Opinion

A Bridge too Farr: Questioning the Campaign Against Cormorants

Submerging Farr Island to deter cormorants may fulfill special interests, but it will create a large black mark against Hamilton's record of environmental integrity and local biodiversity.

By Paul Glendenning
Published September 22, 2010

This October, The Hamilton Port Authority is preparing to look after an issue that they apparently believe mars their image for Harbour restoration. No, it's not the many industries and their toxic fumes that routinely darken our skies, or the many recreational facilities across our waterfront.

No, the aim of the next initiative is tiny Farr Island and its colony of cormorants. The HPA is set to submerge this former hydro tower island and eliminate the nesting ground for hundreds of these unfairly maligned birds.

Cormorants have been persecuted for many generations and were almost wiped out by the twentieth century. A new peril put them under further pressure with the use of DDT until it was banned in 1969. Due to this long-time persecution, their recorded history is sketchy, leading some to claim incorrectly that they are an invasive species.

Today, cormorants are again under threat due to their now-robust population and a variety of misinformation regarding their habits and diet.

The worst recent example of continued local opposition was the deliberate killing of several cormorants in 2008 on Farr Island using wires. The culprit was neither pursued nor charged despite the killings being illegal.

Research Supports Cormorants

This opposition remains in spite of an exhaustive number of studies consistently demonstrating that cormorants primarily eat small, non-commercial fish and have never been shown to cause the extinction of another species.

Further, it appears that today's cormorants prefer two very invasive fish found in our lakes, Round Gobies and Alewife. A recent news article even mentioned that fish charter boats in New York found their catches up due to the cormorant's consumption of round gobies in their waters.

The Hamilton Port Authority claims they are submerging the island to make shoals to improve fish habitat, but there are no studies analyzing the necessity in an area already containing much of the lake's resident species. Further, they claim it will benefit sport fishing - but again without details of the significance to this annually dwindling hobby.

The real reason appears to be removing the cormorants. Called a "nuisance" in a recent Port Authority newsletter announcing Arcelor Mittel's funding of this act of habitat destruction, the authority appears to be siding with a small number of misinformed anglers and some residents of a small neighbouring community who are concerned about the smell of the island. Cormorants living in colonies tend to produce significant waste within their nesting habitat, which can create a significant odour.

To aid local concerns, the City of Burlington's Indian Creek Estuary Restoration / Enhancement Concept Strategy suggests it may be possible to use an "ecologically benign substance" to reduce the impact of the small island's scent. This report, virtually the only one released by the Port Authority with any details of possible plans, does not recommend the destruction of the whole island. To date, no study that has been released supports this initiative.

No Studies, Little Consultation

There have also been no studies looking at the effect of removing the island on wildlife, or any proof the cormorants will "just leave" to find nesting ground elsewhere. Instead, the island's loss could raise the competition for nesting grounds, possibly putting cormorants in further conflict and jeopardizing both themselves and other more sensitive local bird habitat/natural areas.

It's bad enough that there is an apparent lack of studies on the project set to move forward by mid-October; even worse, community input was limited to a small presentation in Burlington with an audience of 14 people.

Despite this, with one stroke of its Federal Authority brush, the HPA seeks to remove the cormorants from their vision of the North East Harbour. According to the HPA, the land being Federal precludes the need for permission to disturb the birds from other levels of government.

But is there really no room for a vibrant cormorant colony in Hamilton Harbour? Perhaps the answer lies in how we look at our restoration efforts. Instead of painting an idealized picture based on rigidly managed version of what once was but can never truly be again, we need take a realistic snapshot of what is here now and work accordingly.

This means protecting and respecting our existing native wildlife regardless of personal feelings or special interests. We can try mitigating unfortunate side effects of such coexistence but the lives and habitat of any species should not be jeopardized by unrealistic restoration plans of a harbour already severely modified by our industrial and recreational needs.

Submerging Farr Island may fulfill special interests but will create a large black mark against Hamilton's record of environmental integrity and local biodiversity.

Paul Glendenning is a Hamilton writer and activist.

33 Comments

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By HamiltonBrian (registered) | Posted September 22, 2010 at 17:19:41

What can be done to prevent it (besides the obvious)?

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By Tartan Triton (anonymous) | Posted September 22, 2010 at 17:57:57

Grease the eggs, save the island.

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By Tartan Triton (anonymous) | Posted September 22, 2010 at 17:59:01

eg: www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/pubs/tn_wseggoil.pdf

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By NortheastWind (registered) | Posted September 22, 2010 at 18:22:00

"Cormorants living in colonies tend to produce significant waste within their nesting habitat, which can create a significant odour."

Having sat on a Bay Area Restoration Council committee that looked at controlling Canada Geese, I have heard the local residence concerns about the foul odours that emanate from the island. The cormorants eat and sh*t all day. Their feces sit on the island and bake all summer long, and the gentle southwest winds waft towards the residences that are at the northeast corner of the bay, making it impossible to enjoy their own yards.

Secondly, has anyone been to Toronto Harbour on a summer evening? Thousands of cormorants take to the sky. It is fantastic to see but just one indication of the overpopulation of this species.

A limited hunt should be permitted. Unfortunately, the U.S./Canada Migratory Birds Act won't allow for a hunt. I agree with the port authority, bury the island and create more fish habitat (unfortunately for cormorants to eat).

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By Paul (registered) | Posted September 22, 2010 at 23:02:05

Actually it was revealed in today's paper that Peaceful parks is taking the matter to court. To help, let the Port Authority know you want to keep the island. Tell arcelor Mittel that this is not worth their funding (they cause far more odours than the cormorants). The effects of removing the island are unstudied except the obvious loss of bird habitat and the threat to other areas like Neare Island were Herring Gulls nest as the two will conflict for habitat. Neare ?Island is not being touched because the gulls are there showing further prejudice against cormorants.

As for the population, it is a sustainable one and is not overpopulated. Overpopulation causes starvation and ilnness none of which is evident here so there is no need for population control. In fact control could increase invasive fish populations.

It does not matter if there are thousands in Toronto except it means the Hamilton birds cannot move there. Most fish species already live in the area of the island so it is questionable how much extra habitat will really help. but as Farr Island is manmade, keeping them there keeps them off natural areas which is a good thing for those averse to the cormorants habitat modification.

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By bobinnes (registered) - website | Posted September 23, 2010 at 00:00:49

This story should have included a link so we can see exactly where Neare and Farr Islands are. If it is the same stink rocks I recall as a former windsurfer, I would be only too happy to get rid of them. There are too few launch points for windsurfers onto the Bay as it is, despite City promo brochures which always show a windsurfer action shot indicating what a fun city we are supposed to have. One of the best launch points is off the CCIW property with prevailing sail paths passing right by these islands (assuming i'm correct in my guess as to location) Unfortunately, the smell and unsafe shit filled water were a big part of me giving up my enjoyment of this fabulous sport.

I had thought the problem was simply the long standing birder-sailor war which sailors usually lose to fanatic intolerant birders.

Now you are bringing in an invasive species argument. Enviro gestapo types do that -- humans and human enjoyment is nowhere to be found on their list of priorities. So whatever argument is handy gets used.

The invasive species thing is a real war I might have sympathy for. Australia comes to mind. Unfortunately, the war is more or less lost barring a huge shift in public and economic sentiment. Tanker bilge water and mobile pleasure craft are the culprits. Cormorants are not the fix. The elephant problem is international trade. Hefty fines on sloppy captains were not applied and its probably too late. Besides, we windsurfers are mighty grateful for all those invasive zebra mussels cleaning up the water column. You might want more cormorants, I want more zebra mussels, especially Neare Farr!

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By Paul (registered) | Posted September 23, 2010 at 01:51:42

It is a small island in the north east end of the harbour. It was made originally to house a hydro tower. Most of the harbour is dedicated to human pursuits and this will not take away anything. Windsurfers have nothing to fear from cormorants in fact wouldn't hiding the island just below the water make it a possible danger as you could not tell where it is?

Keeping the island results in no net loss of anything but removing the island can create a number of problems that may even affect your windsurfing.

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By peter (anonymous) | Posted September 23, 2010 at 02:13:11

I often marvel at the peculiarity of our species. A few birds making a bit of a stink and eating a few fish and we want to blow them away. What of the sh*t that we pour into the harbour every day? Are we not guilty of much worse environmental crimes than these maligned birds? We're the filthiest animal on the planet, bar none. For once, let's suck it up and learn to live together.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted September 23, 2010 at 09:05:37

Man's interference has made this problem, it is an artificial island that has allowed these birds to procreate at their current rate.

Is that not messing with the natural environment?

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By capper (registered) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 20:24:06 in reply to Comment 48106

There were no birds on this island untill the other islands had been built... a cormorant was tied to a post on a new island and mating took place.Now they have spread and spread. The return of these birds was man made. The return was not one bit natural and was helped all the way by man. DDT was used in the fifties that made the egg shells weak resulting in broken eggs as the cormorants stand on the eggs till they hatch. This is all true but why should one man say what the rest of us should put up with. And what area we should give up to the distruction of these birds. People talk like there are a few birds but there are thousands and thousands eating crap loads of fish. The white perch and silver bass, sheaphead, and chanell cats, bullheads,along with pike bass,trout, shiners, ETC are being devistated by these birds. Now they have taken over tree lines where other rarer birds nested for years... The harbour was a great place before the islands had been built now it is just(stinky) crap.

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By zippo (registered) | Posted September 23, 2010 at 09:24:23

A few points here:

The Double crested Cormorant is by no means a threatened species. It's conservation classification by the "International Union for Conservation of Nature" is "Least Concern", that puts it in the same group as pigeons, human beings, and the common house mouse.

This is not the only Cormorant colony in the harbor, they also nest along the North west shoreline near Carroll's Point (easy to find, just look for the dead and dying trees along the shore), and on Hickory island in Princess Point (which used to be a wonderful verdant place to paddle to in a canoe and is now a mound of bare earth due to the destructive effect of the Cormorants droppings on the vegetation). There is no reason on the face of it to assume that disruption of the east harbor colony will impact these other 2 areas.

When the story author, Paul, makes a statement in the comments like: "Overpopulation causes starvation and ilnness (Sic.) none of which is evident here so there is no need for population control." he really shows the shallowness of his position. From that perspective you could say that there was no Carp overpopulation problem in Princess Point marsh prior to the construction of the Carp exclusion barrier because as a whole the Carp were not sick or starving.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted September 23, 2010 at 10:08:26

that puts it in the same group as pigeons, human beings, and the common house mouse.

So should we start culling overpopulated human beings too? :P

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By trevorlikesbikes (registered) - website | Posted September 23, 2010 at 10:26:03

This hot realestate has such great highway exposure that it would be perfect for 'Bobby's World'.

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By Paul (registered) | Posted September 23, 2010 at 10:30:03

Zippo,

Just because a species is not threatened does not mean we have any special right to cause them harm.

Carp are a different issue and cannot be compared. Cormorants are not having the same kind of impactand Cormorants are a native species unlike carp.

The fact is cormorants like most living species depend on habitat and food to survive. They are their true limiters (aside from mass killing by people). It may be somewhat of a simplification but that issue alone can take pages to explain.

People keep saying the cormorants are over-populated but this has not been proven.

They may not be the birds you want but since when is that a reason to try to control a population?

We need to control our own impact before deciding on others. If you look at the horizon, is it corrupted by cormorants or heavy industry? what smells more 1 small island or the heavy plumes of pollution filling our air, the chemicals polluting our water? We wreck far more than any bird and while we might not like what they do to their nesting grounds we do not know the net impact in the overall picture.

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 23, 2010 at 12:57:30

I'm not too familiar with the ins and outs of this debate, but I don't think I mind having a man-made island, built to house a hydro tower, taken away and see a bit of our harbour put back to it's original, natural state.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted September 23, 2010 at 13:16:19

I don't think I mind having a man-made island, built to house a hydro tower, taken away and see a bit of our harbour put back to it's original, natural state. - jason

Agreed.

What is next, we shouldn't rejuvenate old derelict buildings because of the negative effects on the pigeon population?

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted September 23, 2010 at 16:52:51

I doubt that these birds are in competition with us for fish from Hamilton Harbour. Gaaaage!!(at least as far as consuming the fish)

One problem with Hamilton lately is this idea that we get out a few guns & blast away & you problem is solved.
Deer, stray cats...now it is birds.

Problem with this is: If there is a suitable habitat they (anything) will be back, & probably in bigger numbers than before, once the shooting creates more spaces. When a species comes under pressure, they tend to reproduce faster & with more offspring.

This gets proven time & time again in every place on Earth. (But I suppose, if it's just a question of a short term solution to please the more vocal voters, & giving Herbert & Roger a chance to get their passive aggressive tendencies vented for the year..well, so be it. Just as long as no one is putting this out there as a solution to anything.

I remember there were cormorants being found with very obvious mutations a few years ago. (Malformed beaks & feet) This pointed out just how bad things were in Hamilton Harbour. Maybe there are 3 headed, giant mutant glow-in-the-dark cormorants out there now, & that's why we need to shoot, shovel & shut up? :D

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By Paul (registered) | Posted September 23, 2010 at 19:50:10

Jason, they are not removing the island to naturalise the area but to try and get rid of cormorants. I would agree with you if birds did not nest there annually. Given the HPA really do not know what effect this will have, even people who could care less about cormorants should be concerned as it may have an affect on areas in the Harbour they do care about.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted September 24, 2010 at 01:57:04

What does "natural" mean in Hamilton Harbour? Or in the Golden Horseshoe in general? We've transformed a truly massive area, and that's changed nature, but it hasn't eliminated it. Some species - racoons, seagulls, etc, thrive off the conditions we create.

I'll never argue against increasing habitat for indigenous species, but attacking "nuisance" species like cormorants or deer doesn't accomplish that. Having wildlife in the city is a good thing.

Is there a way to deal with the guano that doesn't involve attacking the birds themselves? A large number of islands off South America were mined dry in the colonial period because it made amazing fertilizer.

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By zippo (registered) | Posted September 24, 2010 at 05:54:48

Paul: In your story you said: "No Studies, Little Consultation

There have also been no studies looking at the effect of removing the island on wildlife, or any proof the cormorants will "just leave" to find nesting ground elsewhere."

This is not accurate. The proposal was the subject of a Federal Environmental Assessment under section 9 of the act. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry code for which is : 09-01-49525 which concluded

"This ecological restoration project is being done in consultation with and in partnership with the Hamilton Harbour RAP's Fish and Wildlife Habitat Restoration Project Committee. Creating cobble spawning shoals implements a recommendation from the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) draft report "Hamilton Harbour and Watershed Fisheries Management Plan" of 2009, and also complements the City of Burlington's report, "Indian Creek Estuary Restoration / Enhancement Concept Strategy" of 2005.

Final Decision A decision was taken on September 15, 2009 and was that the authority may exercise any power or perform any duty or function with respect to the project because, after taking into consideration the screening report and taking into account the implementation of appropriate mitigation measures, the authority is of the opinion that the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects."

So why did you neglect to mention the E.A. in your story? I'm hoping that it was just that you had not researched the issue much prior to writing your piece and not that you chose to omit reference to the EA and the RAP because they are inconvenient facts that conflict with your attempt to style this project as arbitrary and environmentally ignorant activity on the part of the HPA

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By Paul (registered) | Posted September 25, 2010 at 10:50:57

You can spout studies but have you read them? None truly assess the effect on avian wildlife and none actually study removing the entire island. They recommend modifying the island and again this is to lower cormornant numbers. There are still no reports assessing the actual effect on either fish or birds, just assumptions. That is not a scientific aproach. the closest is the Indian Creek Study but it only outlines some posibilities good and bad and reccomends modifying the island if chemicals do not work in order to lower cormorant numbers. None suggest the total removal of the island.

So why are you so hard up against cormorants? Can you not actually believe they have value and the HPA might actually not have done all they could? They might have done all they legally need to but that is not the same thing. Believe it or not noone neither myself and definitely not the HPA are infallible.

The main reason for this project is to rid the area of cormorants and this is being done without assessing the real impact because they appear to feel there is no need and the cormorants will just go away. But this has not been looked at with any depth nor has any planning for what will happen if they do not leave and push into other areas they wish to protect.

If you can show me an actual study that comes from the HPA that proves me wrong rather than just quoting, I would be happy to see it. It took me weeks to get what information I could from the HPA because they were not very forthcoming. I do not take what I write lightly.

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By zippo (registered) | Posted September 25, 2010 at 18:49:08

"If you can show me an actual study that comes from the HPA that proves me wrong rather than just quoting, I would be happy to see it. It took me weeks to get what information I could from the HPA because they were not very forthcoming. I do not take what I write lightly."

Paul as far as I know the studies themselves were not done by the Port Authority, they were done by various academics under the co-odination of the RAP working group. For some reason unknown to me many of the older ones which include the fisheries plan, seem not to be available on line anymore, but they are all available at the RAP offices which are in the Canadian Center for Inland Waters building next to the skyway bridge, and I would imagine, though I have not checked this, that many of them will also be at the main branch of the Public Library downtown in the gov't documents section, last time I was READING THEM, which was several years ago, thats where I went.

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By Socks (registered) | Posted September 26, 2010 at 13:42:08

I read all your comments, some with great sadness, some with delight.

I find both Paul's and AnnaMaria's actions to be highly authentic and credible, given the MNR and Ministry of the Environment (Parks Canada)'s penchant for declaring wildlife areas a park or protected area in need of revitalization, and then killing the most abundant animals within them.

They do this by performing a "count" which is often impossible to do accurately, so it's really just their estimate, and then deciding that, with no scientific justification, that species is "hyperabundant". It is all a ploy to support hunters and fishers, to continue the sick practice of paying for the Ministry's staff with licence (killing)fees. Instead of building ecologically sound strategies to draw people to our parks, and create funding from ecological tours, etc., our provincial and federal governments' agencies continue to support the wishes of the vocal 8% of the population who wish to consume our native heritage for the joy of legalized killing. I find it barbarian!!!!

Look over, if you wish, the MNR plans to cull the deer and cormorants at Presqu'Ile, the Fisheries and Oceans/Parks Canada investigation into culling the seals of lonely Sable Island where they have lived in balance and harmony for hundreds of years, and the annual slaughter of parent cormorants on their nests at "bird sanctuary Point Pelee National Park", which I boycott as a result. There seems to be no animal who is safe in our parks or native areas.

Cormorants have been maligned, despite their presence which presents evidence of a vibrant ecology, their beauty, especially against the blue sky, their wonderful parenting efforts, and their wonderful consumption of our own introduced invasive fish species. They have at least twice become almost extinct from our wonderful love of killing.

Toronto has not done a cull, primarily because the citizenry rose up against it en masse. I was at those "presentations" before public input, and I saw the bias so clearly I could have thrown up.

To those who complained about the odour, I say, too bad if their excrement is highly fertile and smelly. It will, in a very short ecological time, create a highly lush natural environment if we leave it alone. It can also be removed and sold for the wonderful fertilizer it is at a profit to our conservation authorities if we wish to use it after the birds leave.

The same cannot be said for the toxic smells I get to live with which drift up from the lakeshore from industry. I have asthma, and I suspect it is because of the air pollution which has resulted from human industry and large vehicles which continue to be hyperabundant on our roadways. And one must ask the question, who is more hyperabundant in this area, wildlife or humanity? Who destroys natural habitat at an exponential rate and permanent level, wildlife or humanity? And as for windsurfing or boating, who were there first, wildlife or people? If you wish to enjoy nature, then enjoy it, all of it! It's an ecology, comprised of all the species living in balance and harmony. Cormorants are beautiful in flight, peaceful to watch, and loving to their families. They are a great model for humanity.

Since we seem so concerned about fish and fish habitat, I can't help wondering how many fish are being killed by motor boats, or the gas leakages at their docks. Does anyone want to declare boats a fish hazard, then, and destroy the docks to create additional spawning grounds?

If you want natural settings, then there will always be many things you will like, and others you won't: cold winds blowing the wrong way, human garbage floating on the water, sudden storms, unexpected rocks. You live with those things because they are a part of the beauty and surprise of nature, as are the cormorants, and you live with them knowing that human destruction has, by far, the most severe impact you must contend with. Why don't you complain about that? If these things don't appeal to you, you might want to explore some of the multitude of gyms in the area. They are, in my view, hyperabundant.

People who like the nightlife might find sunrises hyperabundant at times. In nature, there is no such thing: it is always dynamic and in process of balancing itself. We can't even begin to match its skills or gifts to us. Nature is priceless, not measureable in monetary terms. And to continue to disrupt it, as we continue to do, places our own continuance in jeopardy. When we interfere with nature, one species at a time, we interfere with balances, and gene pools, and our own capacity to feel compassion to those less fortunate. What do those things do to our natural heritage? What do they do to us?

I would much prefer to watch and enjoy the serenity of the cormorants nesting and flying happily above our waterways, eating our invasive fish species (since we have destroyed the lakes' ecologies on our own), and remaining a wonderful, black-on-blue part of our lake ecologies, as they were meant to be, and as they have been for hundreds of years. They are our native Canadian migratory birds, and deserve to have our respect, care, and protection.

The secrecy which Paul alluded to in trying to obtain information on this article seems to be becoming the norm with government at all levels with regard to the environment and its protection, and is an appalling abuse of democracy. It disenfranchises citizens from making informed decisions. If I wasn't working full-time, and very hard, I would run for office to stop this.

I appreciated the comment on use of the library resources as a tool, hoping that it was presented for our information, but believe that any studies which should be being considered in this decision should be current, accurate and science, not projection-based.

I respectfully remind everyone that cormorants are our native bird species, part of the Canadian natural heritage and ecology. Displacing them or worse is cruel and unnecessary, and will damage, not only them, but the entire ecology in which they function and the adjacent ecologies around them. In nature, all life is interconnected and interdependent. We have the bad habit, as a species, of forgetting that.

Cormorants only, as we assume we do, need a place to raise their families. They congregate naturally into large groups for security reasons, and support the maintenance of some egret species, while at the same time, eating our invasive fish species in needed numbers. They are anything but hyperabundant anywhere. They, and their little island, need to be left alone.

Destroying an island where they and other species nest will be highly destructive to all the species in the adjacent ecological areas, and will demonstrate, in my opinion, that the humanity who supported the destruction has never grown up past the ecocentric, self-centred stage of species development of our young children. It is natural in young children to see things only from the viewpoint of one's own needs; it is not natural, healthy or ethical in adults, and if we continue to act as if we are the only species on the planet that deserves to live here, we won't be around much longer. All life lives, or doesn't, together.

The island, and the cormorants, should be left alone!!!

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By Smarter Than This (anonymous) | Posted September 26, 2010 at 21:12:36

Funny that a special interest group is protesting that other special interest groups are being catered too. Peaceful Parks is hardly a credible organization, and the fact they have to resort to claiming that birds that aren't historically native locally need to be protected versus native fish species shows both an anthropomorphic bias and flies in the face of all their previous statements about both cormorants or fish.

E.g.
PPC: A benefit of cormorants is they eat invasive alewife.
Real World: Alewife have been in Lake Ontario longer than cormorants in Hamilton Harbour.

PPC: Stocking Pacific salmon and non-native trout to control alewife and for fishing opportunities is evil and not ecologically sound.
Real World: So some non-natives are more equal than others?

And how do cormorants on a couple of islands (while existing int he hundreds of thousands elsewhere) represent biodiversity loss vs. fish species that are almost gone from Lake Ontario, particularly western Lake Ontario?

Peaceful Parks and this opinion piece are just anti-hunting and anti-fishing agendas looking for anything to latch onto, irrespective of science or logic.

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By Peaceful Parks CCoalition (anonymous) | Posted September 26, 2010 at 22:49:16

AnnaMaria Valastro here from Peaceful Parks. For the previous writer "Smarter Than This" I suggest that you are careful with your comments about Peaceful Parks because what you have accredited to Peacfeul Parks is liable. I suggest that you specifically reference your sources of information otherwise you are susceptible to a liability charge.

You should also know that the reporter who wrote the artcile in the Hamilton Spectator "The Battle for Farr island' had no knowledge of cormorants and simply 'googled'the history of cormorants without reseraching the issue further. In his limited research he decided that cormorants were not locally native. I suggest you link to the research section of the Peaceful Parks website at www.peacefulparks.org and read the most recent research paper written by Linda Wires and Frances Cuthbert on historical population trends of Double-crested Cormorants in North America.

Since you are a angler and sport hunter, you would find the Peaceful Parks Coalition threatening because over the years we have been very successful in challenging the crediability of the recreational hunting and fishing lobby.

But you give us too much credit. Society in general rejects the recreational killing of wildlife as more and more people see little relevance in killing wildlife for sport.

I am so sorry for you.

AnnaMaria Valastro

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By Paul (registered) | Posted September 27, 2010 at 11:39:03

Zippo

It's actually not so hard and there are ways to get what is needed online because there is almost nothing on this particular project. I am not talking the entire restoration but the removal of Farr Island. The Port Authority has sent me what they have and has told me there are no others. True there have been studies on birds and even Farr Island, but none that I have seen that scientifically promote destroying habitat. And make no mistake, it is the Port Authority pushing ahead financed by Arcelor Mittel. So again, I would be fine being proven wrong but that is done with facts not supposition about the possibility of some report somewhere that you may have read years ago.

Smarter than this

Cormorants are a native species and Alewife are not. Cormorants have a longer history than you think. Where is this a hunting issue for this to be anti-hunting,anti-fishing? This is about habitat destruction. but then again, some of the most fervent opponents of cormorants are hunters and anglers who do not appear to let well proven scientific facts get in the way of thair opinion Is this you? How are tthe cormorants harming fish biodiversity? If you read my article you would see there are commercial interests who find cormorants to be helping. There is nothing here opposing helping fish but shoals can be created without losing the island. The loss of habitat not only harms cormorants but puts pressure on other species as they compete for remaining local habitat. So if there are any concerns about local habitat there should be concerns about this event.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 03, 2010 at 01:21:51

Let me get this straight. Man created an artificial island and wants to remove it to promote wildlife and people who claim to be protecting wildlife and preserving natural habitats are opposed. Hmmmmm. Sounds completely nonsensical to me

Comment edited by turbo on 2010-10-03 00:22:16

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By Paul (registered) | Posted October 04, 2010 at 15:32:13

It may seem not to make sense for someone who completely ignored everything written above but it is not that complicated. The island is not being submerged to benefit fish but to destroy cormorant habitat. People find this wrong. Is it straight now?

There is no need to sacrifice one for the other. Fish habitat can be created without losing bird habitat. Any clearer?

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By Dawg (anonymous) | Posted April 14, 2011 at 13:52:33

"Peacfeul Parks"

More people that I know (and who knows/works with AnneMarie), laugh at her, than follow her. She plays a simple game of checkers when the majority of her "apponments" are playing chess....idiocy.

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By capper1134 (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 17:55:04

I live in Burlinton and have fished the area from Indian creek to Inland waters for 30+ years.. Every day a canoe with CANADA on the side of it goes out to the islands Spraying Goose eggs ,Spraying Swan eggs, and removes Cormorant nests and Gull nests from the Islands.. These islands are here for the hundred or so Pairs of Turns and that is the bottom line. Now that the small island has been removed the birds have moved to the tree line at Indian Creek. Here no one will do anything to control them. These trees are closer than the Island was to homes. This treed area was the roosting area for the Night Herons that have now been misplaced. Is the 100 or so pairs of turns worth the stinky mess that has been created.... NO
The RBG set up a fish barrier as it is not manned enough to let large enough amounts of fish to pass to say it is doing any good for anything but to block fish...ALL fish from reaching spawning grounds. The RGB nest and kills thousands of Carp by leaving them on shore to rott and when caught nothing is done to them. They have created a line of Xmass trees to keep carp from the spawning areas along a Trout run creek Why are these Cormorants so special. Go to Vallens or Mountsburg or any farm pound and the Cormorants are there eating anything they can catch. Most Suckers caught in Dundas have beak marks on them. We need to talk fact and not some Model that someone in an office came up with. When there are no fish left and all the trees are dead it will be too late.

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By capper1134 (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2011 at 18:02:26

To all that think the birds should be left alone, come down to Eastport drive on a west wind.

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By Dawg (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 12:36:03

I dont know one single person who hunts for "sport", and I know hundreds. This "sport hunting" term is widely used by anti-hunting organizations, and people. AnneMarie is a rabid anti-hunter and refused to "share" her woods with other Ontario taxpayers who happen to hunt within the boundries of Ontario parks that are closed (for the season). Everything we learn in life (like sharing), starts in Kindergarten, did she missed that education level? I do however applaud her EBR's to the MNR - stating that deer collisions are on the rise due to hunters "chasing the deer out of the woods". Collisions (deer), with vehicles couldn't have anything to do with simple 101 biology which is; deer are in the rut at that time of year, and travel outside their normal range - bucks chasing doe's and doe's gathering with other doe's. I simply applaud a persons idiology, putting it on paper to look like a total idiot.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2011 at 12:48:21

comment from banned user deleted

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