Vol. 145, No. 13 — June 22, 2011

Registration

SOR/2011-120 June 9, 2011

MIGRATORY BIRDS CONVENTION ACT, 1994

ARCHIVED — Regulations Amending the Migratory Birds Regulations

P.C. 2011-608 June 9, 2011

His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, pursuant to subsection 12(1) (see footnote a) of the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 (see footnote b), hereby makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Migratory Birds Regulations.

REGULATIONS AMENDING THE MIGRATORY BIRDS REGULATIONS

AMENDMENTS

1. (1) The heading “Ducks (Other Than Harlequin Ducks and Eiders), Geese and Snipe” of column 2 of Table II.1 of Part I of Schedule I to the English version of the Migratory Birds Regulations (see footnote 1) is replaced by “Ducks (Other Than Mergansers, Harlequin Ducks, Eiders and Scoters)”.

(2) The heading “Mergansers, Scoters and Eiders” of column 3 of Table II.1 of Part I of Schedule I to the Regulations is replaced by “Mergansers, Eiders and Scoters”.

2. The heading “TABLE I.1” before the heading “BAG AND POSSESSION LIMITS IN PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND” after Table I of Part II of Schedule I to the English version of the Regulations is replaced by “TABLE II”.

3. The portion of items 2 to 4 of Table I of Part V of Schedule I to the Regulations in column 7 is replaced by the following:

Article

Column 7
Woodcock

2.

For a period of 107 days beginning on September 11 if that day is a Saturday or, if not, on the nearest Saturday that is before or after September 11

3.

For a period of 107 days beginning on September 18 if that day is a Saturday or, if not, on the nearest Saturday that is before or after September 18

4.

For a period of 107 days beginning on September 18 if that day is a Saturday or, if not, on the nearest Saturday that is before or after September 18

4. Notes (c) and (d) to Table I of Part V of Schedule I to the English version of the Regulations are replaced by the following:

  1. (c) In District E, the open season for Barrow’s and Common Goldeneyes closes on October 21 in Provincial Hunting Zone No. 21 and 100 m beyond this zone. In District F, the open season for Barrow’s and Common Goldeneyes closes on October 21 between Pointe Jureux (Saint-Irénée) and the Gros Cap à l’Aigle (Saint-Fidèle) from routes 362 and 138 to 2 km within Provincial Hunting Zone No. 21.
    (d) In District F, hunting for Coots and Moorhens is allowed during Waterfowler Heritage Day.

5. (1) Paragraphs 3(b) and (c) after Table I of Part V of Schedule I to the Regulations are replaced by the following:

  1. (b) Portage:
  2. In the Gulf of St. Lawrence (at approximate latitude 47°37′15″N and approximate longitude 61°29′30″W):
  3. a part of Îles-de-la-Madeleine together with the waters included within the limit described as follows:
  4. Commencing at the intersection of the ordinary high-water mark of Baie Clarke with a plumb line originating from the centre of the bridge of Pointe de l’Est at its northwesterly end; thence southwesterly in a straight line (in Havre de la Grande Entrée) to a point situated 200 m from the ordinary high-water mark and on the extension southeasterly of the most easterly limit of lot 20-23-3 of the Cadastre of the Île Coffin; thence northwesterly following that extension line and easterly limit to its northerly end; thence northwesterly following the easterly limits of lots 20-23-3, 20-23-2, 20-23-1 and its extension in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to a point situated 200 m measured at right angle to the ordinary high-water mark of that Gulf; thence easterly following a line at 200 m from that water mark to a point situated 2 000 m in a straight line from that point; thence southerly in a straight line to the intersection of the westerly bank of an unnamed creek with the ordinary high-water mark of Baie Clarke (at approximate latitude 47°37′10″N and approximate longitude 61°28′25″W); thence southwesterly following that water mark to the point of commencement;
  5. (c) Havre aux Basques:
  6. In the municipalities of l’Étang-du-Nord and l’Île-du-Havre-Aubert; being a part of Îles-de-la-Madeleine, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, comprising a part of Île du Cap aux Meules and a part of Île-du-Havre-Aubert, a parcel of land described as follows:
  7. Commencing at a northwestern point at approximate latitude 47º19′12″N and approximate longitude 61º57′41″W; thence southwesterly along the ordinary high-water mark of the Gulf of St. Lawrence to a southwestern point 47º17′56″N and 61º58′43″W; thence easterly in a straight line to a southeastern point at approximate latitude of 47º18′11″N and approximate longitude 61º56′33″W; thence northerly, along the ordinary high-water mark of Baie de Plaisance to a northeastern point at approximate latitude 47º18′59″N and approximate longitude 61º56′09″W; thence westerly in a straight line to the point of commencement ; together with a zone extending 200 m easterly from the ordinary high-water mark of Baie de Plaisance and a zone extending 200 m westerly from the ordinary high-water mark of the Gulf of St. Lawrence; the northern and southern limits of said zones being an extension of the northerly boundary between the northeastern and northwestern points previously described and the extension of the southerly boundary between the southeastern and southwestern points previously described; the eastern and western limits of said zones being lines parallel to the ordinary high-water marks of Baie de Plaisance and the Gulf of St. Lawrence;

(2) Paragraphs 3(e) and (f) after Table I of Part V of Schedule I to the Regulations are replaced by the following:

  1. (e) Lac St-Pierre (Nicolet):
  2. This sector is located in the St. Lawrence River to the northwest of the National Defence property near the town of Nicolet, Province of Quebec. It includes open water and marshes inside a line between the battery #5 (46°13′30″N and 72°40′5″W) and the Longue Pointe called OP-6 (46°10′39″N and 72°45′16″W) on the National Defence property, to the limit of the Nicolet Migratory Bird Sanctuary; and
  3. (f) Cap-Saint-Ignace:
  4. This sector is located in the St. Lawrence River near the town of Cap-Saint-Ignace, Province of Quebec, at approximate latitude 47°02′15″N and approximate longitude 70°29′10″W. This sector includes the waters of the marshes between the high-water mark and the low-water mark starting from the western limit of the Cap-Saint-Ignace Migratory Bird Sanctuary, going west for a distance of about 400 m up to the eastern limit of lot 244 near the sawmill.

6. Item 2 of Table II of Part V of Schedule I to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

Article

Column 1


Limit

Column 2


Ducks

Column 3
Geese (Other Than Snow Geese)

Column 4

Snow Geese

Column 5

Coots and Moorhens

Column 6


Woodcock

Column 7


Snipe

2.

Possession

18 (a), (b), (c), (f)

20

60

12

24

30

7. Note (c) to Table II of Part V of Schedule I to the French version of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  1. c) Il est permis de prendre au plus un Garrot d’Islande ou une Sarcelle à ailes bleues et d’en posséder deux.

8. The portion of item 1 of Table I of Part VI of Schedule I to the French version of the Regulations in column 1 is replaced by the following:

Article

Colonne 1
Région

1.

District de la Baie d’Hudson et de la Baie James

9. The portion of item 4 of Table I of Part VI of Schedule I to the Regulations in columns 2 and 3 is replaced by the following:

Item

Column 2
Ducks (Other Than Harlequin Ducks), Rails (Other Than Yellow Rails and King Rails), Moorhens, Coots, Snipe and Geese (Other Than Canada Geese and Cackling Geese)

Column 3


Canada Geese and Cackling Geese

4.

For a period of 107 days beginning on the fourth Saturday of September (c), (d)

For a period of 11 days beginning on the first Thursday after Labour Day (e)

For a period of 11 days beginning on the first Thursday after Labour Day except for any Sunday within this period (f), (g)

For a period of 96 days beginning on the fourth Saturday of September (e)

For a period of 106 days beginning on the fourth Saturday of September except for any Sunday within this period (f), (g)

For a period of eight days beginning on the fourth Saturday of February except for any Sunday within this period (f), (g), (h)

10. Notes (d) to (f) to Table I of Part VI of Schedule I to the Regulations are replaced by the following:

  1. (d) In Wildlife Management Unit 65 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.
    (e) In municipalities where Sunday gun hunting is permitted by provincial regulations.
    (f) In municipalities where Sunday gun hunting is not permitted by provincial regulations.

11. Paragraph 4(c) after Table I of Part VI of Schedule I to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  1. (c) the northeasterly portion of Lake St. Clair that is bounded by a line extending northwest (approximately 315 degrees) from the south bank of the mouth of the Thames River in the County of Essex to the International Boundary between Canada and the United States and thence northeasterly following the International Boundary line to the intersection with the southwesterly shore of Seaway Island, the portion of Rondeau Bay on Lake Erie in the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, and the portion of Long Point Bay on Lake Erie that lies westerly of a line extending from the confluence of the waters of Lake Erie with the waters of Cottage Creek across the most westerly extremity of Whitefish Bar Island to the intersection with the southerly shore of Turkey Point, each of those portions being situated beyond 300 m from the shore or a natural rush bed or a water line that forms a boundary of private property;

12. Part VI of Schedule I to the Regulations is amended by adding the following before Table II:

TABLE I.1

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 65

March 1 to May 31 (a)

Recorded bird calls (b), (c)

  1. (a) Hunting and hunting equipment are allowed only on farmland.
  2. (b) “Recorded bird calls” refers to bird calls of a species referred to in the heading of column 2.
  3. (c) 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.

13. Table II of Part VI of Schedule I to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

TABLE II

BAG AND POSSESSION LIMITS IN ONTARIO

Item

Column 1

Limit

Column 2
Ducks (Other Than Harlequin Ducks)

Column 3
Canada Geese and Cackling Geese

Column 4
White-fronted Geese and Brant

1.

Daily Bag

6 (a), (b)

5 (c), (d), (e), (f), (g)

5

2.

Possession

18 (a), (b)

24

15


Item

Column 5
Snow Geese

Column 6
Rails (Other Than Yellow Rails and King Rails), and Snipe

Column 7

Moorhens

Column 8
Woodcock and Coots

1.

20

10

4

8

2.

60

30

12

24

  1. (a) Not more than one American Black Duck may be taken daily and not more than three American Black Ducks may be possessed in Central District and Southern District and not more than two American Black Ducks may be taken daily and not more than six American Black Ducks may be possessed in Hudson-James Bay District and Northern District.
  2. (b) Not more than one Barrow’s Goldeneye may be taken daily and not more than three Barrow’s Goldeneye may be possessed.
  3. (c) A total of not more than three Canada Geese or Cackling Geese, or any combination of them, may be taken daily in that portion of Wildlife Management Unit 1D in Hudson-James Bay District and in Wildlife Management Units 23 to 31 inclusive and 37 to 41 inclusive in the period beginning on September 10 and ending on December 16.
  4. (d) A total of not more than two Canada Geese or Cackling Geese, or any combination of them, may be taken daily in Wildlife Management Unit 94 in the period beginning on the fourth Saturday in September and ending on the last day of the open season.
  5. (e) A total of not more than three Canada Geese or Cackling Geese, or any combination of them, may be taken daily in Wildlife Management Units 82 to 86 inclusive and 93 in the period beginning on the fourth Saturday of September and ending on October 31.
  6. (f) A total of five additional Canada Geese or Cackling Geese, or any combination of them, may be taken daily in Wildlife Management Units 36 and 45 in the period beginning on September 1 and ending on September 9; in Wildlife Management Units 42 to 44 inclusive and 46 to 59 inclusive in the period beginning on the day after Labour Day and ending on the Friday preceding the third Saturday of September; in Wildlife Management Units 60 to 81 inclusive, 87 to 92 inclusive and 95 in the 11-day period beginning on the first Thursday after Labour Day; and in municipalities where Sunday gun hunting is not permitted in Wildlife Management Units 60 to 81 inclusive and 87 to 92 inclusive in the eight-day period beginning on the fourth Saturday of February.
  7. (g) A total of three additional Canada Geese or Cackling Geese, or any combination of them, may be taken daily in Wildlife Management Units 82 to 86 inclusive, 93 and 94 in the 11-day period beginning on the first Thursday after Labour Day and in municipalities where Sunday gun hunting is not permitted in Wildlife Management Units 82 to 86 inclusive and 93 in the eight-day period beginning on the fourth Saturday in February.

14. Table I of Part VII of Schedule I to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

TABLE I

OPEN SEASONS IN MANITOBA

Item

Column 1

Area

Column 2

Ducks and Geese

Column 3
Ducks, Geese, Coots and Snipe RESIDENTS OF CANADA

1.

Game Bird Hunting Zone 1

N/A

September 1 to October 31 (a)

2.

Game Bird Hunting Zone 2

September 1 to 7 (Waterfowler Heritage Days)

September 8 to November 30 (a)

3.

Game Bird Hunting Zone 3

September 1 to 7 (Waterfowler Heritage Days)

September 8 to November 30 (a)

4.

Game Bird Hunting Zone 4

September 1 to 7 (Waterfowler Heritage Days)

September 8 to November 30 (a)


Item

Column 4
Ducks, Canada Geese, Cackling Geese, Coots and Snipe NON-RESIDENTS OF CANADA

Column 5
Sandhill Cranes RESIDENTS OF CANADA AND NON-RESIDENTS OF CANADA

Column 6
Snow and Ross’s Geese NON-RESIDENTS OF CANADA

1.

September 1 to October 31 (a)

September 1 to November 30

September 1 to October 31 (a)

2.

September 8 to November 30 (a)

September 1 to November 30

September 8 to November 30 (a)

3.

September 24 to November 30 (a)

September 1 to November 30

September 17 to November 30 (a)

4.

September 24 to November 30 (a)

September 1 to November 30

September 17 to November 30 (a)

  1. (a) 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.

15. The portion of items 1 to 4 of Table I.2 of Part VII of Schedule I to the Regulations in column 1 is replaced by the following:

Item

Column 1
Area

1.

Game Bird Hunting Zone 1

2.

Game Bird Hunting Zone 2

3.

Game Bird Hunting Zone 3

4.

Game Bird Hunting Zone 4

16. (1) Paragraph 1(b) after Table I.2 of Part VII of Schedule I to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  1. (b) “Game Bird Hunting Zone 2” means that portion of the Province of Manitoba lying between Game Bird Hunting Zone 1 and the following described line: commencing at the intersection of the boundary between Manitoba and Saskatchewan and the 53rd parallel of north latitude; thence easterly along said parallel to the east shore of Lake Winnipegosis; thence southeasterly following the sinuosities of the shoreline of said lake to the northern limit of Township 43; thence easterly along the northern limit of said township to the boundary between Manitoba and Ontario;

(2) Paragraph 1(c) after Table I.2 of Part VII of Schedule I to the French version of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  1. c) « Zone no 3 de chasse aux oiseaux considérés comme gibier » désigne la partie de la province du Manitoba sise entre la Zone no 2 de chasse aux oiseaux considérés comme gibier et la Zone no 4 de chasse aux oiseaux considérés comme gibier;

(3) Paragraphs 1(e) and (f) after Table I.2 of Part VII of Schedule I to the Regulations are repealed.

17. Section 2 after Table I.2 of Part VII of Schedule I to the French version of the Regulations is amended by replacing “zone no 4 de chasse aux oiseaux considérés comme gibier ” with “Zone no 4 de chasse aux oiseaux considérés comme gibier ”.

18. The headings of columns 5 and 6 of Table II of Part VII of Schedule I to the English version of the Regulations are replaced by the following:

Column 5

Column 6

Dark Geese (Canada, Cackling and White-fronted Geese and Brant)
RESIDENTS OF CANADA

Dark Geese (Canada, Cackling and White-fronted Geese and Brant)
NON-RESIDENTS OF CANADA

19. Notes (a) to (d) to Table II of Part VII of Schedule I to the Regulations are amended by replacing “Zone 4” with “Game Bird Hunting Zone 4”.

20. The heading “Oies foncées (Bernaches du Canada, Bernaches du Hutchins et Oies rieuses) NON-RÉSIDENTS DU CANADA ” of column V of Table I of Part VIII of Schedule l to the French version of the Regulations is replaced by “Oies foncées (Bernaches du Canada, Bernaches de Hutchins et Oies rieuses) NON-RÉSIDENTS DU CANADA ”.

21. Section 3 after Table I of Part VIII of Schedule I to the French version of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

3. Dans la présente partie, la saison de chasse aux oies et aux bernaches, pour les résidents et les non-résidents du Canada, dans le District no 2 (sud) et les zones provinciales de gestion de la faune 43, 47 à 59 inclusivement et 67 à 69 inclusivement du District no 1 (nord), ne comprend que la période de chaque jour allant d’une demi-heure avant le lever du soleil jusqu’à midi, heure locale, du 1er septembre au 14 octobre. À compter du 15 octobre, les oies et bernaches peuvent y être chassées à partir d’une demi-heure avant le lever du soleil jusqu’à une demi-heure après le coucher du soleil, sauf à l’est du 106e degré de longitude ouest où, à compter du 1er septembre, les oies pâles (Oies des neiges et Oies de Ross) peuvent être chassées à partir d’une demi-heure avant le lever du soleil jusqu’à une demi-heure après le coucher du soleil. Note : il est interdit de chasser dans la Réserve nationale de faune du lac Last Mountain jusqu’au 20 septembre.

22. Table II of Part VIII of Schedule I to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

TABLE II

BAG AND POSSESSION LIMITS IN SASKATCHEWAN

Item

Column 1

Limit

Column 2

Ducks

Column 3
White Geese (Snow and Ross’s Geese)

Column 4
Dark Geese Canada, Cackling and White-fronted Geese)

1.

Daily Bag

8 (a)

20

8 (c)

2.

Possession

24 (b)

60

24 (d)


Item

Column 5
Sandhill Cranes

Column 6
Coots

Column 7
Snipe

1.

5

10

10

2.

15

30

30

  1. (a) Not more than three may be Northern Pintails.
  2. (b) Not more than nine may be Northern Pintails.
  3. (c) For residents of Canada, not more than five may be White-fronted Geese. For non-residents of Canada, not more than four may be White-fronted Geese.
  4. (d) For residents of Canada, not more than 15 may be White-fronted Geese. For non-residents of Canada, not more than 12 may be White-fronted Geese.

23. Notes (c) and (d) to Table II of Part IX of Schedule I to the Regulations are replaced by the following:

  1. (c) For residents of Canada, not more than five may be White-fronted Geese. For non-residents of Canada, not more than four may be White-fronted Geese.
  2. (d) For residents of Canada, not more than 15 may be White-fronted Geese. For non-residents of Canada, not more than 12 may be White-fronted Geese.

24. Notes (a) and (b) to Table II of Part XII of Schedule I to the French version of the Regulations are replaced by the following:

  1. a) Sauf que dix-sept canards additionnels peuvent être pris par jour, sans maximum d’oiseaux à posséder, dans le Nord du territoire du Yukon.
  2. b) Sauf que dix oies et bernaches additionnelles peuvent être prises par jour, sans maximum d’oiseaux à posséder, dans le Nord du territoire du Yukon.

25. Note (c) to Table II of Part XII of Schedule I to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  1. (c) Except that in the Central Yukon Territory and Northern Yukon Territory 25 rails and coots may be taken per day, with no possession limit.

26. Note (d) to Table II of Part XII of Schedule I to the French version of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  1. d) Sauf que dans le Nord du territoire du Yukon il n’y a pas de limite d’oiseaux à posséder.

COMING INTO FORCE

27. These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Issue and objectives

The purpose of these amendments to Schedule I of the Migratory Birds Regulations (MBR) is to change hunting season dates for certain species for the 2011/2012 hunting season and to set daily bag limits and possession limits for migratory game birds. These amendments will ensure the sustainable harvest of migratory game bird populations. The amendment also extends to southeastern Ontario the existing spring special conservation season in place in Quebec regarding Snow Geese. This will provide additional opportunity to reduce the size of overabundant Snow Goose populations.

The hunting of migratory game birds is regulated in both Canada and the United States. Each country shares a commitment to work together to conserve migratory game bird populations throughout North America. In 1916, the United Kingdom, on behalf of Canada, and the United States signed the Migratory Birds Convention, which is implemented in Canada by the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994. The objective and purpose of the Convention, the Act and the Regulations made pursuant to the Act is the conservation of migratory birds. For migratory game birds, this is accomplished, in part, by protecting them during their nesting season and when travelling to and from their breeding grounds through the establishment of annual hunting season dates, daily bag limits, and possession limits.

The hunting of migratory birds is restricted to a period not exceeding three and a half months, commencing no earlier than mid-August (and in most cases beginning September 1st), and ending no later than March 10th of the following year. Within these limits, seasons are shortened to protect populations where there is concern over declining numbers. In other cases, seasons are lengthened to permit increased harvest of growing populations. Daily bag and possession limits can also be changed as necessary to manage the impact of hunting on migratory game bird populations. Every year population data describing the status of migratory game birds in Canada is gathered by Environment Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service Waterfowl Committee, published in the Migratory Birds Regulatory Reports Series, (see footnote 2) and used to develop amendments to the Migratory Birds Regulations in consultation with the provinces and territories and the government of the United States of America.

Description and rationale

Overabundant Snow Goose

Snow Goose populations have increased to the point where they have been designated as overabundant. Comprehensive reports entitled Arctic Ecosystems in Peril — Report of the Arctic Goose Habitat Working Group (see footnote 3) and The Greater Snow Goose — Report of the Arctic Goose Habitat Working Group (see footnote 4) demonstrated that the geese, increasing at a minimum rate of 5% per annum, are causing significant crop damage and negatively affecting staging and Arctic breeding habitats. In an effort to reverse population growth of Snow Geese, an amendment made to the Migratory Birds Regulations in 1999 created special conservation measures to protect other species’ habitat against the overabundance of Snow Geese in spring in Quebec and Manitoba. During this time hunters were encouraged to take overabundant species for conservation reasons and subject to specific controls, the use of special methods and equipment such as electronic calls and bait. At the same time, the number of days permitted for hunting during the fall hunting seasons has been maximized and very liberal daily bag and possession limits for Snow Geese continue to be recommended. These special conservation measures were extended to Saskatchewan and Nunavut in 2001.

This regulatory amendment implements special conservation measures during the regular hunting season and extends the spring special conservation season for overabundant Snow Geese in place in Quebec into southeastern Ontario beginning in March 2012. Eastern Ontario is at the western limit of the spring migration range of Snow Geese. These measures will provide additional opportunity to reduce the population size of this overabundant species of Snow Geese in order to protect the habitat of other species. The special measures are limited to Wildlife Management Unit 65, (see footnote 5) which is adjacent to the Quebec border and where recent surveys have shown that approximately 5–10% of the Snow Goose population now stages during the spring. (see footnote 6) The special conservation measures are similar to those in place in Quebec and include (a) a spring season from March 1 to May 31, (b) the use of recorded snow goose calls during spring and fall, and (c) increased bag and possession limits in spring and fall from 10 and 40 to 20 and 60 respectively. Hunting will be allowed only on farmland and baiting will be prohibited.

Sandhill Cranes

The amendment permits hunting of Sandhill Cranes in Game Bird Hunting Zone 1 and presently closed portions of Game Bird Hunting Zone 2, both in northern Manitoba for residents and non-residents of Canada. (see footnote 7) Outfitter associations in Manitoba have asked that hunters be able to hunt Sandhill Cranes in Northern Manitoba while they are there to hunt waterfowl. Only a small number of people reside or travel to hunt in northern Manitoba, and the annual Sandhill Crane harvest in Manitoba has historically been small. Therefore, the amendment is expected to have negligible effect on Sandhill Crane harvest. Hunting is already permitted in the rest of the province. This amendment will provide hunters with opportunities to harvest Sandhill Cranes in northern Manitoba.

Canada Geese

This amendment permits an early Canada Goose season in part of South Walsingham Township, Norfolk County, Ontario. This change would harmonize 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 have caused a variety of conflicts with humans. (see footnote 8) Canada Geese damage grass and other plants, compress or erode soil in urban parks, golf courses and other green spaces. Goose droppings foul footpaths, docks, beaches and private lawns, and may contribute to contamination of nearby water with parasites and coliform bacteria. In agricultural lands, they can cause serious damages to crops. Increasing harvest of Canada Geese is expected to contribute to reducing conflicts. This measure would help to maintain the population at a desired level.

Canvasbacks and Redheads

This regulatory amendment increases the daily bag and possession limit for Canvasbacks and Redheads in Ontario (current daily bag limit of 4 and possession limit of 12). This change would harmonize the daily bag limit with the adjacent province, Quebec, and increase 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 goal. (see footnote 9) This proposal would increase hunting opportunity in Ontario and result in a minor increase in overall harvest.

Increase bag limit for White-fronted Geese

The Mid-continent White-fronted Goose Management plan is revised every five years in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments in Canada, as well as local and national governments in the United States, 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, (see footnote 10) 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. Thus, this amendment modifies the bag limit in Saskatchewan (increases 4 to 5 for Canadian residents, and from 3 to 4 for non-residents) and in Alberta (no change — stays at 5 for Canadian residents, and increases from 3 to 4 for non-residents). This amendment also harmonizes the daily bag limits for White-fronted Geese in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Increase possession limit to three times the bag limit

This amendment increases, in Quebec, the possession limit from two times the daily bag limit to three times the daily bag limit for all species of migratory game birds that do not already have a possession limit equal to or higher than three times the daily bag limit (except for Black Duck, Blue winged Teal, Barrow’s Goldeneye). This amendment 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, after as few as two days. This change is expected to have little effect on harvests of waterfowl. It is unlikely that possession limits currently restrict harvest to a significant degree, because (1) under the Regulations, successful hunters have the option of giving birds away in order to continue hunting, and (2) previous experience (e.g. for Canada/Cackling Geese in Manitoba) suggests that increasing possession limits will not affect overall harvest. In short, this change 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. Effects of this change will be evaluated by continuing to monitor hunter numbers and harvests of migratory game birds. Similar measures were put in place in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario in 2010.

Administrative amendments

There are two administrative amendments to clarify: (1) boundaries of the Havre aux Basques no-hunting zone in Quebec and (2) the extent of the hunting restriction in Lake St. Clair in Ontario. Also, a number of other administrative amendments, corrections, and clarifications were made to ensure consistency between the English and French Regulations.

Benefits

The control of hunting season dates and the number of migratory game birds that may be taken and possessed during those dates help to ensure migratory game bird populations are maintained. These conservation measures are necessary to meet Canada’s international obligations under the Migratory Birds Convention, 1916. They also address Canada’s obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity to ensure that species are not jeopardized by over-hunting.

These amendments also help to ensure that a sustained yield of direct and indirect economic benefits will continue to accrue to Canadians at a very low cost. These benefits to Canadians result from both hunting and non-hunting uses of migratory birds. The economic benefits of hunting are considerable. According to estimates based on the 2000 Environment Canada document, The Importance of Nature to Canadians, the total value of all activities associated with migratory birds contributes $527 million dollars in direct annual benefits to the Canadian economy. Of that total, about $94.4 million was attributed solely to the value associated with hunting of migratory game birds. Furthermore, Wildlife Habitat Canada estimated in 2000 that over the preceding 15 years, Canadian migratory bird hunters contributed $335 million and 14 million hours of volunteer work to habitat conservation for migratory game birds. This work benefits non-game species as well.

Consultation

The Canadian Wildlife Service of Environment Canada has formalized the consultation process used each year to determine hunting season dates and the number of migratory game birds that may be taken and possessed during those dates.

The consultation process for the 2011/12 season began in November 2010 when biological information on the status of all migratory game bird populations was presented for discussion in the annual report Population Status of Migratory Game Birds in Canada — November 2010. Based on the discussions, regulatory proposals were developed jointly by the Canadian Wildlife Service and the provinces and territories. The proposals were described in detail in the report Proposals to amend the Canadian Migratory Birds Regulations — December 2010. These two consultation documents are available at www.ec.gc.ca/rcom-mbhr/ default.asp?lang=En&n=0EA37FB2-1.

As well as being posted on the Internet, the reports were distributed directly to federal biologists in Canada, the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean, Greenland and St. Pierre and Miquelon, provincial and territorial biologists, migratory game bird hunters and Aboriginal groups. The documents were also distributed to non-government organizations, including the Canadian Wildlife Federation and its provincial affiliates, Canadian Nature Federation, World Wildlife Fund, Nature Conservancy of Canada, Ducks Unlimited and the Delta Waterfowl Research Station. No comments or concerns were raised in response to the publication and distribution of these consultation documents. Furthermore, no concerns were raised in response to these proposals throughout the consultation process.

A Notice of Intent was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on January 22, 2011, indicating that Environment Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service is proposing to modify the Migratory Birds Regulations in accordance with the proposals outlined in the report Proposals to amend the Canadian Migratory Birds Regulations — December 2010. Public comment was requested before February 28, 2011. No comments were received during this period.

Biologists from Environment Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service met with their provincial and territorial counterparts in technical committees from October 2010 through February 2011 to discuss new information on the status of migratory game bird populations and, where necessary, to revise the proposals for regulatory changes. The work of the technical committees, as well as information received from migratory game bird hunters and non-government organizations, led to the development of these specific regulatory amendments. The current set of amendments represents the consensus reached over the proposals outlined in the Proposals to amend the Canadian Migratory Birds Regulations — December 2010.

Individual hunters play an important role in the annual adjustment of these regulations. Hunters provide information about their hunting, particularly the species and numbers of migratory game birds taken, through their participation in the National Harvest Survey and the Species Composition Survey. These surveys are carried out each year by means of mail-in questionnaires that are sent to selected purchasers of the federal Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit. Through the cooperation of hunters who provide this information each year, Canada has among the best information on the activities of migratory game bird hunters available anywhere in the world.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

Under the Migratory Birds Convention Act,1994, a person may receive a $300,000 maximum fine and/or up to six months in jail for summary conviction offences and a $1,000,000 maximum fine and/or up to three years in jail for indictable offences. There are provisions for increasing fines for a continuing or subsequent offence. Enforcement officers also have the discretion to issue tickets for some minor offences.

Enforcement officers of Environment Canada and provincial and territorial conservation officers enforce the Migratory Birds Regulations by, for example, inspecting hunting areas, checking hunters for hunting permits, inspecting hunting equipment and the number of migratory game birds taken and possessed.

Contact

Mary Taylor
Director
Conservation Service Delivery and Permitting
Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H3
Telephone: 819-953-9097

Footnote a
S.C. 2005, c. 23, s. 8

Footnote b
S.C. 1994, c. 22

Footnote 1
C.R.C., c. 1035

Footnote 2
www.ec.gc.ca/rcom-mbhr/default.asp?lang=en&n=762C28AB-1

Footnote 3
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.

Footnote 4
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.

Footnote 5
www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/FW/2ColumnSubPage/256933.html

Footnote 6
Canadian Wildlife Service. Unpublished data.

Footnote 7
www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/wildlife/hunting/biggame/ghai.html

Footnote 8
Environment Canada. Canadian Wildlife Service. 2010. Handbook, Canada and Cackling Geese Management and Population Control in Southern Canada. 20 pp.

Footnote 9
Canadian Wildlife Service Waterfowl Committee. 2010. Population Status of Migratory Game Birds in Canada: November 2010. CWS Migratory Birds Regulatory Report Number 31. Environment Canada. Ottawa. 95 pp.

Footnote 10
Canada Wildlife Service. Unpublished data.