Please Help Stem the Moose Decline In Ontario
Moose are in trouble. They have declined by 20% in the last decade in Ontario. Neighboring moose populations in Manitoba and Minnesota have been decimated to the point where hunting has been curtailed or halted altogether. While these developments are alarming, we have an opportunity in Ontario to protect moose before the situation becomes worse.
The underlying threats to moose may be driven by climate change, but excessive hunting pressure and poaching are immediate concerns that can decrease moose populations. While the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF) have recently reduced tag allocations and changed hunting seasons, we do not think that these measures go far enough.
Ontario has the most lax restrictions on calf hunting in North America. There is a lottery for bulls and cows which is more tightly controlled. But in most areas if you buy a moose license, you can shoot a calf. This practice can have much more negative impacts on populations than it was originally thought. It needs to stop.
In addition, OMNRF staffing levels have decreased by 40% since the 1990s. For example, it is estimated that we may need 3-4 times more conservation officers to detect all illegally killed moose. The province needs to provide the funding to enable OMNRF to get to the bottom of moose decline and halt it.
To make things worse, moose are running out of space to escape hunting pressure and poaching. Logging roads and easy hunter access are constantly expanding, thanks to a subsidy from the Ontario government. Moose need enough roadless space to get a break from hunters.
It is crucial that the provincial government hears from Ontarians on this issue today. OMNRF is currently collecting information from winter surveys and compiling data from last fall’s hunt in order to determine the rules for next year’s hunt. Your voice will be most effective if it reaches the Government by March 1st!
Take action now!
Please write a short letter indicating your concern about this important issue.
We have provided a draft letter below for you to use, but it is much more powerful if you personalize it. You can use our recommendations to help you draft your letter.
CPAWS Wildlands League is calling for the Ontario Government to: - End the hunting of moose calves- Increase the funding for science, monitoring and enforcement; and,- Create Moose Refuge Areas that are roadless.
Your message will be sent to:
Hon. Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry
Forward any feedback you receive from OMNRF to [email protected]