more coherent goals for waterfowl harvest and habitat management.

Call to action: Wetlands and other habitats necessary to sustain waterfowl populations continue to be lost. In some important areas of the U.S., losses have exceeded 90%, while in many settled areas of Canada wetland losses have approached 70%. In both countries, waterfowl hunter numbers have declined, threatening a loss of hunting traditions and the very foundation of North American wildlife conservation. Hunters have been an important source of funds for waterfowl conservation, and they have been primary advocates for waterfowl and wetland–friendly public policies. Clearly, the loss of wetlands and other habitats, the status of waterfowl populations, and levels of hunter participation are inextricably linked. To overcome these challenges of the future we need 1) coherent objectives for waterfowl populations, habitat conservation and stakeholder engagement that are complementary and mutually reinforcing; 2) population goals that are attainable but adequate to satisfy hunters and other stakeholders, and sufficiently challenging to engage supporters in habitat conservation; 3) habitat goals that are adequate to achieve the demographic effects, population sizes and stakeholder experiences we desire; and 4) stakeholder participation and satisfaction sufficient to sustain habitats, populations and the conservation enterprise at mutually desired levels. Looking ahead, policy decisions regarding water, energy, agriculture and climate change will impact landscapes vital to waterfowl across North America. The waterfowl management community must play a leadership role in shaping these policies. To do so requires a united front : common goals, coordinated actions and clarity of focus.

Process: This revision is challenging from many perspectives: technical capacities must be expanded, diverse management philosophies must be accommodated, and institutions that have served to advance waterfowl management may need modifications. A comprehensive consultative process has been essential. In recognition of this, the process began in fall 2009 with a number of consultation workshops conducted between December 2009 and February 2011. A large number of participants were invited to events in Canada, Mexico and the United States, and included state and provincial wildlife agencies, flyway councils, joint ventures, federal agencies, waterfowl hunters, and other interested parties. The consultations were used primarily to seek consensus on the fundamental objectives of waterfowl management in North America. The results from these workshops, as well as a report of the entire Round 1 and 2 consultation process, are available.

The revised Plan is now being drafted under an ambitious timeline, with hope to have a completed draft by the coming winter.

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Management of Overabundant Snow Geese

(adapted from CWS Migratory Birds Regulatory Report Number 31, November 2010)

Issue

The rapid growth of most snow goose populations is of great concern. A decade ago, comprehensive assessments of the environmental effects of the rapidly growing populations of mid–continent Lesser Snow Geese and Greater Snow Geese were completed by working groups of Canadian and American scientists. Their analyses are contained in the reports entitled Arctic Ecosystems in Peril – Report of the Arctic Goose Habitat Working Group (Batt 1997) and The Greater Snow Goose – Report of the Arctic Goose Habitat Working Group (Batt 1998). These working groups concluded that the increase in snow goose populations was primarily human induced. Improved farming practices supplying a steady food source along with the safety of refuges have resulted in increased survival and reproductive rates in snow geese. These populations have become so large that they are affecting the plant communities at staging areas and breeding grounds on which they and other species rely. Grazing and grubbing by geese not only permanently removes vegetation, but also changes soil salinity, nitrogen dynamics and moisture levels. The result is the alteration or elimination of the plant communities, which in all likelihood will not be restored. Although the Arctic is vast, the areas that support migrating and breeding geese and other companion species are limited in extent and some areas are likely to become inhospitable for decades. Increasing crop damage is also an important consequence of the growing snow goose populations.

Increasing numbers of spring migrant Greater Snow Geese have been observed in recent years at the western edge of the spring staging range on agricultural lands of eastern Ontario. CWS is implementing special conservation measures for snow geese in eastern Ontario beginning in spring 2012, to assist efforts already in place in Quebec to curtail the rapid population growth and reduce the population size of Greater Snow Geese.

Regulation

Several concurrent management measures are being undertaken to curtail the rapid population growth and reduce population size to a level consistent with the carrying capacity of the habitat. One measure attempts to increase the mortality rate of Snow Geese by two to three times the rate achieved prior to the introduction of special conservation measures. Beginning in 1999, an amendment to the Migratory Birds Regulations created special conditions under which hunters were encouraged to take overabundant species for conservation reasons and, in some cases and subject to specific controls, to use exceptional methods and equipment such as electronic calls and bait. The 1999 and 2000 regulations applied in selected areas of Quebec and Manitoba. Beginning in spring 2001, special conservation measures were also implemented in Saskatchewan and Nunavut. In spring 2012, the special conservation measures for Snow Geese in place in Quebec will be extended into southeastern Ontario.

Evaluation

Scientific studies are being implemented to track progress toward the goals of reduced population growth and, ultimately, recovery by plant communities.

For Lesser Snow Geese, the original objectives were to increase the continental harvest to approximately 0.8 to 1.2 million birds annually (Rockwell et al. 1997). These projections were later challenged as being too conservative, and annual harvest requirements of 1.4 to 3.4 million birds were projected on the basis of updated information (Cooke et al. 2000; Rockwell and Ankney 2000).

An evaluation of the effectiveness of the special measures for mid–continent Lesser Snow Geese is being finalized. Overall, the balance of evidence favoured the conclusion that the midcontinent population has not declined as a result of the conservation measure, but instead has continued to grow, although perhaps at a reduced rate (Alisauskas et al., submitted). The authors concluded that the weighted survival probability for midcontinent Snow Geese essentially did not change between the period preceding the conservation measures (1989–1997) and during the conservation measures themselves (1998–2006). They estimated low harvest rates which increased from 0.024 during 1989–1997 for the most northern of the Arctic colonies geese to only 0.027 during 1998–2006, and from 0.031 to only 0.037 for the more southern Arctic colonies. Alisauskas et al. (submitted) concluded that the annual harvest did increase as a result of the conservation measures but failed to exceed one million adults in any year during the assessment period from 1989 to 2006.

In the case of Greater Snow Geese, the population objective adopted by the North American Waterfowl Management Plan is 500 000 birds, or about one–half of the nearly 1.0 million birds present in 1999. An evaluation demonstrated that special measures (for which the spring season was key) were successful in reducing the annual survival rate for adults from about 83% to about 72.5% (Calvert et al. 2007). This was reflected in the spring counts, which indicate that the population may have stabilized at about 1 million birds. In 2010 the population was estimated at 814 000 geese (Lefebvre 2010).

Models show that without a spring harvest, the population would quickly begin to grow rapidly once more (Gauthier and Reed 2007) as a result of climatic changes that favour good breeding conditions in the Arctic as well as improved feeding conditions (corn and other crops) on wintering and staging grounds. At the same time, it appears that the harvest in Canada has been maximized. Beginning in 2009 the eastern United States were permitted to harvest additional Greater Snow Geese under a special Conservation Order. A report of the Snow Goose, Brant and Swan Committee of the Atlantic Flyway Council (July 2010) indicated that the estimated harvest of 47 771 birds in Atlantic Flyway states for spring 2010 was more than twice the size of the estimate for the first year (i.e. 24 853 birds in 2009). Whether this additional harvest pressure will be sufficient to bring the population under control remains to be seen.

Regulations for 2011–2012

The special conservation measures that will be in effect in fall 2011 and spring 2012 are posted on the EC Nature website and are also shown in Appendix A of this report.

In Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Quebec and Nunavut, no changes to the special conservation measures already in place were deemed necessary for the 2011–2012 season. A special spring conservation season will be implemented for the first time in southeastern Ontario effective in 2012. The spring season will begin on March 1 and end on May 31, 2012.

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Hunting Regulations for the 2011–2012 Season

The regulations in effect for 2011–2012 are shown in Appendix A. The amendments were approved by the Governor–in–Council on June 9, 2011.

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Newfoundland and Labrador

No regulatory changes were made for the 2011–2012 hunting season.

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Prince Edward Island

No regulatory changes were made for the 2011–2012 hunting season.

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Nova Scotia

No regulatory changes were made for the 2011–2012 hunting season.

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New Brunswick

No regulatory changes were made for the 2011–2012 hunting season.

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Quebec

Increase of the possession limit to three times
the daily bag limit for migratory game birds

The possession limits were increased from two times the daily bag limit to three times the daily bag limit for most species of migratory game birds that did not already have a possession limit equal to or higher than three times the daily bag limit The possession limits were not increased for Black Duck, Blue winged Teal and Barrow’s Goldeneye for conservation reasons.

This change is intended to increase opportunities for hunters who might otherwise be forced to stop hunting, or to give their birds away in order to continue hunting, after as few as two days.

This measure is expected to have little effect on harvests of waterfowl in Quebec. It will allow successful hunters to retain more of the birds that they harvest without adversely affecting waterfowl populations, and may increase opportunities for some hunters, most of whom hunt for a short period of time.

A similar measure was implemented in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta in 2010.

Correction to the boundaries of the Havre aux Basques no–hunting zone

The boundaries of the Havre aux Basques no–hunting zone in hunting district G were modified. This change was made to correct an error in the regulations.

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Ontario

Removal of restrictions

i) Canvasbacks and Redheads

The daily bag and possession limits for ducks are 6 and 18 respectively, but there were restrictions on Canvasbacks and Redheads that limited the daily bag limit to 4 and the possession limit to 12. The daily bag and possession limit restrictions were removed for both species. The daily bag and possession limits for the hunting season 2011–2012 will be 6 and 18 respectively for these two species.

This change harmonizes the daily bag limit with Quebec and increases limits to the same as those for most other duck species in Ontario (daily bag limit of 6 and possession limit of 18). Population surveys in recent years indicate that continental populations of Redheads and Canvasbacks are healthy and both are above North American Waterfowl Management Plan goals. This change will increase hunting opportunity in Ontario and will not result in a significant increase in overall harvest.

ii) Canada Geese

The restriction prohibiting an early Canada Goose season in part of South Walsingham Township, Norfolk County, was removed.

This change harmonizes Canada Goose regulations throughout Norfolk County and could result in an increase in the harvest of temperate–breeding Canada Geese. Temperate–breeding Canada Geese have increased substantially since the 1970s and caused a variety of conflicts with humans. Increasing harvest of these geese is expected to contribute to reducing conflicts. This measure will help to maintain the population at a desired level.

Clarification to the hunting restriction in Lake St. Clair

The wording of subsection 4(a) after Table I of the regulations was clarified. This change will facilitate enforcement of the regulations, which was problematic. It was unclear if the restriction applied throughout the Canadian side of Lake St. Clair or only to the eastern shoreline. Based on knowledge of waterfowl concentration areas from staging and wintering waterfowl surveys, Environment Canada, in consultation with Ontario stakeholders, determined that the restriction was only required for the eastern side of Lake St. Clair.

Implementation of special conservation measures for Snow Geese

Special conservation measures for overabundant Snow Geese were implemented during the regular fall hunting season and the spring special conservation season in place in Quebec was extended into southeastern Ontario beginning in March 2012.

These special conservation measures will provide additional opportunity to manage this overabundant species through hunting. Special conservation measures have been in effect in Quebec since 1999, where hunters have been encouraged to take Snow Geese for conservation reasons.

The special spring conservation season will be limited to Wildlife Management Unit 65, which is adjacent to the Quebec border and where recent surveys have shown that approximately 5–10% of the Atlantic Flyway Snow Goose population now stages during the spring. It will begin on March 1 and end on May 31.

The use of recorded Snow Goose calls will be permitted during spring and fall, and the bag and possession limits in spring and fall were increased from 10 and 40 to 20 and 60 respectively. Hunting in spring will be allowed only on farmland and no baiting will be allowed.

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Manitoba

Authorization of Sandhill Crane hunting throughout Northern Manitoba

The regulations were amended to authorize Sandhill Crane hunting throughout Game Bird Hunting Zones 1 and 2 in northern Manitoba for residents and non–residents of Canada. This change will provide hunters with opportunity to harvest Sandhill Cranes in all Game Bird Hunting Zones in Manitoba. This change is expected to have negligible effect on the Sandhill Crane harvest in Manitoba because only small numbers of people reside or travel to hunt in northern Manitoba, and because annual Sandhill Crane harvest in Manitoba is historically small, averaging only 1648 annually between 2000 and 2008.

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Saskatchewan and Alberta

Increase bag limit for White–fronted Geese

The Mid–continent White–fronted Goose Management Plan is revised every five years in collaboration with the provinces, states and the United States government to establish a strategy for managing this species at a sustainable level. In 2010, the Mid–continent White–fronted Goose Management Plan was revised. The size of the population has slightly increased since 2005, and the daily bag limit for this species was revised in order to give hunters more opportunity to harvest White–fronted Geese at a sustainable population level. The bag limit in Saskatchewan was increased from 4 to 5 for Canadian residents, and from 3 to 4 for non residents, and in Alberta, the daily bag limit remained at 5 for Canadian residents, and was increased from 3 to 4 for non-residents.

This amendment also harmonizes the daily bag limits for White–fronted Geese in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

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British Columbia

No regulatory changes were made for the 2011–2012 hunting season.

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Nunavut

No regulatory changes were made for the 2011–2012 hunting season.

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Northwest Territories

No regulatory changes were made for the 2011–2012 hunting season.

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Yukon Territory

No regulatory changes were made for the 2011–2012 hunting season.

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Trends in the Sale of Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permits

(Gendron, CWS, pers. comm.)

Information on the sale of Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permits is available for the 1966–2010 time period. Results indicated that annual sales peaked in 1978 (524 946 permits sold) and subsequently declined almost every year until 2005, when sales were 165 678, the lowest number ever recorded. Since then, the number of permits sold each year has remained relatively stable, at around 170 000.

Graph of the migratory game bird hunting permit sales.

For more information about Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit Sales in Canada, please visit Environment Canada's Nature website - Permit Sales

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Please Report Bird Bands

The North American Bird Banding Program relies on the public to report bird bands to our office. Reporting bird bands helps scientists and wildlife managers continue to learn about, monitor and conserve our bird populations.

There are three ways to report bands to the Canadian Bird Banding Office: online, by calling toll free 1–800–327–2263 (1–800–327–BAND), or by writing to:

  • Bird Banding Office
  • National Wildlife Research Centre
  • Canadian Wildlife Service
  • Environment Canada
  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • Canada  K1A 0H3

By submitting your encounter reports online, you will immediately receive banding data, and you have the option to print your certificate of appreciation at home. Certificates and banding data will be sent by regular mail for encounters reported by phone or by mail.

The Web address www.reportband.gov, has replaced the postal address on new issue bands. The toll–free telephone number remains on bands. Hunters can still expect to find all issues of bands on waterfowl, including bands without the Web address or phone number. All bands can be reported online.

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Updates to the Migratory Birds Regulations

Amendment to Allow for the Temporary Possession of Migratory Birds for Disease Testing

The Government of Canada wants to inform the public of a variance to paragraph 6(b) of the Migratory Birds Regulations, to allow for the temporary possession of found dead migratory birds, which is in effect until August 2011.

As public participation in the study of dead migratory birds is necessary to help conduct surveys on avian viruses, it is permitted to temporarily possess dead migratory birds, to allow for swift delivery of such birds to provincial or territorial authorities for analysis. The Government of Canada is responsible, under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, to ensure that migratory birds are protected and conserved, and testing dead birds is believed to be the most effective method available for the detection of avian viruses.

What you need to do if you find a dead migratory bird:

Contact the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre by visiting their website or by telephoning 1–800–567–2033.

Visit the Public Health Agency of Canada website for guidance on precautions to take when handling wild birds.

For more information on the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994.

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Literature Cited

Alisauskas, R.T, R.F. Rockwell, K.W. Dufour, E.G. Cooch, G. Zimmerman, K.L. Drake, J.O. Leafloor, T.J. Moser and E.T. Reed. Submitted. Effect of population reduction efforts on harvest, survival, and population growth of midcontinent Lesser Snow Geese. Wildlife Monographs.

Batt, B.D.J. (ed.). 1997. Arctic Ecosystems in Peril – Report of the Arctic Goose Habitat Working Group. Arctic Goose Joint Venture Special Publication, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C., and Canadian Wildlife Service, Ottawa, Ont.

Batt, B.D.J. (ed.). 1998. The Greater Snow Goose – Report of the Arctic Goose Habitat Working Group. Arctic Goose Joint Venture Special Publication. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington D.C. and Canadian Wildlife Service, Ottawa, Ont.

Calvert, A. M, G. Gauthier, E.T. Reed, L. Bélanger, J.-F. Gobeil, M. Huang, J. Lefebvre and A. Reed. 2007. Present status of the population and evaluation of the effects of the special conservation measures in Reed, E.T., and A.M. Calvert (eds.). Evaluation of the special conservation measures for Greater Snow Geese: Report of the Greater Snow Goose Working Group. Arctic Goose Joint Venture Special Publication. Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada, Sainte-Foy, Quebec.

Cooke, F., C.M. Francis, E.G. Cooch, and R. Alisauskas. 2000. Impact of hunting on population growth of mid–continent Lesser Snow Geese. Pages 17–31 in H. Boyd, ed., Population Modeling and Management of Snow Geese. Canadian Wildlife Service Occasional Paper 102. 36 p.

Lefebvre, J. 2010. Estimation de la population printanière de la Grande Oie des neiges dans le sud du Québec en 2010. Canadian Wildlife Service. Environment Canada. July 2010.

Gauthier, G., and E.T. Reed. 2007. Projected growth rate of the Greater Snow Goose population under alternative harvest scenarios in Reed, E.T., and A. M. Calvert (eds.). Evaluation of the special conservation measures for Greater Snow Geese: Report of the Greater Snow Goose Working Group. Arctic Goose Joint Venture Special Publication. Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada, Sainte-Foy, Quebec.

Rockwell, R.F., E. Cooch, and S. Brault. 1997.  Part III – Dynamics of the mid–continent population of lesser snow geese: Projected impacts of reductions in survival and fertility on population growth rates. Pages 73–100 in B.D.J. Batt, ed., Arctic Ecosystems in Peril: Report of the Arctic Goose Habitat Working Group. Arctic Goose Joint Venture Special Publication. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C., and Canadian Wildlife Service, Ottawa, Ontario.

Rockwell, R.F. and C.D. Ankney. 2000. Snow Geese: Can We Pay down the Mortgage?  Pages 32–34 in H. Boyd, ed., Population Modeling and Management of Snow Geese. Canadian Wildlife Service Occasional Paper 102. 36 p.

Snow Goose, Brant and Swan Committee of the Atlantic Flyway Council (July 2010). Assessing the Conservation Order for Light Geese in the Atlantic Flyway in 2010. Unpublished Report of the Atlantic Flyway Council.

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Appendix A – 2011–2012 Migratory Birds Hunting Regulations Summaries by Province and Territory

are also available on the EC Nature national Web site.