ARCHIVED — Vol. 146, No. 13 — June 20, 2012

Registration

SOR/2012-110 June 1, 2012

MIGRATORY BIRDS CONVENTION ACT, 1994

Regulations Amending the Migratory Birds Regulations

P.C. 2012-741 May 31, 2012

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. Note (b) of Table I.1 of Part Ⅰ of Schedule I to the Migratory Birds Regulations (see footnote 1) is replaced by the following:

  • (b) Not more than eight may be American Black Ducks and not more than one may be Barrow’s Goldeneye.

2. Note (b) of Table II.1 of Part Ⅰ of Schedule I to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (b) Not more than one may be Barrow’s Goldeneye.

3. Note (b) of Table II of Part Ⅱ of Schedule I to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (b) Not more than eight may be Mallard-American Black Duck hybrids or American Black Ducks and not more than one may be Barrow’s Goldeneye.

4. Table I of Part Ⅲ of Schedule I to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

TABLE I

OPEN SEASONS IN NOVA SCOTIA

Item

Column 1












Area

Column 2








Ducks
(Other Than Harlequin Ducks) and Geese

Column 3

Ducks (Other Than Harlequin Ducks, Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, Eiders, Scoters, Goldeneyes and Buffleheads)

Column 4




Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, Eiders, Scoters, Goldeneyes and Buffleheads

Column 5












Geese

Column 6











Woodcock and Snipe

1.

Zone
No. 1

Third Saturday of September (Waterfowler Heritage Day)

October 1 to December 31

October 1 to December 31

For a period of 15 days beginning on the day after Labour Day

October 1 to November 30

October 1 to December 31

2.

Zone No. 2

Third Saturday of September (Waterfowler Heritage Day)

October 22 to January 15

October 8 to January 15

For a period of 21 days beginning on the day after Labour Day

October 1 to November 30

October 22 to January 15

3.

Zone No. 3

Third Saturday of September (Waterfowler Heritage Day)

October 22 to January 15

October 8 to January 15

For a period of 21 days beginning on the day after Labour Day

October 1 to November 30

October 22 to January 15

5. Note (b) of Table II of Part Ⅲ of Schedule I to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (b) Not more than eight may be American Black Ducks and not more than one may be Barrow’s Goldeneye.

6. Notes (e) and (f) of Table II of Part Ⅲ of Schedule I to the Regulations are replaced by the following:

  • (e) In Zone No. 1, not more than a total of three additional Canada Geese or Cackling Geese, or any combination of them, may be taken daily during the period beginning on the day after Labour Day and ending 15 days after that day and not more than a total of six additional Canada Geese or Cackling Geese, or any combination of them, may be possessed during the period beginning on the day after Labour Day and ending on September 30.

    (f) In Zone No. 2 and Zone No. 3, not more than a total of three additional Canada Geese or Cackling Geese, or any combination of them, may be taken daily during the period beginning on the day after Labour Day and ending 21 days after that day and not more than a total of six additional Canada Geese or Cackling Geese, or any combination of them, may be possessed during the period beginning on the day after Labour Day and ending on September 30.

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

Item

Column 4

Canada Geese and Cackling Geese

1.

For the period beginning on the day after Labour Day and ending on the Tuesday preceding the last Saturday in September

 

October 15 to January 4

2.

For the period beginning on the day after Labour Day and ending on the Tuesday preceding the last Saturday in September

 

October 1 to December 18

8. Note (a) of Table I of Part ⅠV of Schedule I to the Regulations is repealed.

9. Note (b) of Table II of Part ⅠV of Schedule I to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (b) Not more than six may be American Black Ducks and not more than one may be Barrow’s Goldeneye.

10. Note (e) of Table II of Part ⅠV of Schedule I to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (e) Not more than a total of three additional Canada Geese or Cackling Geese, or any combination of them, may be taken daily during the period beginning on the day after Labour Day and ending on the Tuesday preceding the last Saturday in September and not more than a total of six additional Canada Geese or Cackling Geese, or any combination of them, may be possessed during the period beginning on the day after Labour Day and ending on September 30.

11. The portion of Table II of Part V of Schedule I to the Regulations before the notes is replaced by the following:

TABLE II

BAG AND POSSESSION LIMITS IN QUEBEC

Item

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

1.

Daily Bag

6 (a), (b), (c), (d), (g)

5 (e), (g)

20 (g)

4 (g)

8 (f), (g)

10 (g)

2.

Possession

18 (a), (b), (c), (g)

20

60

12

24

30

12. Notes (c) to (e) of Table II of Part V of Schedule I to the Regulations are replaced by the following:

  • (c) Not more than one Blue-winged Teal may be taken daily, with a possession limit of two.

    (d) Not more than one Barrow’s Goldeneye may be taken daily, with a possession limit of one.

    (e)  Not more than a total of 10 Canada Geese or Cackling Geese, or any combination of them, may be taken daily during the per-
    iod beginning on September 1 and ending on September 25.

    (f) For non-residents of Canada, not more than four Woodcock may be taken daily.

    (g) Not more than a total of three birds may be taken or possessed during Waterfowler Heritage Days with the additional species restrictions described in notes (b) to (d) applying within the total.

13. The portion of Table I of Part VI of Schedule I to the Regulations before the notes is replaced by the following:

TABLE I

OPEN SEASONS IN ONTARIO

Item

Column 1
















Area

Column 2








Ducks (Other Than Harlequin Ducks), Rails (Other Than Yellow Rails and King Rails), Moorhens, Coots, Snipe and Geese

Column 3

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 4














Canada Geese and Cackling Geese

Column 5
















Woodcock

1.

Hudson–James Bay District

First Saturday
of September (Waterfowler Heritage Day)

September 1 to December 16

September 1 to December 16

September 1 to December 15

2.

Northern District

First Saturday
of September (Waterfowler Heritage Day)

September 10 to December 24 (a)

September 1 to December 16

September 15 to December 15

3.

Central District

Second Saturday of September (Waterfowler Heritage Day)

For a period of 106 days beginning on the third Saturday of September (b)

For a period of 107 days beginning on the day after Labour Day

September 20 to December 20

4.

Southern District

Third Saturday
of September (Waterfowler Heritage Day)

For a period of 106 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)

September 25 to December 20

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)

14. The portion of item 2 of Table II of Part VI of Schedule I to the Regulations in column 3 is replaced by the following:

Item

Column 3

Canada Geese and Cackling Geese

2.

30

15. Note (b) of Table II of Part VI of Schedule I to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (b) Not more than one Barrow’s Goldeneye may be taken daily and not more than one Barrow’s Goldeneye may be possessed.

16. Note (e) of Table II of Part VI of Schedule I to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (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, 84, 85 and 93 during the period beginning on the fourth Saturday of September and ending on October 31.

17. 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

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

Column 7


American Woodcock RESIDENTS OF CANADA AND NON-RESIDENTS OF CANADA

1.

Game Bird Hunting Zone 1

N/A

September 1 to October 31 (a)

September 1 to October 31 (a)

September 1 to November 30

September 1 to October 31 (a)

N/A

2.

Game Bird Hunting Zone 2

September 1 to
September 7 (Waterfowler Heritage Days)

September 8 to November 30 (a)

September 8 to November 30 (a)

September 1 to November 30

September 8 to November 30 (a)

N/A

3.

Game Bird Hunting Zone 3

September 1 to
September 7 (Waterfowler Heritage Days)

September 8 to November 30 (a)

September 24 to November 30 (a)

September 1 to November 30

September 17 to November 30 (a)

September 8 to November 30

4.

Game Bird Hunting Zone 4

September 1 to
September 7 (Waterfowler Heritage Days)

September 8 to November 30 (a)

September 24 to November 30 (a)

September 1 to November 30

September 17 to November 30 (a)

September 8 to November 30

(a) Snow Goose call recordings may be used.

18. Table I.2 of Part VII of Schedule I to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

TABLE I.2

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.

Game Bird
Hunting Zone 1

April 1 to June 15 and
August 15 to August 31

Recorded bird calls (a)

2.

Game Bird
Hunting Zone 2

April 1 to May 31

Recorded bird calls (a)

3.

Game Bird
Hunting Zone 3

April 1 to May 31

Recorded bird calls (a)

4.

Game Bird
Hunting Zone 4

April 1 to May 31

Recorded bird calls (a)

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

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

TABLE II

BAG AND POSSESSION LIMITS IN MANITOBA

Item

Column 1





Limit

Column 2



Ducks RESIDENTS OF CANADA

Column 3



Ducks NON-RESIDENTS OF CANADA

Column 4

White Geese (Snow and Ross’s Geese)

Column 5

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

1.

Daily Bag

8

8 (a)

20

8

2.

Possession

24

24 (b)

80

24


Item

Column 6

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

Column 7







Sandhill Cranes

Column 8








Coots

Column 9








Snipe

Column 10






Woodcock RESIDENTS
OF CANADA

Column 11





Woodcock
NON-RESIDENTS OF CANADA

1.

5

5

8

10

8

4

2.

15

15

24

30

24

12

  • (a) In Game Bird Hunting Zone 4 for non-residents, a total of not more than four may be Redheads or Canvasbacks.

  • (b) In Game Bird Hunting Zone 4 for non-residents, a total of not more than 12 may be Redheads or Canvasbacks.

20. The portion of items 1 and 2 of Table I of Part VIII of Schedule I to the Regulations in columns III and IV is replaced by the following:

Item

Column III

Geese
RESIDENTS OF CANADA

Column IV

White Geese (Snow and Ross’s Geese)
NON-RESIDENTS OF CANADA

1.

September 1 to December 16 (b)

September 1 to December 16 (b)

2.

September 1 to December 16 (b)

September 1 to December 16 (b)

21. Note (b) of Table I of Part VIII of Schedule I to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (b) Snow Goose call recordings may be used.

22. Note (d) of Table I of Part VIII of Schedule I to the Regulations is repealed.

23. Table I.2 of Part VIII of Schedule I to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

TABLE I.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 longitude

April 1 to May 31

Recorded bird calls (a)

2.

West of 106°W longitude

April 1 to April 30

Recorded bird calls (a)

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

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

  • (a) Not more than four may be Northern Pintails.

  • (b) Not more than 12 may be Northern Pintails.

25. The heading “White Geese (Snow and Ross’s Geese) (b)” of column 3 of Table I of Part ⅠX of Schedule I to the Regulations is replaced by “White Geese (Snow and Ross’s Geese) (a)”.

26. The portion of item 1 of Table I of Part ⅠX of Schedule I to the Regulations in column 1 is replaced by the following:

Item

Column 1

Area

1.

Zone No. 1

27. The portion of items 1 to 8 of Table I of Part ⅠX of Schedule I to the Regulations in column 5 is replaced by the following:

Item

Column 5

Waterfowler Heritage Days

1.

First weekend in September

2.

First weekend in September

3.

First weekend in September

4.

First weekend in September

5.

First weekend in September

6.

First weekend in September

7.

First weekend in September

8.

First weekend in September

28. Notes (a) and (b) of Table I of Part ⅠX of Schedule I to the Regulations are replaced by the following:

  • (a) Snow Goose call recordings may be used.

29. Table I of Part X of Schedule I to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

TABLE I

OPEN SEASONS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

Item

Column 1


District

Column 2


Ducks and Geese

Column 3

Ducks, Coots
and Snipe

Column 4

Snow and
Ross’s Geese

1.

No. 1

Weekend before Thanksgiving weekend (Waterfowler Heritage Days)

For a period of 105 days beginning on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend

For a period of 105 days beginning on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend

2.

No. 2

Weekend before Thanksgiving weekend (e), (f) (Waterfowler Heritage Days)

For a period of 105 days beginning on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend (c), (e)

For a period of 86 days beginning on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend (e)

For the period of 19 days ending on March 10 (e)

3.

No. 3

First Saturday and Sunday in September that fall together (Waterfowler Heritage Days)

September 10 to December 23

September 10 to December 23

4.

No. 4

First Saturday and Sunday in September that fall together (Waterfowler Heritage Days)

September 10 to December 23

September 10 to December 23

5.

No. 5

Weekend before September 15 (Waterfowler Heritage Days)

September 15 to December 25

September 15 to December 25

6.

No. 6

First Saturday and Sunday in September that fall together (Waterfowler Heritage Days)

September 1 to November 30 except during Waterfowler Heritage Days (j)


October 1 to January 13 (k)

September 1 to November 30 except during Waterfowler Heritage Days (j)

October 1 to January 13 (k)

7.

No. 7

September 1 and 2 (l) (Waterfowler Heritage Days)

September 3 to November 30 (l)

September 3 to November 30 (l)

   

Second Saturday and Sunday in September that fall together (m) (Waterfowler Heritage Days)

September 1 to November 30 except during Waterfowler Heritage Days (m)

September 1 to November 30 except during Waterfowler Heritage Days (m)

8.

No. 8

First Saturday and Sunday in September that fall together (Waterfowler Heritage Days)

September 12 to December 25

September 12 to December 25


Item

Column 5


Other Geese

Column 6


Brant

Column 7

Band-tailed Pigeons

Column 8

Mourning Doves

1.

For a period of 105 days beginning on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend (a)

For a period of nine days beginning on the first Saturday of September (b), (c), (d)

For a period of 44 days beginning on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend (b), (c), (d)

For a period of 23 days beginning on the third Saturday of December (b), (c), (d)

For the period of 29 days ending on March 10 (b), (c), (d)

No open season

September 15 to September 30

No open season

2.

For a period of 105 days beginning on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend (e), (g)

For a period of nine days beginning on the first Saturday of September (c), (d), (e)

For a period of 44 days beginning on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend (c), (d), (e)

For a period of 23 days beginning on the third Saturday of December (c), (d), (e)

For the period of 29 days ending on March 10 (c), (d), (e)

March 1 to March 10 (c), (h)

September 15 to September 30 (e)

No open season

3.

September 10 to December 23 (g)

September 10 to September 20 (d)

October 1 to December 23 (d)

No open season

September 15 to September 30 (i)

September 1 to September 30

4.

September 10 to December 23

No open season

No open season

September 1 to September 30

5.

September 15 to December 25

No open season

No open season

No open season

6.

September 1 to November 30 except during Waterfowler Heritage Days (j)

October 1 to January 13 (k)

No open season

No open season

No open season

7.

September 3 to November 30 (l)

September 1 to November 30 except during Waterfowler Heritage Days (m)

No open season

No open season

No open season

8.

September 12 to December 25 (g)

September 20 to November 28 (d)

December 20 to January 5 (d)

February 21 to March 10 (d)

No open season

No open season

September 1 to September 30

  • (a) Provincial Management Units 1-1 to 1-15 inclusive for White-fronted Geese only and Provincial Management Units 1-3 and 1-8 to 1-15 inclusive for Canada Geese and Cackling Geese only.

  • (b) Provincial Management Units 1-1, 1-2 and 1-4 to 1-7 inclusive.

  • (c) See provincial regulations for local restrictions.

  • (d) Provincial Management Units 2-2 to 2-19 inclusive.

  • (f) Excluding Brant.

  • (g) For White-fronted Geese only.

  • (h) Provincial Management Unit 2-4 only.

  • (i) Provincial Management Units 3-13 to 3-17 inclusive.

  • (j) Provincial Management Units 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 to 6-10 inclusive and 6-15 to 6-30 inclusive.

  • (k) Provincial Management Units 6-3 and 6-11 to 6-14 inclusive.

  • (l) Provincial Management Units 7-19 to 7-22 inclusive, 7-31 to 7-36 inclusive and 7-42 to 7-58 inclusive.

  • (m) Provincial Management Units 7-2 to 7-18 inclusive, 7-23 to 7-30 inclusive and 7-37 to 7-41 inclusive.

30. Table II of Part X of Schedule I to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

TABLE II

BAG AND POSSESSION LIMITS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

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)

Column 5






Brant

Column 6




Coots and Snipe

Column 7

Band-tailed Pigeons
and Mourning Doves

1.

Daily Bag

8 (a), (c), (e), (g)

5 (i)

5 (k), 10 (l)

2 (m)

10

5

2.

Possession

24 (b), (d), (f), (h)

15 (j)

15 (k), 30 (l)

6 (m)

30

15

  • (a) Not more than four may be Northern Pintails.

  • (b) Not more than 12 may be Northern Pintails.

  • (c) Not more than four may be Canvasbacks.

  • (d) Not more than 12 may be Canvasbacks.

  • (e) Not more than two may be Goldeneyes.

  • (f) Not more than six may be Goldeneyes.

  • (g) Not more than two may be Harlequin Ducks.

  • (h) Not more than six may be Harlequin Ducks.

  • (i) In Provincial Management Units 2-4 and 2-5 only, a total of 10 White Geese including not more than five Ross’s Geese may be taken daily.

  • (j) In Provincial Management Units 2-4 and 2-5 only, a total of 30 White Geese including not more than 15 Ross’s Geese may be possessed.

  • (k) For White-fronted Geese only.

  • (l) Any combination of Canada Geese and Cackling Geese.

  • (m) Provincial Management Unit 2-4 only.

31. The portion of item 1 of Table I.2 of Part XIII of Schedule I to the Regulations in column 2 is replaced by the following:

Item

Column 2

Period during which Snow Geese may be killed

1.

May 1 — June 30

COMING INTO FORCE

32. 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 (Regulations) is to change hunting season dates and set daily bag limits and possession limits as well as make other related modifications for certain species of migratory game birds for the 2012–13 hunting season. These amendments will ensure the sustainable harvest of migratory game bird 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 (Convention), which is implemented in Canada under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 (Act). 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 1) and ending no later than March 10 of the following year. Within these limits, seasons are shortened to protect populations in geographic areas where there is concern over declining numbers. In other areas, 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. The regulations vary across districts or zones within each province or territory. Information regarding the geographic location of the districts or zones can be found in the regulation summary for each province or territory, posted on the Environment Canada Web site at www.ec.gc.ca/rcom-mbhr/default.asp?lang=En&n=8FAC341C-1. The districts or zones are based on the geographical units the provinces and territories use to manage wildlife. Information on the provincial management units is available from the provincial or territorial governments.

Description and rationale

Every year, population data describing the status of migratory game birds in Canada is gathered by the Waterfowl Committee of Environment Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service, 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. This year’s amendments are as follows:

Special conservation season for overabundant Snow Geese

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) demonstrate 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, use 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 season 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.

In 2007, a study was undertaken to evaluate the success of the special conservation measures. (see footnote 5) The measures appeared to have stopped the population growth, but have not resulted in a significant reduction of the population size. A separate evaluation of the special conservation measures for the mid-continent population of Lesser Snow Geese was completed in 2011 by a team of American and Canadian scientists. (see footnote 6) The results of the evaluation showed that the special measures have resulted in an increase in the number of Lesser Snow Geese harvested. However, while these measures may have slightly reduced the population growth, they have not been successful in reducing the overall population size. It also appeared that the size of the population had been underestimated. Both studies recommended that the special conservation measures continue and be increased if possible.

Extending the spring conservation season in Manitoba

This regulatory amendment extends the spring special conservation season for overabundant Snow Geese by 15 days (previously closed on May 31 but will now close on June 15) in Game Bird Hunting Zone 1 in Manitoba. In recent years, large numbers of Snow Geese have remained in coastal parts of northern Manitoba into June. This measure would provide additional opportunity to manage this overabundant species and contribute to reducing the growth of the population through hunting, particularly in late spring.

Extending the spring conservation season in Nunavut

This amendment also extends the spring special conservation season for overabundant Snow Geese in Nunavut by 23 days (the season previously closed on June 7; it will now close on June 30) in order to allow additional hunting opportunities for non-Aboriginal people and to align with strategies to reduce the population growth of Snow Geese. The amendment also ensures consistency with the special conservation season in northern Quebec.

Waterfowler Heritage Days

Waterfowler Heritage Days provide young hunters under the age of majority with an opportunity to practise hunting and outdoor skills, learn about wildlife conservation and reinforce safety training in a structured, supervised environment before the season opens for other hunters. They are currently in effect in the provinces of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia and some parts of Alberta.

Introducing a Waterfowler Heritage Day in Ontario

This amendment introduces a Waterfowler Heritage Day in all districts in Ontario. One day will be removed from the end of the regular hunting season in the Southern, Central and Northern Hunting Districts to allow for the Waterfowler Heritage Day. No change in season length is required in the Hudson-James Bay Hunting District because the Waterfowler Heritage Day will occur during the hunting season.

Extending the Waterfowler Heritage Days in all hunting zones in Alberta

Alberta does not currently have a province-wide, youth-focussed initiative promoting the heritage of waterfowl hunting. This amendment extends the Waterfowler Heritage Days currently in effect in Game Bird Hunting Zones 5, 6 and 7 to all remaining Alberta Game Bird Hunting Zones (Zones 1 to 4 and 8).

Decoy use when hunting Snow Geese

Decoy restrictions were implemented in the early 2000s in the prairie provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta) due to concern regarding the potential vulnerability of Canada Geese to electronic Snow Goose recordings. Snow Goose call recordings were permitted, but, if used with decoys, only decoys representing white or blue phase Snow Geese, or any combination of them, were permitted. However, research (see footnote 7) has since shown that Canada Geese are less vulnerable to electronic recordings of Snow Geese than to traditional hunting methods. Removal of this restriction in the prairie provinces would allow hunters to target both Canada and Snow Geese during the same hunt, which would provide additional opportunity to manage overabundant Snow Geese through hunting. Therefore, this amendment lifts the restrictions regarding the types of decoys used when using call recordings for Snow Geese in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Season dates for Sea Ducks and other ducks in Nova Scotia

In response to long-standing requests from the Nova Scotia Federation of Anglers and Hunters over the past several years, this amendment delays the hunting season dates in order to align better the hunting season with the maximum presence of ducks. In Zones 2 and 3, the hunting season dates will be delayed by two weeks (opening October 22, 2012) for ducks, other than Harlequin Ducks, Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, Eiders, Scoters, Goldeneyes and Buffleheads. This will result in a delay in the closing date by a similar time interval (closing January 15, 2013).

In Zones 2 and 3, this amendment also establishes a season opening date of October 8, 2012, for Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, Eiders, Scoters, Goldeneyes and Buffleheads. This would also result in a one-week delay in the closing date (January 15, 2013).

This amendment also delays the opening date for geese in Zones 2 and 3 by two weeks (to October 22, 2012). Season closure dates for geese in these zones would remain the same (January 15, 2013).

These changes in timing continue to provide the maximum number of hunting days allowed under the Migratory Birds Convention Act for these species, would result in consistent closing dates for geese and ducks in Zones 2 and 3 and could achieve a slight reduction in harvest pressure on migrant stocks of North Atlantic Population Canada Geese harvested in Nova Scotia. Based on analysis of existing harvest survey data, these changes are not expected to increase harvest appreciably, but should satisfy hunter requests for later duck hunting seasons in Nova Scotia.

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 and 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 damage to crops. Increasing the harvest of Canada Geese is expected to contribute to reducing conflicts with humans.

Farmland-only restriction in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia

Previously, hunting geese in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick had been permitted only on farmland during the early September hunting season. To address concerns from hunter associations and allow for an increase in harvest opportunity in areas where farmland is limited, this amendment lifts the restrictions in all zones within these provinces regarding hunting geese only on farmland.

Possession limit restrictions in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick

Under the current regulation in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, at midnight on the last day of the early hunting season in September the possession limit of six additional birds is no longer allowed. In order to allow hunters adequate opportunity to use geese legally harvested during the early season, this amendment modifies the possession limit restrictions by allowing the additional geese harvested during the September hunting season to be possessed until the end of September.

Season dates in Nova Scotia

In Nova Scotia, this amendment extends the early Canada Goose hunting season to allow additional harvest opportunity. In 2012, this would result in an early hunting season in Zone 1 to be open from September 4 through 18 inclusive, and in Zones 2 and 3 to be open from September 4 through 24 inclusive. These changes are expected to allow an increase in harvest pressure on temperate-breeding Canada Geese, a stock of geese that continues to experience an increase in population size.

Season dates in New Brunswick

In New Brunswick, increased harvest pressure will be accomplished by extending the early season for Canada Geese as well as Cackling Geese in Zones 1 and 2 by four days. While allowing this additional harvest opportunity for temperate-breeding Canada Geese, the amendment will continue to afford an appropriate level of protection to migrant Canada Geese breeding in Newfoundland and Labrador that pass through New Brunswick later in autumn.

Daily bag limits and possession limits in Ontario

In Ontario, this amendment increases the possession limit for Canada Geese and Cackling Geese from 24 to 30 in all hunting districts. This change would harmonize Canada Goose and Cackling Goose possession limits with other harvested migratory game bird species at three times the maximum daily bag limit.

The amendment also lifts the restriction on the daily bag limit for Canada Geese or Cackling Geese in southwestern Ontario (Wildlife Management Units [WMUs] 83 and 86). Restrictions on the daily bag limit for Canada Geese in these WMUs were originally established to prevent overharvest of the Southern James Bay Population (SJBP) of Canada Geese. Past analysis of data based on the recovery of migratory game bird leg bands had indicated that significant numbers of SJBP Canada Geese were harvested in WMUs 83 and 86, and as a result, this population required additional conservative measures. More recent band recovery data has shown that very few SJBP Canada Geese are harvested in those areas, and the number of temperate-breeding Canada Geese now make up the majority of the harvest. This change also harmonizes 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. Daily bag limit restrictions remain unchanged for WMUs 82, 84, 85, 93 and 94.

Daily bag limits in British Columbia

In British Columbia, the amendment increases the daily bag limit for Canada Geese from 5 birds daily to 10 birds daily. This initiative supports the management objectives of increasing sports harvest to control the increasing population of Canada Geese, providing assistance to jurisdictions with nuisance birds and assisting with crop depredation problems.

Season dates in British Columbia

In British Columbia, this amendment also standardizes season dates for Canada Geese in Provincial Management Units 2 and 3. The Canada Goose seasons will be standardized in all of Provincial Region 2 except Provincial Management Unit 2-11, which parallels the seasons in Provincial Region 3. The main objective of the proposal is to alleviate Canada Goose conflicts within Region 2 and to simplify regulatory tables for Region 2 where, in previous years, three different seasons were offered across Provincial Management Units. The amendment also standardizes all of Region 3 to alleviate Canada Goose conflicts within Region 3 and simplify Region 3 Canada Goose regulations where, in previous years, two different seasons were offered across Provincial Management Units.

Barrow’s Goldeneye — Eastern population

This amendment decreases possession limits for the eastern population of Barrow’s Goldeneye in all provinces where the species is hunted. Barrow’s Goldeneye is listed on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act as a species of special concern. Although hunting is permitted for species of special concern, this change provides an additional measure of protection. In Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec, the possession limit is being decreased from two to one, and in Ontario, it is being decreased from three to one. The current daily bag limit of one bird per day in each of these provinces allows for the accidental harvest of this species.

American Woodcock

Establishing a hunting season in Manitoba

This amendment introduces a new hunting season for Woodcock in Manitoba in Game Bird Hunting Zone 3 and 4, running from September 8 to November 30, with a bag limit of 8 per day (24 in possession) for residents of Canada and 4 per day (12 in possession) for non-residents of Canada. Woodcock populations have been surveyed in Manitoba since 1992, and the average number of singing males per route has been consistently higher than the average of other states and provinces in the Central Management Unit (CMU). Manitoba is the only jurisdiction within the CMU without a hunting season. (see footnote 9) Harvest in Manitoba is expected to be small relative to other jurisdictions. Hunter numbers and harvest can be monitored by the Canadian Wildlife Service National Harvest Survey, which estimates Canadian harvest of migratory game birds annually. The Woodcock season would provide a new and unique hunting opportunity in Manitoba and has been the subject of repeated requests by both resident and non-resident hunters. A hunting season for Woodcock is already in place in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario.

White-fronted Geese

Season dates in Saskatchewan

In order to align all waterfowl hunting seasons within Saskatchewan for Canadian residents, this amendment changes the opening date for White-fronted Goose hunting by Canadian residents in the South Game Bird Zone from September 10 in 2011 to September 1, 2012. As there is currently little goose hunting for other species during the closed period for White-fronted Geese, this amendment is expected to have minimal impact on harvest rates of White-fronted Geese.

Re-instated hunting season in British Columbia

This amendment also re-opens the White-fronted Goose season in all Provincial Region 1 (Vancouver Island) and Region 2 (Lower Mainland) Management Units (MUs) in British Columbia. The restriction was implemented at a time when White-fronted Geese were relatively rare and below management objectives, and Provincial Regions 1 and 2 are the only regions of British Columbia without a White-fronted Goose season. The re-opening would target the Pacific Flyway population of White-fronted Goose, which now stands at twice the management goal and not the much rarer Tule White-fronted Goose, which is not believed to occur regularly or in significant numbers in Provincial Regions 1 and 2. The daily bag limit would be set at five, the same level as in the rest of the province. The current White-fronted Goose harvest in British Columbia is estimated at fewer than 200 birds per year (2000–10 CWS National Harvest Survey data), and the regulatory change is expected to have a minimal effect on overall harvest.

Northern Pintails in Saskatchewan

This amendment reduces restrictions on the harvest of Northern Pintail in Saskatchewan by increasing the daily bag limit from 3 to 4 and the possession limit from 9 to 12. The purpose of this amendment is to align daily bag and possession limit restrictions for Northern Pintails in Saskatchewan with the restrictions in place in Alberta. The increase in the Saskatchewan harvest of Northern Pintails is expected to be small (5–10%) and not to pose a conservation concern. Pintail population estimates have increased in recent years, particularly in the Canadian prairies.

Canvasbacks and Redheads in Manitoba

This amendment decreases the restrictions on the daily bag (currently 4) and possession limits (currently 12) for Canvasbacks and Redheads in Manitoba in Game Bird Hunting Zone (GBHZ) 4 for residents of Canada. This change increases the daily bag and possession limits to the same as those for other ducks (daily bag limit of 8 and possession limit of 24). The amendment also increases the daily bag (currently 2) and possession limits (currently 6) for Canvasbacks and Redheads in GBHZ 4 for non-residents of Canada. This change would increase the daily bag limit to 4 birds (possession limit of 12). These changes are expected to result in only minor increases in the harvest of Canvasbacks and Redheads, both populations of which are currently healthy and above North American Waterfowl Management Plan goals. The amendments are expected to provide increased hunting opportunity, and would be particularly beneficial to residents of Canada because they remove the requirement to differentiate these species from other ducks, which many residents find challenging during their earlier opening season. Effects of the proposed change will be evaluated by continuing to monitor Canvasback and Redhead harvest in Manitoba.

Possession limits for all migratory game bird species in British Columbia

This amendment increases the possession limit from two times to three times the daily bag limit for all species of migratory game birds in British Columbia. This change is intended to increase opportunities for hunters who might otherwise be forced to stop hunting, or to give their birds away in order to continue hunting. This change is expected to have little effect on harvests of waterfowl. Similar measures were put in place in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario in 2010 and in Quebec in 2011.

Hunting season for Snow Goose and Ross’s Goose in southern British Columbia

This amendment opens Snow Goose and Ross’s Goose hunting in all Provincial Region 2 Management Units located in the lower mainland of British Columbia. Historically, Wrangel Island Snow Geese and Ross’s Geese only wintered in Provincial Management Units 2-4 and 2-5, but their fall and wintering range has expanded in recent years. The proposal supports the management goals of controlling the exponential white goose population growth observed in recent years, addressing safety concerns at the Vancouver International Airport, alleviating crop damage and soil compaction in the Fraser River delta and reducing the ecological degradation of the Fraser River delta marshes caused by white goose foraging.

Benefits

The control of hunting season dates and the number of migratory game birds that may be taken and possessed during those dates helps to ensure migratory game bird populations are maintained. These conservation measures are necessary to meet Canada’s international obligations under the Migratory Birds Convention. 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 in direct annual benefits to the Canadian economy. Of that total, about $94.4 million is attributed solely to the value associated with the 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 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 2012–13 season began in November 2011 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 2011. Biologists from the Canadian Wildlife Service met with their provincial and territorial counterparts in technical committees in the fall of 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. Based on the discussions, regulatory proposals were developed by the Canadian Wildlife Service and represent the consensus reached between 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 2011. These two consultation documents are available at www.ec.gc.ca/rcom-mbhr/default.asp?lang=En&n=0EA37FB2-1.

A Notice of Intent was published in the Canada Gazette, Part Ⅰ, on January 28, 2012, indicating that the Canadian Wildlife Service was 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 2011. Public comment was requested before February 28, 2012.

As well as being posted on the Internet, the reports were distributed directly to federal biologists in Canada, the United States, Mexico, 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, the Canadian Nature Federation, the World Wildlife Fund, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Ducks Unlimited and the Delta Waterfowl Research Station.

Provincial and territorial governments as well as hunter associations were supportive of the amendments to the hunting regulations. One comment was received from a business association indicating concern regarding the proposal to lift the bag limit restriction for non-residents of Canada for American Woodcock in Quebec. The comment indicated a concern regarding the potential impact on some business members of the association. As a result, the Canadian Wildlife Service has decided not to proceed with the amendment at this time, pending further consultation.

Individual hunters also 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.

“One-for-One” Rule

The Government of Canada has committed to reducing the regulatory burden to Canadian businesses by implementing a “One-for-One” Rule. When amending an existing regulation, the “One-for-One” Rule requires regulators to offset, from their existing regulations, an equal amount of administrative burden on business as the regulatory amendments add. These regulatory amendments do not add any incremental administrative costs to Canadian businesses, as they do not impose any new obligations or requirements. They simply adjust the daily bag and possession limits and hunting season dates.

Small business lens

The amendments to Schedule I of the Migratory Birds Regulations apply to individual hunters, not to businesses, as they simply set out the daily bag and possession limits as well as hunting season dates for migratory game birds. Therefore, there are no compliance costs, nor any administrative costs for small businesses as a result of these amendments. The amendments do not impose any obligations or requirements on small businesses. Moreover, it was further established during the extensive consultation process that there are no anticipated effects of these amendments on small businesses.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

Environment Canada has developed a compliance strategy and promotion plan for the amendments to Schedule I of the Migratory Birds Regulations. Compliance with the amendments will be promoted to hunters via the publication of regulatory summary brochures, outlining the season dates and the bag and possession limits for 2012–13. The regulation summary brochures are distributed at the point of sale for migratory game bird hunting permits and are also posted on the Environment Canada Web site at www.ec.gc.ca/rcom-mbhr/default.asp?lang=En&n=8FAC341C-1.

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 and inspecting hunting equipment and the number of migratory game birds taken and possessed.

Contact

Caroline Ladanowski
Director
Wildlife Program Support Division
Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment Canada
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0H3
Telephone: 819-994-3432

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
Reed, E. T. and A. M. Calvert (eds.). 2007. 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, Sainte-Foy, Quebec. 85 pp. + appendices.

Footnote 6
Alisauskas R. T., R. F. Rockwell, K. W. Dufour, E. G. Cooch, G. Zimmerman, K. L. Drake, J. O. Leafloor, T. J. Moser, and E. T. Reed. 2011. Harvest, Survival, and Abundance of Midcontinent Lesser Snow Geese Relative to Population Reduction. Wildlife Monographs 179:1–42; 2011.

Footnote 7
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.

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

Footnote 9
Cooper, T. R., and K. Parker. 2011. American Woodcock Population Status, 2011. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Laurel, Maryland. 17 pp.