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Proposal for a Tundra Swan Harvest

Discussion in 'Waterfowling' started by Buddy Boy, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. Buddy Boy

    Buddy Boy Well-Known Member

    Hello Everyone:

    I have enclosed a copy of my letter to Mr. J. Hughes regarding a proposal for a Tundra Swan recreational harvest in the Province of Ontario.

    My proposal should be able to be on the agenda for the next Ontario Waterfowl Advisory Committee meeting to be held during the third week of October.

    Individual letters of support for this proposal should be sent to Mr. J. Hughes as previously suggested with the proposal for a Mourning Dove harvest in the Province of Ontario.

    You may fax your letter to Mr. J. Hughes (1-613-949-8307).

    I thank you for your support with this proposal.

    Sincerely,

    Jerome Katchin, D.V.M.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    20 Balsam Trail, RR 1
    Port Rowan, Ontario
    N0E 1M0

    October 05, 2010

    Mr. J. Hughes
    Head of Population Management
    Canadian Wildlife Service
    Environment Canada
    335 River Road
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1A 0H3

    Re: Proposal for a Tundra Swan Recreational Harvest in the Province of Ontario

    Dear Mr. J. Hughes:

    Further to our telephone conversation of September 07, 2010 and my letter of September 28, 2010 I am writing to present a proposal for a Tundra Swan Recreational Harvest in the Province of Ontario.

    I had originally inquired about a Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus) harvest during a conversation with Mr. J. Sullivan (Enforcement Officer, Canadian Wildlife Service) at the Toronto Hunting Show about ten (10) years ago. He advised me that the current Tundra Swan population at that time could easily support a sustainable recreational harvest and that it was just a matter for the politicians to request such a harvest.

    I contacted Dr. S. Petrie (Executive Director, Long Point Waterfowl) earlier this year and Dr. D. Ankney (Chairperson, Scientific Advisory Committee, Long Point Waterfowl) more recently to seek their opinions regarding my proposal for a Tundra Swan Recreational Harvest in the Province of Ontario.

    They agreed that such a harvest is sustainable in the Province of Ontario and advised me that provisions for such a harvest are included within the Management Plan for the Eastern Population of Tundra Swans.

    However ... they also advised me that my proposal could invoke some strong public opposition.

    I have subsequently obtained additional information on Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) as well as Tundra Swans from Long Point Waterfowl and a copy of the Management Plan for the Eastern Population of Tundra Swans.

    A copy of the Executive Summary from the Management Plan for the Eastern Population of Tundra Swans is enclosed for your convenience.

    I would like to draw to your attention the section regarding the primary management goal:

    The primary management goal is to maintain EP tundra swans at a population level that will provide optimum resource benefits for society consistent with habitat availability and International treaties. The specific population objective is to maintain at least 80,000 EP tundra swans based on a 3-year average population index from the MWS in the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyways. This population objective will provide the level to satisfy public demand for enjoyment and use of this resource and the desire to maintain distributions of EP swans throughout their range as well as continue to support both subsistence and sport harvest.

    I would also like to draw your attention to the section regarding a recreational harvest:

    The harvest strategy contained herein has been modified from previous harvest strategies. Clear, unambiguous population thresholds have been developed for the allocation of permits, and a revised system for permit transfers within and among hunt zones and Flyways has been incorporated. The targeted maximum harvest rate for EP tundra swans is 10%, with recreational harvest at or below 5%.

    The rationale for a recreational harvest is clearly explained on page 10 of the Management Plan under Strategy C-2 of the Public Use Guidelines whereby it states "The tundra swan is a migratory game bird species, as are all members of the family Anatidae, and hunting of the species is provided for by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918". It further states "hunting is an important public use of EP tundra swans" in the United States and I believe that it should also be an important public use in Canada.

    One should note that there is already an annual subsistence harvest of the Eastern Population of Tundra Swans by the aboriginal people in Alaska and Canada accounting for approximately 5% of the population.

    Canada has been allocated 41% of the total recreational harvest (see page 27 of the Management Plan) under the permit distribution agreement with the United States.

    However ... since there is currently no recreational harvest of the Eastern Population of Tundra Swans in Canada all of the 9600 permits (based upon a 50% permit success rate) currently available are distributed solely within the United States. In other words ... they are benefiting both economically and recreationally from our inaction and disuse of a renewable natural resource.

    Incidentally ... the actual permit success rate is about 37% in the United States.

    Considering that the current Eastern Population of Tundra Swans is approximately 100,000 (25% over the Management Plan of 80,000) I believe that the time is right to move forward with my proposal for a Tundra Swan Recreational Harvest in the Province of Ontario.

    I recognize that there is a one (1) year lead time for new season requests and that the request to the Flyway Councils must be made in July prior to the initiation of the new season. I also recognize that this will probably be a long process but one that will be worth it at the end.

    In closing ... I did have an opportunity to speak with Dr. J. Leafloor (Biologist, Canadian Wildlife Service) in Winnipeg after we talked and he advised me that Mr. J. Ingram (Head of Population Management, Canadian Wildlife Service) is currently acting for Mr. D. Caswell as a member of the Ad Hoc Eastern Population Tundra Swan Committee.

    I would like to thank you again for your words of encouragement for me to present my proposal and for your due consideration and support of my proposal.

    Sincerely,




    J. Katchin, D.V.M.

    c.c.

    Dr. S. Petrie, Executive Director, Long Point Waterfowl
    Dr. D. Ankney, Chairperson, Scientific Advisory Committee, Long Point Waterfowl
    Dr. J. Leafloor, Biologist, Canadian Wildlife Service
    Mr. J. Ingram, Acting Member, Ad Hoc Eastern Population Tundra Swan Committee
    Dr. R. Bailey, Vice President Policy for Canada, Delta Waterfowl Foundation

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    The Eastern Population (EP) of tundra swans has been managed under a joint four flyway management plan first developed and implemented in 1982. A harvest strategy for the EP was subsequently adopted in 1988. The last revision and incorporation of these documents occurred in 1998. The 1998 plan established population objectives based upon the Atlantic Flyway Mid-Winter Survey (MWS) and identified a number of key research and data gaps needed for the continued management of this population.

    Since 1998, a number of research projects have cast light upon some of the uncertainties identified in the 1998 plan. However, a number of new questions, particularly surrounding the use and accuracy of mid-winter counts as a population metric have also arisen. This updated plan incorporates this new information and sets a path forward for continued accumulation of knowledge for the continental management of EP tundra swans.

    The primary management goal is to maintain EP tundra swans at a population level that will provide optimum resource benefits for society consistent with habitat availability and International treaties. The specific population objective is to maintain at least 80,000 EP tundra swans based on a 3-year average population index from the MWS in the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyways. This population objective will provide the level to satisfy public demand for enjoyment and use of this resource and the desire to maintain distributions of EP swans throughout their range as well as continue to support both subsistence and sport harvest.

    Inclusion of Mississippi Flyway MWS data is a change from the previous plan where only Atlantic Flyway data were considered. The addition of Mississippi Flyway MWS data is thought to provide a more complete dataset on which to monitor population trends. Despite the addition of Mississippi Flyway MWS numbers, no change to the population objective is deemed necessary at this time.

    Protection of breeding, staging, and wintering habitat is critical to the long-term maintenance of EP tundra swans. Recent research projects have identified key staging locations whose protection is vital towards continued EP tundra swan population stability. Threats to both breeding and wintering grounds continue to increase. Several strategies and tasks have been identified to address these needs. Similarly, development of a breeding population index, or better enumeration of wintering numbers is an important need. Further refinement of a population model that will better inform management is another identified need.

    The harvest strategy contained herein has been modified from previous harvest strategies. Clear, unambiguous population thresholds have been developed for the allocation of permits, and a revised system for permit transfers within and among hunt zones and Flyways has been incorporated. The targeted maximum harvest rate for EP tundra swans is 10%, with recreational harvest at or below 5%.

    This plan and the harvest strategy should be reviewed and revised as needed at no longer than 5-year intervals.
     
  2. sonnyuphi

    sonnyuphi Well-Known Member

    Another great idea Jerome ! I have emailed a letter of support to Jack Hughes already .
    How's the new place coming and the new boat?Drop by on the weekend ,I will be around the Unit to hunt Saturday afternoon and thinking of going out Sunday.
     
  3. Buddy Boy

    Buddy Boy Well-Known Member

    Hello Sonny,

    Thanks for the support.

    I think that a Tundra Swan hunt would really be a big draw to the Long Point area and the Crown Marsh that the LPWA is trying to promote.

    We installed the hydro yesterday and I talked to the boat builder earlier this week to go over the details again ... construction starts next week.

    I am holding off on the delivery until the house is completed.

    Jerome
     
  4. Buddy Boy

    Buddy Boy Well-Known Member

    Hello Everyone:

    I am reporting back on my proposal for a Tundra Swan recreational harvest in Ontario which was discussed at the last Ontario Waterfowl Advisory Committee (OWAC) meeting.

    I have received a copy of the minutes from the OWAC meeting and it would appear that there is a lack of support for this proposal at this time.

    I would suggest that anyone interested in a Tundra Swan recreational harvest should still submit a letter of support (if they have not already done so) to ensure that this proposal is at least discussed further.

    I have pledged substantial financial support to cover the costs of studying this proposal further.

    Thanks again.

    Jerome Katchin, D.V.M.
     

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