Ontario’s wildlife provides ecological, cultural, recreational and economic benefits to all Ontarians, and is a key component of the province’s rich biodiversity. Many influences affecting wildlife and their habitat operate at broad scales. Environmental factors, including climate change, cause complex and cumulative impacts on wildlife. To ensure Ontario is well placed to address broad scale pressures facing wildlife populations, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) is developing a Wildlife Management Strategy.
Currently, Ontario does not have an overarching guiding framework that informs wildlife policy development, planning, management and decision making. A wildlife management strategy would provide clear direction for wildlife management, while building on the ministry’s strong foundation of science, policy and collaboration.
The discussion paper provides context, outlines key trends, draft goals and guiding principles.
The Ministry would like to thank all who submitted comments. Initial feedback showed us that Ontarians deeply value wildlife and care about conservation of species for their own sake and for the contribution wildlife makes to our lives and to the lives of future generations:
• The predominant theme of the comments was the need to address wildlife habitat conservation and monitoring.
• The recognition of cultural and intrinsic values of wildlife was viewed as an essential component of any strategy.
• Aboriginal and treaty rights must be respected.
• There was a wide range of views with respect to the scope of the strategy, with some groups seeking a focus on game management and others seeking the inclusion of all species and stronger links to provincial initiatives such as the Ontario Biodiversity Strategy.
The Ministry is analyzing all feedback received and will continue to seek input to further describe goals and actions and develop themes for further discussion (e.g. wildlife habitat) that could contribute to a wildlife strategy. MNRF will provide an opportunity for public review and comment once a wildlife strategy has been drafted.
No allocation decisions, changes to Wildlife Management Units or changes to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act or regulations are being made through this process.