Proposals to Amend the Canadian Migratory Birds Regulations (Including Regulation Proposals for Overabundant Species) – December 2012

Canadian Wildlife Service
Waterfowl Committee

CWS Migratory Birds Regulatory Report
Number 38

The Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp, entitled Evening Repose, features the Blue-winged Teal. It is a creation of the Canadian wildlife artist Patricia Pépin of Quebec.

Visit Environment Canada’s publication catalogue to download the PDF version.

Table of Contents

Document Information

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Document Information

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

Environment Canada’s Migratory Birds website

Cover Art:

The Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp, entitled Evening Repose, features the Blue-winged Teal. It is a creation of the Canadian wildlife artist Patricia Pépin of 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 2011–2012, Wildlife Habitat Canada provided 26 grants totalling close to $1.2 million. This in turn helped leverage an additional $7.3 million in partner funding for conservation projects, resulting in the conservation, restoration and enhancement of 494 420 acres of wildlife habitat across Canada (Wildlife Habitat Canada 2012).

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, or consult the Wildlife Habitat Canada website.

Authors:

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

This report should be cited as:

Canadian Wildlife Service Waterfowl Committee. 2012. Proposals to Amend the Canadian Migratory Birds Regulations (Including Regulation Proposals for Overabundant Species), December 2012. CWS Migr. Birds Regul. Rep. No. 38. Environment Canada, Ottawa.

Consultation:

Public comments are solicited on the proposed amendments to Schedule 1 of the Migratory Birds Regulations for the establishment of the 2013-2014 migratory game birds hunting regulations, as well as any other comments regarding the regulation-setting process 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 postal address:

351 St. Joseph Boulevard, Gatineau QC  K1A 0H3 or by email: MbregsReports-RapportsOmregs@ec.gc.ca (address is case-sensitive).

This report may be downloaded from the following website: Migratory Birds Regulatory Report Series

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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 (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 (including Regulation Proposals for Overabundant Species) (the December report), outlines the proposed changes to the annual hunting regulations, and 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 (see Appendix B of this report). The third report, Migratory Birds Regulations in Canada (the July report), summarizes the hunting regulations for the upcoming hunting season. The three reports 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 Canada.

The federal regulatory process for development of the hunting regulations 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 (outside of the regular process) 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:

  • October through November – The Population Status of Migratory Game Birds in Canada report, containing biological information on migratory game birds, is developed. In early January, it is distributed and posted on the Environment Canada (EC) Nature website.

  • November – CWS regional offices develop proposals for hunting regulations in consultations with the provinces and territories and interested stakeholders.

  • Early to mid-January – the Proposals to Amend the Canadian Migratory Birds Regulations report containing the regulation proposals is posted on the EC Nature website and distributed to allow for public, inter-regional and international consultation.

  • Early June – Hunting regulations become law.

  • Early July – The Migratory Birds Regulations in Canada report, containing the approved hunting regulations, is distributed and posted on the EC Nature website. The migratory game bird hunting regulation summaries are available on the EC Nature website.

  • Early August – Hunting regulation summaries are available at Canada Post outlets.

Migratory game bird hunters are made aware of the migratory game bird hunting regulations at the same time as they receive information on the season dates, bag and possession limits, when they purchase their hunting permits.

Note to United States Readers

The annual cycle of regulation development in Canada is earlier than that in the United States. To meet the requirements of the Canadian regulatory process, proposals for hunting regulations must be finalized no later than late February 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.

American Black Duck Harvest Strategy

An international Black Duck harvest strategy was adopted in July 2012 by the Canadian Wildlife Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The objectives of the strategy, based on the principles of adaptive harvest management, are to:

  • Maintain a black duck population that provides consumptive and non-consumptive use commensurate with habitat carrying capacity;
  • Maintain societal values associated with the hunting tradition; and
  • Maintain equitable access to the black duck resource.

As such, the strategy is designed to identify appropriate harvest levels in Canada and the U.S. based on population levels of Black Ducks and sympatric Mallards while sharing 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% of the annual continental harvest.

The harvest strategy will be implemented beginning in 2013–14, which will be used to determine the appropriate Black Duck harvest regulations. The policy recommendations for the 2013–14 hunting season from the harvest strategy allow for more liberal regulations in Canada than in past years. Details on the proposed Black Duck regulations can be found in the ‘Regulatory Proposals for 2013–2014’ section below.

Frequent evaluations of the strategy will be conducted to ensure that it continues to meet the objectives stated above.

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Management of Overabundant Geese

Conservation Issue

Most Snow and Ross’s Goose populations are well above their population objectives (North American Waterfowl Management Plan 2012). This becomes an important conservation issue when the rapid growth and increasing abundance affect the habitats on which they, and other species, depend. This relatively new issue was first highlighted 15 years ago, through comprehensive assessments of the environmental effects of the rapidly growing populations of midcontinent Lesser Snow Geese and Greater Snow Geese. The analyses completed by Canadian and American experts 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. Changing farming practices began to supply a reliable, highly nutritious food source for migrating and wintering geese. Combined with the safety found in refuges, the improved nutritional status led to increased survival and higher reproductive rates for 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. 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 another undesirable consequence of the growing goose populations.

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Management Response

Initial management efforts focused on mid-continent Lesser Snow Geese and Greater Snow Geese, the populations where there was strong evidence for detrimental effects on habitats. Canada, the United States and Mexico agreed that the habitat damage being caused was a significant conservation issue, and that the populations were overabundant to the detriment of the arctic and sub-arctic ecosystems. Following that declaration, several concurrent management measures were begun to curtail the rapid population growth and reduce population size to a level consistent with the carrying capacity of the habitat. Population models showed that of all the potential management techniques, the most successful approach to control population growth would be to reduce survival rates for adult geese.

Therefore, beginning in 1999, Canada amended the Migratory Birds Regulations and created new tools that could be invoked to help manage overabundant species. These included special conditions under which hunters were encouraged to increase their take 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 special conservation measures for Snow Geese were implemented in 1999 in selected areas of Quebec and Manitoba, were expanded in 2001 to Saskatchewan and Nunavut, and in 2012 into south-eastern Ontario. The dates and locations of application of these special conservation measures were determined in consultation with the provincial governments, other organizations and local communities.

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Effectiveness of Special Measures

Evaluations showed that success of the special conservation measures to date has been mixed. In the case of Greater Snow Geese, the special conservation measures were successful in reducing the annual survival rate for adults from about 83% to about 72.5% (Calvert and Gauthier 2005). The growth of the population was stopped, but the special measures have not succeeded in reducing the size of the population, which appears stabilized at about 1 million birds in spring (Lefebvre 2012). Models showed that without the special take by hunters in spring, the population would begin to grow rapidly once more (Gauthier and Reed 2007).

For midcontinent Lesser Snow Geese, the evaluation concluded that the population has continued to grow, although perhaps at a reduced rate (Leafloor et al. 2012). It also concluded that while the annual harvest increased as a result of the conservation measures, it failed to reduce the size of the population. It was apparent that measures invoked to date have not been successful and that other measures would be required if population control were deemed essential. The report recommended that special conservation measures be maintained, and that additional measures to increase harvest be sought.

The evaluation report also suggested that the conditions for overabundance designation are being met by Ross’s Geese, and predicted that continued growth and expansion of Lesser Snow Goose populations was especially likely in the central and western Arctic of Canada (Leafloor et al. 2012). The Canadian Wildlife Service is now considering designating the Lesser Snow Geese nesting in the western Arctic and Ross’s Geese as overabundant, as outlined in the following sections of this report.

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Notice of Intent to Consider Designation of Western Arctic Lesser Snow Geese as Overabundant

A notice of intent is hereby given that designating the western Arctic population of Lesser Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens caerulescens) as overabundant is under consideration. Should CWS decide to proceed with the designation following the initial consultation process taking place now a proposal will be published in fall 2013 in the CWS Regulatory Reports.

An overabundant population is one for which the rate of population growth has resulted in, or will result in, a population whose abundance directly threatens the conservation of migratory birds (themselves or others) or their habitats, or is injurious to or threatens agricultural, environmental or other similar interests.

Experience has shown that serious habitat loss from the destructive foraging activities of Lesser Snow Geese and Ross’s Geese occurred in parallel with very rapid population growth in the central and eastern Arctic (Batt 1997). Some localized habitat damage has already occurred on Banks Island from the foraging activities of western Arctic Snow Geese (Hines et al. 2010). If the western Arctic population continues to increase at the present rate, the negative impacts to habitat and other species are predicted to expand.

The western Arctic population breeds primarily on Banks Island, Northwest Territories, with smaller breeding colonies on the mainland of the Northwest Territories and Alaska. The population migrates mainly through Alberta and western Saskatchewan in spring and autumn. The majority of birds winter in the Pacific Flyway, mostly in California where they mix with the Wrangel Island population of Lesser Snow Geese and Ross’s Geese. Some birds also winter in the western Central Flyway, where they mix with mid-continent Snow Geese.

Western Arctic Snow Geese are already well above the spring population objective of 200 000 birds (North American Waterfowl Management Plan 2012). Photographic surveys of the nesting colonies indicate that the number of nesting birds has grown from about 171 000 adults in 1976 to about 500 000 adults in recent years (Kerbes et al. 1999; Hines et al. 2010; Canadian Wildlife Service, unpubl. data). The fall estimate of western Arctic / Wrangel Island Snow Geese in the Pacific Flyway was over one million birds in 2011; this has increased an average of 6% per year from 2003 to present (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2012). Increases also have been observed in the western Central Flyway population of Snow Geese (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2012).

Based on band return data, adults from the western Arctic population have an 85% chance of surviving from one year to the next (Canadian Wildlife Service, unpubl. data). This survival rate is high and similar to estimates of other increasing white goose populations. Recent recovery rates for banded adult birds were only 2–3%, suggesting that non-hunting mortality is currently more important than hunting mortality (Canadian Wildlife Service, unpubl. data). Increased survival is thought to be mainly due to increased agricultural food supplies, increased use of refuges during migration and winter, and reduced harvest rates by hunters (Abraham et al. 1996; Abraham and Jefferies 1997).

The western Arctic population is showing a pattern of rapid population growth similar to that which has been observed in other populations of Snow Geese and Ross’s Geese. For this reason, it is important to consider implementation of special conservation measures, such as spring harvest, before the western Arctic population reaches a level that cannot be controlled through increased harvest by hunters. Similar efforts to stabilize Greater Snow Goose numbers in eastern North America were successful because the population was still small enough that it could be controlled through increased harvest (Reed and Calvert 2007). Based on experience with the mid-continent population of Lesser Snow Geese and Ross’s Geese, it is likely easier to recover goose populations that reach low levels than to reduce them after they experience runaway growth (Leafloor et al. 2012). It may still be possible to stabilize the western Arctic population if liberalized harvest measures are implemented soon. Designation of the western Arctic population as overabundant would provide tools to liberalize harvest under special conservation measures such as spring harvest, use of electronic calls or baiting.

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Notice of Intent to Consider Designation of Ross’s Geese as Overabundant

A notice of intent is hereby given that designating the Ross’s Goose (Chen rossii) as overabundant is under consideration. Should CWS decide to proceed with the designation following the initial consultation process taking place now a proposal will be published in fall 2013 in the CWS Regulatory Reports.

An overabundant population is one for which the rate of population growth has resulted in, or will result in, a population whose abundance directly threatens the conservation of migratory birds (themselves or others) or their habitats, or is injurious to or threatens agricultural, environmental or other similar interests.

Following publication of the Ecosystems in Peril report (Batt 1997), unprecedented management actions were initiated in 1999 to reduce damage caused to arctic and subarctic ecosystems by the foraging activities of increasing numbers of Lesser Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens) and Ross’s Geese (Chen rossii; Batt 1997; Moser 2001). Most of these actions were aimed at reducing survival of adult geese through increased harvest by hunters throughout the range of the mid-continent population, which was thought to be the most efficient means of reducing population size (Rockwell et al. 1997). Hunting regulations were liberalized during regular seasons, traditional hunting restrictions (e.g., prohibition on use of electronic calls, requirement for plugged shotguns, bag and possession limits) were relaxed or removed to promote increased harvest, and habitat management regimes on some refuges were altered to increase exposure of the birds to hunting outside of refuge areas. Additional amendments to the Migratory Birds Regulations in Canada and the United States were made to allow conservation harvests of such overabundant species outside of hunting seasons.

Though most attention was focused on overabundance of Lesser Snow Geese, Ross’s Geese were designated as overabundant in the United States in 1999, and have been included in regulations allowing spring conservation harvests there ever since. In Canada, a court decision in 1999 determined that overabundance regulations could not be applied to Ross’s Geese because it had not been demonstrated that they were contributing to the habitat damage.

It is now clear that Ross’s Geese contribute to habitat degradation on nesting and staging areas where they occur in large numbers (Alisauskas et al. 2006b, Abraham et al. 2012). Like Lesser Snow Geese, Ross’s Geese grub during nest building and during spring staging, when a large portion of their diet is made up of the roots and rhizomes of sedges and grasses (Ryder and Alisauskas 1995). Alisauskas et al. (2006b) found that vegetative cover was removed in areas occupied by nesting Ross’s Geese, resulting in exposure of mineral substrate and peat. This led to reduced vegetative species richness that worsened over time, particularly in low-lying habitats preferred by Ross’s Geese for nesting. Reduced graminoid abundance caused by foraging of geese has also led to dramatic declines in small mammal abundance around dense nesting colonies (Samelius and Alisauskas 2009). Didiuk et al. (2001) suggested that use by Ross’s Geese of nesting areas previously degraded by Lesser Snow Geese (e.g., on the west coast of Hudson Bay) may slow recovery of those areas due to the ongoing effects of foraging and nest building. The smaller bill morphology of Ross’s Geese may allow them to crop vegetation more closely to the ground than do Lesser Snow Geese, adding to the intensity of grazing.

Ross’s Geese are closely related to Lesser Snow Geese, and co-occur with the latter species throughout the year; their behavioural and morphological similarity has led to harvest management of the two species in aggregate since 1978 (Moser and Duncan 2001). In the mid-1960s, most Ross’s Geese (>90%) nested in the central Arctic of Canada, and wintered in the Central Valley of California (Melinchuk and Ryder 1980). Though comprehensive estimates of population size were not available until recently, photographic surveys of known nesting areas indicated fewer than 100 000 nesting Ross’s Geese in the mid-1960s (Kerbes 1994). The continental population objective for Ross’s Geese has been 100 000 birds since the inception of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan in 1986. By the mid-2000s, Ross’s Geese had expanded their range eastward on both nesting and wintering areas (Alisauskas et al. 2006a), and the population was estimated to number between 1.5–2.5 million adult birds (Alisauskas et al. 2009; 2011, 2012), despite efforts to stop the growth of the population through increased harvest by hunters.

Alisauskas et al. (2006a) analyzed hunter recoveries of Ross’s Geese captured and marked in the Queen Maud Gulf region of the central Canadian Arctic, and found that survival of adults had declined during the period 1994–2000, reaching a low of approximately 0.80, apparently in response to concurrent increases in harvest. The authors noted, however, that during this same time period, the Ross’s Goose population at one of the largest known breeding colonies in the Queen Maud Gulf region had shown sustained growth, suggesting that an adult survival rate of 0.80 was unlikely to have negative consequence for continental Ross’s Goose populations. Since 2001 (the last year that Alisauskas et al. [2006a] considered), continental harvest of adult Ross’s Geese has apparently stabilized, and harvest rates (the annual proportion of the adult population harvested by hunters) have declined to only about 2–3% (Alisauskas et al. 2009, 2012; Dufour et al.. 2012). Annual survival of Ross’s Geese declined from 0.897 (95% CI = 0.789–0.953) to a low of 0.827 (95% CI = 0.801–0.850) during the period 1989–1997, then increased steadily from 1998 onward, reaching a high of 0.950 (95% CI = 0.899–0.976) in 2009. Notably, this reversal of the survival trajectory occurred in the face of some of the highest annual harvest levels estimated for adult Ross’s Geese since 1989 (Alisauskas et al. 2012).

Multiple lines of evidence indicate that Ross’s Goose populations have continued to grow, both in the central Arctic and at the continental level (Alisauskas et al. 2009, 2012). Collectively, these observations suggest that, like Snow Geese, increases in harvest of Ross’s Geese have been outpaced by concurrent increases in abundance, thereby diminishing the effects of harvest on adult survival (Dufour et al. 2012). In fact, Ross’s Goose numbers have continued to increase at a higher rate than have Lesser Snow Geese since the start of conservation actions in 1999, and continued growth of the Ross’s Goose population is predicted to occur (Alisauskas et al. 2006a; Alisauskas et al. 2012; Dufour et al. 2012). Thus, the environmental damage being caused, with its effects on other species and ecosystem structure and function, is expected to continue to increase.

Designation of Ross’s Geese as overabundant is therefore being considered by the Canadian Wildlife Service and would provide tools to liberalize harvest under special conservation measures such as spring harvest, use of electronic calls or baiting.

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Regulatory Proposals for 2013–2014

The special conservation measures for Snow Geese to be implemented in spring 2013 are already made into law. They are posted on the CWS website and are showed in Appendix A of this report.

The regulations proposed for Snow Geese to be implemented in fall 2013 and spring 2014 are as follows:

  • Abolish the possession limit in Quebec and Ontario;
  • Reduce the size, in spring, of a no-hunting zone near Montmagny in Quebec;
  • Extend the length of the spring special conservation season in Manitoba; and
  • Lift restrictions on decoy types used with electronic Snow Goose call recordings in Quebec and Ontario.

See the section below for more detail about these proposals.

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Proposed Changes to Hunting Regulations for the 2013–2014 Season

CWS and the provinces and territories have jointly developed the regulatory proposals presented here. Other proposals consistent with these may be sent to the appropriate CWS Regional Director by any interested organization or individual (additional information can be found on page iii). To facilitate the comparison of changes proposed in this text with current regulations, the summaries of the 2012–2013 Migratory Birds Hunting Regulations are included in Appendix C.

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Newfoundland and Labrador

Implementation of the International Harvest Strategy for American Black Duck

It is proposed to implement the International Harvest Strategy for American Black Duck in Newfoundland and Labrador, adopted in July 2012 by the Canadian Wildlife Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This strategy allows additional harvest opportunity for American Black Ducks in Canada for the 2013-2014 hunting season.

- American Black Duck daily bag limits in Newfoundland

It is proposed to implement the International Harvest Strategy for American Black Duck in Newfoundland through prescribed regulatory packages. A liberal regime would be in effect for the 2013–2014 hunting season; 6 American Black Ducks in the daily bag (an increase from 4 to 6) for the first part of the hunting season (September 7 to November 28, 2013). Due to an increase in harvest susceptibility later in the season, the existing restriction of 4 Black Ducks allowed in the daily bag would be maintained for the last 30 days of the season (November 29 to December 28, 2013 inclusive). Similar measures are also being proposed for New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

- Harmonization of season dates in Labrador

It is proposed to implement consistent opening dates for ducks (other than Harlequin Ducks and eiders), geese and snipe across Labrador and extend the season length by 1 week (total of 106 days). This would result in an opening date of the first Saturday in September and a closing date of the third Saturday in December for all Labrador zones.

Increase the possession limit to three times the daily bag limit for some migratory game birds in Newfoundland and Labrador

It is proposed to liberalize possession limits for ducks (other than mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, Harlequin Ducks, eiders and scoters) in Newfoundland and Labrador from two times the daily bag limit to three times the daily bag limit. Similar measures are also being proposed for New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Possession limit liberalizations were instituted in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario in 2010, in Quebec in 2011 and in British Columbia in 2012.

Waterfowler Heritage Days in Labrador

It is proposed to institute a Waterfowler Heritage Day across Labrador in September 2013. Waterfowler Heritage Days provide young hunters under the age of majority with the opportunity to practice hunting and outdoor skills, learn about wildlife conservation, and reinforce safety training in a structured, supervised environment. Waterfowler Heritage Days are currently in effect in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia, and CWS is proposing to implement Waterfowler Heritage Days in Saskatchewan in fall 2013.

CWS continues to consider two amendments that may be proposed in the future:

- Eider hunting

A notice of intent is given that restrictions to one or both of bag limits or season length may be implemented for the 2014–2015 hunting season. The status of the Common Eider is currently under review. Pending the outcomes of this review, CWS may consider implementing harvest restrictions for this population.

- New Murre Hunting Zone in Newfoundland

A notice of intent is given that a new murre hunting zone is proposed to be delineated within the Green Bay area of the existing Murre Hunting Zone 2. In this area, hunters see few murres during the current murre hunting season, and have requested a delay in the season dates to allow access to murres which occur there later in January and early February. The proposal under consideration is to delay the opening and closing dates of the murre hunting season within the new murre hunting zone by about two weeks.

To evaluate this regulatory proposal, CWS undertook a special hunter opinion survey during the winter of 2009–2010. Questionnaires were sent out to 6000 Migratory Game Bird Permit holders. About 1200 questionnaires were returned by hunters, resulting in a response rate of ~20%. The majority of murre hunters that reported their primary murre hunting area was within the proposed zone supported the proposed new zone and season. Community meetings may be held to determine the exact positioning of the boundaries, and other hunters’ concerns.

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Prince Edward Island

Implementation of the International Harvest Strategy for American Black Duck

It is proposed to implement the International Harvest Strategy for American Black Duck in Prince Edward Island, adopted in July 2012 by the Canadian Wildlife Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This strategy allows additional harvest opportunity for American Black Ducks in Canada for the 2013–2014 hunting season.

- American Black Duck daily bag limits

It is proposed to implement the International Harvest Strategy for American Black Duck through prescribed regulatory packages. A liberal regime would be in effect for the 2013–2014 hunting season; 6 American Black Ducks in the daily bag (an increase from 4 to 6) for the first part of the hunting season (October 1 to December 14, 2013). Due to an increase in harvest susceptibility later in the season, the existing restriction of 4 American Black Duck/Mallard hybrids or four American Black Ducks allowed in the daily bag will be maintained for the last 31 days of the season (December 15, 2013, to January 14, 2014, inclusive). Similar measures are also being proposed for Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

- Increase the season length

It is proposed to increase the season length for ducks (other than Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, Harlequin Ducks, eiders and scoters) and snipe to 106 days during the regular duck season. Under this proposal, duck seasons would open on October 1, and would close on January 14 (season extended by 37 days). Similar measures are also being proposed for Labrador, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Increase the season length for Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, eiders and scoters

It is proposed to increase the season length for Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, eiders and scoters slightly to allow a hunting season opening date (October 1) coincident with that for other duck species (see implementation of the International Harvest Strategy for American Black Duck above). Season closing dates would remain December 31 as was allowed in 2012–2013.

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

It is proposed to liberalize possession limits for ducks (other than Common and Red-Breasted Mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, Harlequin Ducks, eiders and scoters) on Prince Edward Island from two times the daily bag limit to three times the daily bag limit. Similar measures are also being proposed for Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Possession limit liberalizations were instituted in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario in 2010, in Quebec in 2011, and in British Columbia in 2012.

Increasing opportunities to harvest Canada Geese

Spring surveys conducted annually to estimate numbers of waterfowl breeding in the Maritime provinces have identified a significant increase in abundance of temperate-breeding Canada Geese over the past 15 years. It is recognized that temperate-breeding Canada Geese cause conflicts with humans. The following proposed measures are intended to help reduce nuisance and crop depredation problems associated with temperate-breeding Canada Geese by allowing an increase in harvest pressure. While allowing this additional harvest opportunity on temperate-breeding Canada Geese, the proposed regulations would continue to afford an appropriate level of protection to migrant Canada Geese.

- Establish an early hunting season

It is proposed that an early (September) Canada Goose season be established on Prince Edward Island for the 2013–2014 hunting season. This early season would occur before most migrant geese arrive on Prince Edward Island and as such would increase harvest pressure on locally breeding geese only. Three additional geese could be taken daily during the early September Canada Goose season only; possession limits for geese would remain fixed at 16.

For the 2013–2014 hunting season, it is proposed that the September Canada Goose season would open on the Tuesday following Labour Day and continue for 14 consecutive days (inclusive of opening day).

Similar seasons are currently in place in other provinces in Canada (including New Brunswick and Nova Scotia) and have been considered at least partially effective in controlling population growth for temperate-breeding Canada Geese.

- Extend the regular hunting season

It is proposed to extend the regular goose season to the end of December to allow hunters to take advantage of additional days afield while appropriately managing harvest on migrant Canada Geese. Bag limits during the October through December portion of the goose season would be five geese daily until November 14, then the bag limits would be reduced to 3 geese daily for the remainder of the season.

CWS is considering the following amendment that may be proposed in the future:

- Eider hunting

A notice of intent is given that restrictions to one or both of bag limits or season length may be implemented for the 2014–2015 hunting season. The status of Common Eider is currently under review. Pending the outcomes of this review, CWS may consider implementing harvest restrictions for this species.

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Nova Scotia

Implementation of the International Harvest Strategy for American Black Duck

It is proposed to implement the International Harvest Strategy for American Black Duck in Nova Scotia, adopted in July 2012 by the Canadian Wildlife Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This strategy allows additional harvest opportunity for American Black Ducks in Canada for the 2013–2014 hunting season.

- American Black Duck daily bag limits

It is proposed to implement the International Harvest Strategy for American Black Duck through prescribed regulatory packages. A liberal regime would be in effect for the 2013–2014 hunting season; 6 American Black Ducks in the daily bag (an increase from 4 to 6) for the first part of the hunting season (October 1 to December 14, 2013). Due to an increase in harvest susceptibility later in the season, the existing restriction of 4 black ducks allowed in the daily bag will be maintained for the last 31 days of the season (December 15, 2013, to January 14, 2014, inclusive). Similar measures are also being proposed for Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

- Increase the season length

It is proposed to increase the season length for ducks (other than Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, Harlequin Ducks, eiders and scoters) and snipe to 106 days during the regular duck season. Under this proposal, duck seasons across the province would open on October 1, and close on January 14. Similar measures are also being proposed for Labrador, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Increase season length for Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, eiders and scoters

It is proposed to increase the season length for Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Long-tailed ducks, eiders and scoters to allow hunting season opening and closing dates (October 1 and January 14, respectively) coincident with that for other duck species (see implementation of the International Harvest Strategy for American Black Duck above).

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

It is proposed to liberalize possession limits for ducks (other than Harlequin Ducks, Common and Red-Breasted Mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, eiders, scoters, Goldeneyes and Buffleheads) in Nova Scotia from two times the daily bag limit to three times the daily bag limit. Similar measures are also being proposed for Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Possession limit liberalizations were instituted in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario in 2010, in Quebec in 2011 and in British Columbia in 2012.

Canada Goose possession limit

The current possession limit in the early (September) Canada Goose season allows 6 additional geese to be possessed until the end of September. It is proposed that possession limits for geese would remain fixed at 16 throughout the entire duration of the open season for Canada Geese in order to allow hunters additional time to fully utilize harvested birds.

CWS is considering the following amendment that may be proposed in the future:

- Eider hunting

A notice of intent is given that restrictions to one or both of bag limits or season length may be implemented for the 2014–2015 hunting season. The status of Common Eider is currently under review. Pending the outcomes of this review, CWS may consider implementing harvest restrictions for this population.

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New Brunswick

Implementation of the International Harvest Strategy for American Black Duck

It is proposed to implement the International Harvest Strategy for American Black Duck, adopted in July 2012 by the Canadian Wildlife Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This strategy allows additional harvest opportunity for American Black Ducks in Canada for the 2013–2014 hunting season.

- American Black Ducks daily bag limits

It is proposed to implement the International Harvest Strategy for American Black Duck in New Brunswick through prescribed regulatory packages. A liberal regime would be in effect for the 2013–14 hunting season; 6 American Black Ducks in the daily bag (an increase from 4 to 6) for the first part of the hunting season (October 1 to December 14, 2013). Due to an increase in harvest susceptibility later in the season, a reduction to 4 black ducks allowed in the daily bag will be maintained for the last 31 days of the season (December 15, 2013, to January 14, 2014, inclusive). Similar measures are also being proposed for Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

- Increase season length

It is proposed to increase the season length for ducks (other than Harlequin Ducks, Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, eiders and scoters), Geese (other than Canada Geese and Cackling Geese) and snipe to 106 days during the regular duck season. Under this proposal, duck seasons across the Province would open on October 1, and would close on January 14. Similar measures are also being proposed for Labrador, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

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

It is proposed to liberalize possession limits for ducks (other than Harlequin Ducks, Common and Red-Breasted Mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, eiders and scoters) in New Brunswick from two times the daily bag limit to three times the daily bag limit. Similar measures are also being proposed for Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Possession limit liberalizations were instituted in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario in 2010, in Quebec in 2011 and in British Columbia in 2012.

Canada Goose Possession Limit

The current possession limit in the early (September) Canada Goose season allows 6 additional geese to be possessed until the end of September. It is proposed that possession limits for geese would remain fixed at 16 throughout the entire duration of the open season for Canada geese in order to allow hunters additional time to fully utilize harvested birds.

CWS is considering the following amendment that may be proposed in the future:

- Eider Hunting

A notice of intent is given that restrictions to one or both of bag limits or season length may be implemented for the 2014–2015 hunting season. The status of Common Eider is currently under review. Pending the outcomes of this review, CWS may consider implementing harvest restrictions for this species.

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Quebec

Hunting season length for most migratory game birds

It is proposed to increase the number of open season days for most migratory game bird species to 107, the maximum number allowed under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 (including Waterfowler Heritage Days). This change would apply to all hunting districts in Quebec except District G. This measure would provide hunters with new opportunity to hunt at the end of the hunting season without significantly increasing the number of harvested migratory birds.

Snow Geese

- Removing restrictions on decoy types use with electronic Snow Goose recordings

It is proposed to eliminate the current requirement to use only blue or white phase Snow Goose decoys when electronic Snow Goose recordings are being used. Decoy restrictions were implemented due to concern about the potential vulnerability of Canada Geese to electronic Snow Goose recordings; however, research has since shown that Canada Geese are less vulnerable to electronic recordings of Snow Geese than to traditional hunting methods (Caswell et al. 2003). Removal of this restriction would allow hunters to target both Canada and Snow Geese during the same hunt in fall (Canada Geese may not be hunted in spring), which would provide additional opportunity to manage overabundant Snow Geese through hunting.

- Removing the possession limit

It is proposed to remove the possession limit for Snow Geese. This measure may increase the harvest of an overabundant species that is above population objectives while maintaining good use of harvested birds.

- Increasing opportunity to harvest Snow Geese

It is proposed to exclude an area of agricultural fields from the spring no-hunting zone near Montmagny. This measure would provide an additional opportunity to manage overabundant Snow Geese.

Implementation of the International Harvest Strategy for American Black Duck

It is proposed to implement the International Harvest Strategy for American Black Duck in Quebec through prescribed regulatory packages. The strategy was adopted in July 2012 by the Canadian Wildlife Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This strategy allows additional harvest opportunity for American Black Ducks in Canada for the 2013–2014 hunting season. A liberal regime would be in effect for the 2013–2014 hunting season; 6 American Black Ducks in the daily bag limit (an increase from 4 to 6) and a possession limit of 18 (increase from 8 to 18) for all hunting districts in Quebec except for a sector bordering Ontario. The excluded zone includes all of the area south of Route 148 and west of Highway 15. This will harmonize regulations in Quebec with those in Ontario and will protect the south-western Quebec American Black Duck population.

Canada Geese

It is proposed to remove the possession limit for Canada Geese. This change may result in an increase in the harvest of temperate-breeding Canada Geese.

Geographic coordinates of the Nicolet no-hunting zone

It is proposed to modify the geographic coordinates of the Nicolet no-hunting zone. This measure is intended to correct an error in the regulations.

Updating species names to current nomenclature

It is proposed to change the name of Common Moorhen to Common Gallinule based on a recent decision by the American Ornithologists’ Union.

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Ontario

Canada and Cackling Geese

- Removing restrictions on the daily bag limit

It is proposed to increase the daily bag limit for Canada and Cackling Geese from 8 to 10 birds during the early and late seasons in Provincial Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 83 and 86. This change would harmonize Canada Goose hunting regulations in these WMUs with the majority of other WMUs in the Southern Hunting District and may result in an increase in the harvest of temperate-breeding Canada Geese. Restrictions on the daily bag limit for Canada Geese in these WMUs were originally established to limit harvest of Southern James Bay Population (SJBP) Canada Geese. Recent analyses of band recovery data indicate that the harvest of SJBP Canada Geese in these WMUs is minimal and no greater than that in neighbouring WMUs without special bag limit restrictions. Daily bag limit restrictions remain unchanged for WMUs 82, 84, 85, 93, and 94. This proposal would help to maintain the Ontario temperate-breeding population of Canada Geese at a desired level.

- Removing the possession limit

It is proposed to remove the possession limit for Canada and Cackling Geese for all WMUs in Ontario. This measure is intended to increase opportunities for hunters who might otherwise be forced to stop hunting, or to gift their birds in order to continue hunting while maintaining good use of harvested birds. This measure may also result in an increase in the harvest of temperate-breeding Canada Geese in Ontario, a species above population objective and that causes conflicts with humans.

Snow Geese

- Removing the possession limit

It is proposed to remove the possession limit for Snow Geese. This measure may increase the harvest of an overabundant species that is above population objectives while maintaining good use of harvested birds.

- Removing restrictions on decoy types used with electronic Snow Goose recordings

It is proposed to allow the use of decoys other than white or blue phase snow goose decoys when using an electronic snow goose call in WMU 65 in Eastern Ontario (the only WMU where the special conservation measures apply). Decoy restrictions were implemented due to concern about the potential vulnerability of Canada Geese to electronic Snow Goose recordings; however, research has since shown that Canada Geese are less vulnerable to electronic recordings of Snow Geese than to traditional hunting methods (Caswell et al. 2003). Removal of this restriction would allow hunters to target both Canada and Snow Geese during the same hunt in fall (Canada Geese may not be hunted in spring), which would provide additional opportunity to manage overabundant Snow Geese through hunting.

Implementation of the International Harvest Strategy for American Black Duck

It is proposed to implement the International Harvest Strategy for American Black Duck in Ontario through prescribed regulatory packages. The strategy was adopted in July 2012 by the Canadian Wildlife Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This strategy allows additional harvest opportunity for American Black Ducks in Canada for the 2013–2014 hunting season. For 2013, the Liberal regulatory package for Ontario would be in effect; 107 day hunting season in all Hunting Districts, a daily bag limit of 4 Black Ducks in the Hudson-James Bay, Northern and Central Hunting Districts (increase from 2 to 4) and a daily bag limit of 2 Black Ducks in the Southern Hunting District (increase from 1 to 2). Opening and closing dates would be the same as for other duck species in Ontario.

Establishing a hunting season for Mourning Dove

- Season dates and bag and possession limits

It is proposed to open a new hunting season for Mourning Doves in the Central and Southern Hunting Districts in Ontario in early September 2013. The Mourning Dove season would follow season length and daily bag limit as prescribed in the U.S. Eastern Management Unit for doves. The daily bag limit would be 15, and the season length would be 70 days. The possession limit would be three times the daily bag limit as for other game bird species in Ontario. The season would commence on the same day as the early Canada Goose hunting season in the Central and Southern Hunting Districts.

A 2011 report completed by the Canadian Wildlife Service – Ontario Region evaluating breeding population status and harvest potential of Mourning Doves determined that Mourning Doves could be hunted sustainably in Ontario. Several large, long-term data sets and review of recent studies were used to evaluate Mourning Dove breeding (and winter) population status and trends, Mourning Dove harvest potential, various aspects of human dimensions, and identify information gaps necessary for conservation and management. Major findings of the report were:

  1. The Ontario breeding population of Mourning Doves, as indexed by the Breeding Bird Count Survey (BBS), has increased substantially (~ 3-fold) in both numbers and distribution since the mid/late 1960s;
  2. The First and Second Breeding Bird Atlases of Ontario have documented an increase in breeding evidence and a northward breeding range expansion between the mid/late 1980s and mid/late 2000s;
  3. Winter dove population sizes, as indexed by Christmas Bird Count, have increased considerably since the late 1970s;
  4. Despite a decline over the past 10 years, relative abundance of doves, as indexed by number of birds per BBS route, in their core breeding areas within the Carolinian and Lake Simcoe-Rideau regions of the province (Bird Conservation Region 13) are similar to those in northern U.S. states where doves are currently hunted;
  5. Preliminary calculations suggest that the estimated breeding population of 1.2–1.3 million Mourning Doves are anticipated to produce a fall population (fall-flight) that could accommodate anticipated hunter harvest rates with minimal impact to the Ontario Mourning Dove population;
  6. Band recovery data confirmed that Mourning Doves breeding and produced in Ontario have been subjected to harvest in the eastern U.S. for decades.

- Non-toxic shot requirement

It is proposed to implement a non-toxic shot requirement to hunt Mourning Doves in Ontario. The 1997 prohibition on the use of lead shot to hunt migratory game birds did not include upland game birds, these are; Mourning Dove, Band-tailed Pigeon and American Woodcock. At the time, there was opposition to the federal proposal to include these species in the ban on lead shot because:

  1. there was no direct evidence at the time of lead poisoning in these species;
  2. the type of hunting involved suggested lead deposition was less spatially concentrated than for waterfowl; thus a lower risk of birds becoming contaminated.

Two of the principal concerns behind the resistance by Non Governmental Organizations were: i) a fear that non-toxic shot would be less effective and would lead to increased crippling rates, and ii) the availability and cost of non-toxic shot made its use impractical. Experience since 1997 by waterfowl hunters has demonstrated that these concerns were unfounded or at least are no longer valid. With the increasing use of non-toxic shot across North America, studies have clearly shown that crippling rates did not increase. Non-toxic shot is readily available in Canada at only a marginally higher cost than lead shot, and waterfowl hunters have adapted to its use. Also, there is recent evidence from the U.S. that at least in some situations, Mourning Doves do ingest lead pellets in areas where they are hunted and do succumb to lead toxicity. While hunting of upland species may not always result in heavy deposition of lead pellets, there are situations when dove hunting is highly concentrated and pellet deposition rates may be sufficient to result in a high likelihood of pellet ingestion by doves and other birds; it is believed that this could be the case in southern Ontario. One of the key objectives of Environment Canada’s Toxic Substances Management Policy is the “virtual elimination from the environment of toxic substances that result primarily from human activity” and the objective of Health Canada’s Proposed Risk Management Strategy for Lead includes an intent to “pursue additional management measures to reduce exposure to lead, and hence associated risks, to the greatest extent practicable”. Because non-toxic shot has proven to be effective for harvesting waterfowl and is available in appropriate shot sizes for hunting upland game birds at only a marginally higher cost than lead shot, it is considered practicable to prohibit its use for hunting Mourning Doves, at least in regions where there is a moderate-high risk of pellet ingestion by birds.

Updating species names to current nomenclature

It is proposed to change the name of Common Moorhen to Common Gallinule based on a recent decision by the American Ornithologists’ Union.

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Manitoba

Changing the opening season date

It is proposed to make the opening date earlier in Game Bird Hunting Zones (GBHZs) 2, 3 and 4 (change from September 8 to September 1) for residents of Canada. This change would create consistency in opening dates for migratory game birds in Manitoba (GBHZ 1) and across the Prairie provinces, and would provide more opportunity for hunters to experience waterfowl hunting during mild weather.

Extending Waterfowler Heritage Days throughout Manitoba

It is proposed that Waterfowler Heritage Days, which are currently offered in Game Bird Hunting Zones (GBHZs) 2, 3 and 4, be extended to GBHZ 1 from September 1 to September 7. This change would provide young hunters under the age of majority with a province-wide opportunity to practice hunting and outdoor skills, learn about wildlife conservation, and reinforce safety training in a structured, supervised environment. Licensed adult hunters who serve as mentors have an opportunity to pass on their considerable skills and knowledge by offering guidance and advice to younger hunters. Waterfowler Heritage Days are currently in effect in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia, and are being proposed for Saskatchewan.

Increasing the daily bag limit for Canada and Cackling Geese

It is proposed that the daily bag limit for Canada and Cackling Geese be increased from 8 to 12 from September 1 to September 23 in Game Hunting Area 38. However, from September 24 to November 30, the bag limit would revert to 8 per day, 24 in possession.

Temperate-breeding Canada Geese continue to undergo rapid population growth throughout southern Manitoba and particularly in the City of Winnipeg. A relatively small window of opportunity exists for a targeted harvest of the temperate-breeding geese prior to the arrival of arctic nesting geese. A higher bag limit during the proposed dates will maximize opportunity to harvest geese that nest in and around Winnipeg. Banding efforts in this area over the last four years will permit evaluation of the relationship between increased bag limits and harvest rate.

Snow Goose and Ross’s Goose

It is proposed to remove the afternoon restriction on hunting Snow or Ross’s geese by non-residents of Canada in Game Bird Hunting Zone 4 and Game Hunting Areas 13A, 14, 14A, part of 16, 18, 18A-C, 19, 19A, 19B, 20, 21A, 23A, 25, which is in place between September 24 up to and including the second Sunday in October. This measure would provide additional opportunity to manage overabundant Snow Geese, and contribute to reducing the growth of the population, through hunting.

Snow Goose - extending the special conservation season – spring 2014

It is proposed that the spring special conservation season for Snow Geese in Game Bird Hunting Zones 2, 3 and 4 be opened earlier i.e. on March 15. The season currently opens on April 1, but in early springs, Snow Geese arrive prior to the start of the season. This measure would provide additional opportunity to manage this overabundant species, and contribute to reducing the growth of the population, through hunting, particularly in early springs.

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Saskatchewan

Establishing Waterfowler Heritage Days

It is proposed to establish Waterfowler Heritage Days across Saskatchewan during the Labour Day long weekend in September and the Thanksgiving long weekend in October. This change would provide young hunters under the age of majority with the opportunity to practice hunting and outdoor skills, learn about wildlife conservation, and reinforce safety training in a structured, supervised environment. Licensed adult hunters who serve as mentors have an opportunity to pass on their considerable skills and knowledge by offering guidance and advice to younger hunters. Waterfowler Heritage Days are currently in effect in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia, and CWS is proposing to implement a Waterfowler Heritage Day in Labrador in 2013.

 

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Alberta

Establishing restrictions on daily bag and possession limits for non-residents of Canada for Barrow’s and Common Goldeneye

It is proposed that the bag limit for Barrow’s and Common Goldeneye be reduced from 8 to 2 per day, from 24 to 6 in possession for non-residents of Canada. A small sub-set of lakes within Alberta are of high importance to the Western (intermountain) population of Barrow’s Goldeneye. Concentrations of up to 10% of this population of Barrow’s Goldeneye may occur within a restricted area making the population vulnerable to excessive harvest. It can be difficult to distinguish between Barrow’s and Common Goldeneye, establishing restrictions on daily bag and possession limits on both species for non-residents of Canada will reduce the risk of unsustainable harvest of Barrow’s Goldeneyes.

Establishing a hunting season for Sandhill Crane

It is proposed that a hunting season for Sandhill Crane be implemented from September 1 to December 16, in Hunting Zone 3 and part of Zone 4, more specifically Provincial Wildlife Management Units (PWMUs) 200, 202, 203, 204, 206, 208, 220, 222, 226, 228, 230, 232, 234, 236, 238, 240, 242, 244, 248, 250, 252, 254, 256, 258, 260, 500, and from September 8 to December 21, in Hunting Zone 5, 7 and part of 6, more specifically PWMUs 102, 104, 106, 112, 116, 118, 119, 124, 128, 130, 134, 136, 138, 140, 142, 144, 148, 150, 151, 152, 156, 158, 160, 162, 163, 164, 166, 210.

The mid-continent population of Sandhill Cranes has shown an increasing trend since 1982. Latest photo-corrected surveys provide a 3-year average (2009–2011) of 579 863 birds, which is well above the mid-continent population management plan objectives of 349 000 to 472 000 birds. Plan objectives represent both minimum and maximum population levels, reflecting both social and agricultural limits on migration routes. As the current mid-continent population has shown a 55% increase since 2009, and is 25% above its maximum population threshold, there is an opportunity to advance a fall hunting season for these birds in Alberta.

Sandhill Cranes are harvested throughout their range, including Saskatchewan and Manitoba, as well as most jurisdictions in the Central Flyway. The harvest of migratory game birds is allocated based on a 50/50 ratio between Canada and the US. Canadian harvest of mid-continent Sandhill Cranes from 2000–2011 was 26%. Addition of an Alberta season would increase Canada’s relative harvest by an estimated 1–2%, maintaining a harvest well below suggested management targets. Hunter numbers and harvest will be monitored by the CWS National Harvest Survey, which estimates Canadian harvest of migratory game birds annually.

The proposed Sandhill Crane season would provide a new hunting opportunity in Alberta, and has been the subject of repeated requests by both resident and non-resident hunters.

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British Columbia

No regulatory changes are proposed for the 2013–2014 season.

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Yukon Territory

No regulatory changes are proposed for the 2013–2014 season.

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Northwest Territories

No regulatory changes are proposed for the 2013–2014 season.

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Nunavut

No regulatory changes are proposed for the 2013–2014 season.

Proposal to establish migratory game bird hunting regulations for three-year periods as an alternative to the current annual process

The objective of this proposal is to reduce the resource burden to government--while continuing to ensure that conservation and harvesting objectives are achieved--associated with the regulatory process required to amend the migratory game birds hunting regulations every year. This proposal was developed based on a technical assessment that concluded there would be low conservation risk for hunted species. In the event of an unanticipated conservation concern, the regulations could be amended at mid-intervals. Population status will continue to be reviewed annually to ensure that urgent mid-cycle amendments are not needed.

Why choose three-year cycles?

  • Technical analysis showed that the likelihood of having sub-optimal harvest regulations increased with the length of time between opportunities for regulatory changes.
  • These sub-optimal regulations represented the sum of lost opportunity (under-harvest) and conservation concern (over-harvest).
  • However, the risk was acceptable when regulations were evaluated at three-year intervals and represented a good balance with the reduced regulatory burden.

Would there be an effect on existing harvest management plans?

  • We would retain the ability to make changes in off years if necessary for conservation.
  • Having a short delay in regulatory response seldom jeopardizes recovery; when it would, there is good justification to use the regulation’s power for responding to emergencies.
  • As management plans are updated, they would explicitly accommodate Canada’s system.

What about making changes for “other” (non-conservation) reasons?

  • Changes not rooted in a conservation concern would be grouped and implemented as part of the new cycle.
  • However, stabilized regulations would be a policy approach; the three-year interval would not be mandated in regulation.
  • This means that changes could still be made through an off-year process, if needed.

Would the regulations be more conservative?

  • CWS anticipates that most, if not all, regulations would remain exactly the same as now.

If the proposal is adopted, the first new three-year stabilized hunting regulations would begin with the 2014-2015 hunting season and end with the 2016-2017 hunting season. Regulatory proposals submitted in December 2013, if approved, would be in place starting in September 2014 and remain in effect through fall 2016 inclusively (special conservation measures for overabundant Snow Geese would run from spring 2015 to spring 2017).

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Government of Canada Allowing the Temporary Possession of Dead Migratory Birds

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 September 2013.

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, visit Environment Canada’s website.

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2012 North American Waterfowl Management Plan

First signed in 1986 by the United States and Canada, with Mexico becoming a signatory in 1994, the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP, or the Plan) is an international vision to conserve migratory birds throughout the continent. The revised Plan, signed by all three countries in the summer of 2012 states that sustaining the continent’s rich waterfowl fauna has been an enduring conservation mission for over a century and the focus of the NAWMP for the last 26 years. That mission continues, but now the NAWMP is being expanded to include three goals that span the entire management enterprise:

  1. Abundant and resilient waterfowl populations to support hunting and other uses without imperiling habitat;
  2. Wetlands and related habitats sufficient to sustain waterfowl populations at desired levels, while providing places to recreate and ecological services that benefit society; and
  3. Growing numbers of waterfowl hunters, other conservationists and citizens who enjoy and actively support waterfowl and wetlands conservation.

The first two goals have always been part of the NAWMP. The third goal underscores the importance of people to the success of waterfowl and wetlands conservation.

The 2012 North American Waterfowl Management Plan is available at its website.

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Literature Cited

Abraham, K. F., R. L. Jefferies, R. F. Rockwell, and C. D. MacInnes. 1996. Why are there so many white geese in North America? Pages 79-92 in Proceedings of the 7th International Waterfowl Symposium, Memphis, TN. J. T. Ratti, ed.

Abraham, K. F., and R. L. Jefferies. 1997. High populations, causes, impacts and implications. Pages 7-72 in Batt, B. D. J. (editor). 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, Canada. 126 pp.

Abraham, K. F., R. L. Jefferies, R. T. Alisauskas, and R. F. Rockwell. 2012. Northern wetland ecosystems and their response to high densities of lesser snow geese and Ross’s geese. Pages 9-45 in Leafloor, J. O., T. J. Moser, and B. D. J. Batt (editors). Evaluation of special management measures for midcontinent lesser snow geese and Ross’s geese. Arctic Goose Joint Venture Special Publication. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C. and Canadian Wildlife Service, Ottawa, Ontario.

Alisauskas, R. T., K. L. Drake, S. M. Slattery, and D. K. Kellett. 2006a. Neckbands, harvest and survival of Ross’s geese from Canada’s central arctic. Journal of Wildlife Management 70:89-100.

Alisauskas, R. T., J. Charlwood, and D. K. Kellett. 2006b. Vegetation correlates of nesting history and density by Ross’s and lesser snow geese at Karrak Lake, Nunavut. Arctic 59:201–210.

Alisauskas, R. T., K. L. Drake, and J. D. Nichols. 2009. Filling a void: abundance estimation of North American populations of arctic geese using hunter recoveries. In D. L. Thomson, E. G. Cooch, and M. J. Conroy, editors. Modeling demographic processes in marked populations. Environmental and Ecological Statistics 3:463–489.

Alisauskas, R. T., R. F. Rockwell, K. W. Dufour, E. G. Cooch, G. Zimmerman, K. L. Drake, J. O. Leafloor, T. J. Moser, E. T. Reed. 2011. Harvest, survival, and abundance of midcontinent lesser snow geese relative to population reduction efforts. Wildlife Monographs 179:1-42.

Alisauskas, R. T., J. O. Leafloor, and D. K. Kellett. 2012. Population status of midcontinent Lesser Snow Geese and Ross’s Geese following special conservation measures. Pages 132-177 in Leafloor, J. O., T. J. Moser, and B. D. J. Batt (editors). Evaluation of special management measures for midcontinent lesser snow geese and Ross’s geese. Arctic Goose Joint Venture Special Publication. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C. and Canadian Wildlife Service, Ottawa, Ontario.

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, Environment Canada, Ottawa.

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, Environment Canada, Ottawa.

Calvert, A.M. and G. Gauthier. 2005. Effects of exceptional conservation measures on survival and seasonal hunting mortality in greater snow geese. Journal of Applied Ecology 42:442-252.

Caswell, J.H., A.D. Afton, and F.D. Caswell. 2003. Vulnerability of non-target goose species to hunting with electronic snow goose calls. Wildlife Society Bulletin 31(4):1117-1125.

Didiuk, A. B., R. T. Alisauskas, and R. F. Rockwell. 2001. Interaction with arctic and subarctic habitats. Pages 19–32 in T. Moser, editor. The status of Ross’s geese. Arctic Goose Joint Venture Special Publication. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C., USA, and Canadian Wildlife Service, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Dufour, K. W., R. T. Alisauskas, R. F. Rockwell, and E. T. Reed. 2012. Temporal variation in survival and productivity of midcontinent lesser snow geese and survival of Ross’s geese and its relation to population reduction efforts. Pages 95-131 in Leafloor, J. O., T. J. Moser, and B. D. J. Batt (eds.). Evaluation of special management measures for midcontinent lesser snow geese and Ross’s geese. Arctic Goose Joint Venture Special Publication. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C. and Canadian Wildlife Service, Ottawa, Ontario.

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.

Hines, J.E., P.B. Latour, and C.S. Machtans. 2010. The effects on lowland habitat, breeding shorebirds and songbirds in the Banks Island Migratory Bird Sancturay Number 1 by the growing colony of Lesser Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens caerulescens). Canadian Wildlife Service Occasional Paper No. 118. Environment Canada, Ottawa.

Kerbes, R. H. 1994. Colonies and numbers of Ross’ geese and lesser snow geese in the Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Canadian Wildlife Service Occasional Paper No. 81.

Kerbes, R. H., Meeres, K.M. and J.E. Hines (editors). 1999. Distribution, survival, and numbers of Lesser Snow Geese of the Western Canadian Arctic and Wragle Island, Russia. Canadian Wildlife Service Occasional Paper No. 98. Environment Canada, Ottawa.

Leafloor, J. O., T. J. Moser, and B. D. J. Batt (editors). 2012. Evaluation of special
management measures for midcontinent lesser snow geese and Ross’s geese. Arctic Goose Joint Venture Special Publication. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C. and Canadian Wildlife Service, Ottawa, Ontario.

Lefebvre, J. 2012. Population estimate for Spring Population of Greater Snow Goose in southern Quebec. Canadian Wildlife Service. Environment Canada. July 2012.

Melinchuk, R., and J. P. Ryder. 1980. The distribution, fall migration routes and survival of Ross’s geese. Wildfowl 31:161–171.

Moser, T. J. 2001. The status of Ross’s geese. Arctic Goose Joint Venture Special Publication. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C., USA, and Canadian Wildlife Service, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Moser, T. J., and D. C. Duncan. 2001. Harvest of Ross’s geese. Pages 43–54 in T. J. Moser, editor. The status of Ross’s geese. Arctic Goose Joint Venture Special Publication. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C., USA, and Canadian Wildlife Service, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

North American Waterfowl Management Plan, Plan Committee. 2012. North American Waterfowl Management Plan 2012: People Conserving Waterfowl and Wetlands. Canadian Wildlife Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales. 48 pp.

Reed, E. T., and A.M. Calvert (editors). 2007. Evaluation of special conservation measures for Greater Snow Geese: Report of the Greater Snow Goose Working Group. Arctic Goose Joint Venture Special Publication. Canadian Wildlife Service, Sainte-Foy, Quebec.

Rockwell, R. F., E. G. Cooch, and S. Brault. 1997. Dynamics of the midcontinent population of lesser snow geese - projected impacts of reductions in survival and fertility on population growth rates. Pages 73-100 in Batt, B. D. J. (editor). 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.

Ryder, J.P. and R.T. Alisauskas. 1995. Ross’ goose. Number 162 in A. Poole and F. Gill, editors. The Birds of North America. The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, and the American Ornithologists’ Union, Washington, D.C.

Samelius, G. and R.T. Alisauskas. 2009. Habitat alteration by geese at a large arctic goose colony: consequences for lemmings and voles. Canadian Journal of Zoology 87:95-101.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2012. Waterfowl population status, 2012. U.S.Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. USA.

Wildlife Habitat Canada. April 2012. News Letter - update on activities. 2 pp.

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Appendices

Appendix A. Special Conservation Measures for Fall 2012 and Spring 2013

Measures in Quebec Concerning Overabundant Species


Item
Column 1

Area
Column 2

Period during which Snow Geese may be killed
Column 3

Additional hunting method or equipment
1.District AMay 1 to June 30 and September 1 to December 10Recorded bird calls(d),(f)
2.District BSeptember 15 to December 29Recorded bird calls(d),(f)
3.Districts C and DMarch 1 to May 31(a), September 1 to September 14(a), and September 15 to December 29Recorded bird calls(d),(f)
4.District EMarch 1 to May 31(a), September 1 to September 14(a), and September 15 to December 29Recorded bird calls(d),(f); bait or bait crop area(e)
5.Districts FMarch 1 to May 31(a),(b),(c), September 6 to September 21(a), and September 22 to January 5Recorded bird calls(d),(f); bait or bait crop area(e)
6.District GSeptember 29 to December 26Recorded bird calls(d),(f)

(a) Hunting and hunting equipment are allowed only on farmland.
(b) In District F, no person shall hunt south of the St. Lawrence River and north of the road right-of-way of Route 132 between the western limit of Montmagny municipality and the eastern limit of Cap-Saint-Ignace municipality.
(c) In District F, on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, no person shall hunt north of the St. Lawrence River and south of a line located at 1000 m north of Highway 40 between Montée St-Laurent and the Maskinongé River. On the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, no person shall hunt south of the St. Lawrence River and north of the railroad right-of-way located near Route 132 between the Nicolet River in the east and Lacerte Road in the west.
(d) "Recorded bird calls" refers to bird calls of a species referred to in the heading of column 2.
(e) Hunting with bait or in a bait crop area is permitted if the Regional Director has given consent in writing pursuant to section 23.3.
(f) Snow Goose call recordings may be used, but if used with decoys, the decoys may only represent white or blue phase Snow Geese, or any combination of them.

Measures in Ontario Concerning Overabundant Species


Item
Column 1

Area
Column 2

Period during which Snow Geese may be killed
Column 3

Additional hunting method or equipment
1.Wildlife Management Unit 65March 1 to May 31(a)Recorded bird calls(b),(c)

(a) Hunting and hunting equipment are allowed only on farmland.
(b) “Recorded bird calls” refers to bird calls of a species referred to in the heading of column 2.
(c) Snow Goose call recordings may be used but, if used with decoys, the decoys may only represent white or blue phase Snow Geese, or any combination of them.

Measures in Manitoba Concerning Overabundant Species


Item
Column 1

Area
Column 2

Period during which Snow Geese may be killed
Column 3

Additional hunting method or equipment
1.Zone 1April 1 to June 15 and August 15 to August 31Recorded bird calls(a)
2.Zone 2April 1 to May 31Recorded bird calls(a)
3.Zone 3April 1 to May 31Recorded bird calls(a)
4.Zone 4April 1 to May 31Recorded bird calls(a)

(a) "Recorded bird calls" refers to bird calls of a species referred to in the heading of column 2.

Measures in Saskatchewan Concerning Overabundant Species


Item
Column 1

Area
Column 2

Period during which Snow Geese may be killed
Column 3

Additional hunting method or equipment
1.East of 106° W LongitudeApril 1 to May 31Recorded bird calls(a)
2.West of 106° W LongitudeApril 1 to April 30Recorded bird calls(a)

(a) "Recorded bird calls" refers to bird calls of a species referred to in the heading of column 2.

Measures in Nunavut Concerning Overabundant Species


Item
Column 1

Area
Column 2

Period during which Snow Geese may be killed
Column 3

Additional hunting method or equipment
1.Throughout
Nunavut
May 1 to June 30Recorded bird calls(a),(b)
2.Throughout
Nunavut
August 15 to August 31Recorded bird calls(a),(b)

(a) "Recorded bird calls" refers to bird calls of a species referred to in the heading of column 2.
(b) Snow Goose call recordings may be used but, if used with decoys, the decoys may only represent white phase Snow Geese or blue phase Snow Geese, or any combination of them.

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Appendix B. Objectives and Guidelines for the Establishment of National Regulations for Migratory Game Bird Hunting

(Revised June 1999 and updated December 2001 by the Canadian Wildlife Service Executive Committee)

A. Description of Regulations

The Migratory Birds Regulations are part of the regulations respecting the protection of migratory birds in general, as mandated by the Migratory Birds Convention. According to the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, the Governor in Council may make regulations providing for:

  1. The periods during which, or the geographic areas in which, migratory birds may be killed.

  2. The species and number of migratory game birds that a person may kill in any period when doing so is permitted by the regulation.

  3. The manner in which migratory game birds may be killed and the equipment that may be used.

  4. The periods in each year during which a person may have in possession migratory game birds killed during the season when the taking of such birds was legal, and the number of birds that may be possessed.

This document deals with these four aspects of regulation, although the Migratory Birds Regulations deal with other areas as well.

B. Guiding Principles

Guiding principles for migratory bird hunting regulations include those laid out in the Guidelines for Wildlife Policy in Canada as approved by the Wildlife Ministers at the Wildlife Ministers Conference, 30 September 1982. In particular, the most relevant principles are:

  1. The maintenance of viable natural wildlife stocks always takes precedence over their use.

  2. Canadians are temporary custodians, not the owners, of their wildlife heritage.

  3. Canadians are free to enjoy and use wildlife in Canada, subject to laws aimed at securing its sustainable enjoyment and use.

  4. The cost of management essential to preserving viable populations of wildlife should be borne by all Canadians; special management measures required to permit intensive uses should be supported by the users.

  5. Wildlife has intrinsic, social and economic values, but wildlife sometimes causes problems that require management.

  6. Conservation of wildlife relies upon a well-informed public.

C. Objectives of the Migratory Game Birds Hunting Regulations

  1. To provide an opportunity for Canadians to hunt migratory game birds, by establishing hunting seasons. Guidelines for hunting regulations are described in Section D. Briefly, regulations should be based on a number of features specific to the geographic area under consideration. Factors such as the timing of arrival and departure of migrating birds, the status of local breeding populations, fledging of local broods and completion of the moult of successfully breeding females, and other special issues such as the status of species, should be used to determine the most effective hunting regulations. Sometimes regulations may need to be based on the species of highest conservation concern.

  2. To manage the take of migratory game birds at levels compatible with the species’ ability to sustain healthy populations consistent with the available habitat throughout their range.

  3. To conserve the genetic diversity within migratory game bird populations.

  4. To provide hunting opportunity in various parts of Canada within the limits imposed by the abundance, migration and distribution patterns of migratory bird populations, and with due respect for the traditional use of the migratory game bird resource in Canada.

  5. To limit the accidental killing of a migratory game bird species requiring protection because of poor population status, where there is a reasonable possibility that a hunter might confuse that species with another for which there is an open season.

  6. To assist, at times and in specific locations, in the prevention of damage to natural habitat or depredation of agricultural crops by migratory game birds.

D. Guidelines for the Regulations on Migratory Game Bird Hunting

  1. Regulations shall be established according to the requirements of the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994.

  2. Regulations shall address the principles of Section B and the objectives of Section C.

  3. Unless needs dictate otherwise, hunting regulations will be changed as little as possible from year to year.

  4. Regulations should be simple and readily enforceable.

  5. Where a conflict arises between allocation of harvest among jurisdictions and the conservation of migratory game bird populations, the conservation objective shall take precedence.

  6. When uncertainty exists about the status of a migratory game bird population, a precautionary approach will be taken in establishing sustainable hunting regulations.

  7. Hunting regulations may not discriminate among Canadian hunters based on their province or territory of residence. This guideline does not preclude recognition of Aboriginal rights.

  8. Regulations should be consistent in jurisdictions where important concentration areas for staging waterfowl straddle borders.

  9. Where possible, regional, national and international harvest strategies will be developed among management agencies that share populations. Regulations will be designed to meet mutual targets for harvest, harvest rate or population size.

  10. Specific regulation changes will be developed through a process of co-management and public consultation with other interested groups and individuals.

  11. Hunting regulations should be consistent with terms of agreements in Aboriginal land claim settlements.

E. Regulatory Process

Regulations may be established each year in one of two ways: selection of a regulatory package from a pre-established set of possible packages, or through an annual regulatory consultation process.

Pre-established sets of regulatory alternatives:

Regulatory alternatives may be pre-established according to the guidelines outlined in section D, with the selection made in any year based on a predetermined set of conditions. For example, a set of three regulatory packages with decreasing harvest rates could be described: liberal, moderate and restrictive. The criteria for annual selection among the alternatives could be based on the results of population surveys. This method would reduce the time required to conduct the usual annual process, simplify the implementation of multi-jurisdictional harvest strategies, and increase the predictability of regulations.

Annual regulatory process:

The Minister of the Environment must be in a position to proceed with any changes to the Migratory Birds Regulations for the upcoming hunting season by early June. To ensure that the regulations are made with the best possible advice, a broad process of consultation must be carried out. Reports produced as part of this process may be obtained from Regional Directors, Canadian Wildlife Service, or the Director of Population and Conservation Management Division at the national office of the Canadian Wildlife Service.

  1. The Canadian Wildlife Service, national office, issues a status report on migratory game bird populations at the beginning of December. This report describes the biological information available to determine the status of each population.

  2. Regional officials (biologists and management) of the Canadian Wildlife Service and provincial and territorial wildlife officials will consult with non-governmental organizations and interested individuals on issues related to hunting regulations for the coming season. To ensure that all parties have access to the best possible biological information, the Population Status of Migratory Game Birds in Canada report may be used as an aid.

  3. The initial suggestions for regulation changes will be developed through regional consultation processes. These processes may vary among regions, but should include active participation by provincial and territorial wildlife agencies, wildlife co-management boards and affected stakeholders. The changes, with rationale and predicted effect (Section F) are described in a regulation report issued at the beginning of January from the national office entitled Proposals to Amend the Canadian Migratory Birds Regulations. This report allows inter-regional and international consideration of proposed changes.

  4. Public and organizational comments on the proposals outlined in the Proposals to Amend the Canadian Migratory Birds Regulations report should be sent to the appropriate Regional Director, or the Director of Population and Conservation Management Division at the national office of the Canadian Wildlife Service.

  5. Final regulation proposals, incorporating input from the consultations, are submitted from the Regional Directors to the Director of Wildlife Program Support Division at the national office of the Canadian Wildlife Service, by the end of February.

  6. The regulation proposals are moved, by the national office, through the regulatory process for consideration by the government beginning in June.

  7. Population surveys are carried out throughout the year. From time to time these surveys may show an unexpected change in migratory game bird populations that require a sudden revision to the national regulation proposals.

  8. The final regulations, as approved by the Governor-in-Council, are described in a report, entitled Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations in Canada, which is distributed to all involved parties in August. Each purchaser of a migratory game bird hunting permit receives a summary of the regulations for that province.

F. Items to Be Addressed in Regulatory Proposals

Proposals to change migratory game bird hunting regulations should address the following questions:

  1. What is the goal of the regulatory change?

  2. How does the change address the objectives and guidelines set out in this document?

  3. What is the predicted effect of the proposal? An analysis based on existing data sources should be included.

  4. How will the actual effect of the regulatory change be measured?

The proposals should be as concise as possible, while still including the required elements. A simplified rationale would apply for regulations that carry out previously negotiated harvest strategies and agreements.

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Appendix C. Migratory Birds Hunting Regulations Summaries by Province and Territory – Fall 2012 and Spring 2013

Summaries are available on the CWS national website.