Posts Tagged 'Parks Canada'

Humane treatment

Point Pelee National Park cormorant cull done for another year.

The 2010 cull, which spanned four weeks, saw the elimination of 3,627 cormorants. There will be a nest count in June.

“Our focus needs to be on nest reduction,” said Stranak.

The method of shooting the adult breeding male and female cormorants during nest establishment and prior to chick hatching, prevents them from re-nesting and also spares the young from starving or being preyed upon.

“Our guidelines and methods for the cull are monitored very closely by the Animal Care Task Force and several other agencies,” said Stranak.

In fact, an OSPCA officer from the Humane Society observed the cull two years ago and had no concerns about the humane treatment of the wildlife.

Bear death

Parks Canada study finds 94 per cent of black bear deaths in mountain national parks are caused by humans.

Nigel Douglas of the Alberta Wilderness Association said the findings are alarming and raise concerns about the Parks Canada plan to boost visits 20 per cent over the next decade.

“They will get more and more visits and more and more traffic, and presumably more and more mortalities,” he said. “The parks have to find a balance between managing for wildlife and managing for people.”

Canadian bear expert Stephen Herrero said the report outlines “an ethical situation that is both sad and ironic” because it shows that parks are not a safe refuge for bears.

“There’s hardly a black bear that dies in a national park of natural causes,” he said.

Moose cull

Parks Canada plans to kill about 4,000 moose in Newfoundland.

The island’s moose are believed to be descended from only four animals that were introduced to the western side of island in 1904 to supplement the dwindling caribou herd.

Today, the density of the population in some areas is the highest in the world.

Lucy Stoyles, a city councillor in Mount Pearl, says she would like to see the cull extended, mainly because collisions with moose represent a hazard on Newfoundland’s highways.

“I think that it’s great they’re doing that cull,” she said. “But they have to look at more than just the parks.”

Elk rescue

Parks Canada staff free elk caught in Banff swingset.

“We were able to successfully immobilize the elk and we cut the chains to release it,” said resource management specialist Ron LeBlanc.

An elk getting caught in swings is a rarity but the animals have been known to rub their antlers against playground equipment.

The last time an elk was in a similar situation was over a decade ago when one was caught while being attacked by another elk.

“We’re going to talk to the town about the possibility of removing the swings in certain areas during certain seasons,” LeBlanc said, noting the winter and fall rut are times when they could be removed.

Track kill

Parks Canada and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. work to reduce grizzly-train collisions in Rocky Mountains.

A Parks Canada report done in May notes at least 63 bears, mainly females, have died in the mountain parks between 1990 and 2008. The vast majority of the deaths were related to interaction with humans. Railways are listed as the main cause.

The biggest problem is in Banff National Park, where the number of deaths of independent female grizzlies has exceeded Parks Canada targets for the past seven years.

Why are so many bears dying on the tracks? Experts say that one of the main reasons is grain spilled from bulging hopper cars en route to Vancouver from Prairie farms.

Spills of wheat, corn, peas and other grains are irresistible to the hungry omnivores, described as walking stomachs with noses.


@AIC

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