Changes Made to Big Game Licence Quotas

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Environment and Conservation Minister Tom Osborne today announced changes to the province’s big game licence quotas for the 2004-05 hunting season due to results of late winter aerial surveys that show a decline in big game populations in certain areas of the province.

Surveys were conducted in Moose Management Areas (MMA) 4 (Taylor’s Brook), 15 (Twin Lakes), 21 (Rattling Brook), 22 (Lewisporte), 40 (Conche), 42 (Gambo) and Caribou Management Area (CMA) 61 (Lapoile). As a result of the surveys, there will be 1,200 fewer moose licences provided in this year’s hunting season than was previously announced with the release of the 2004-05 Hunting and Trapping Guide. The new moose licence allocation for the 2004-05 hunting season will be 26,020, compared to the 27,220 moose licences identified in the hunting guide.

Quota adjustments by moose management areas include: MMA 4 (-250 for a total of 850), MMA 15 (-300 for a total of 1,200), MMA 22 (-200 for a total of 900), MMA 40 (-200 for a total of 1,300) and MMA 42 (-250 for a total of 350). There are no proposed changes to quotas in MMA 21 or CMA 61. The caribou licence reduction and allocation already identified in the 2004-05 Hunting Guide will remain unchanged. The total number of caribou licences for this year’s hunting season is 6,590.

"Government is committed to managing our wildlife resources in a sustainable manner," said Minister Osborne. "It is imperative that we take these immediate and necessary conservation measures in light of the results of our winter aerial surveys, which clearly show that quota reductions are needed to stabilize the populations and mitigate any further population decline."

Minister Osborne noted that moose and caribou populations in many parts of the island peaked during the early and mid-1990s, resulting in increased licence quotas during that period.

The moose licence changes, combined with big game adjustments already outlined in the 2004-05 Hunting and Trapping Guide, result in an overall reduction in moose and caribou licences of 3.7 per cent and 8.3 per cent, respectively, compared to the 2003-04 hunting season.

Meanwhile, Minister Osborne added that the 2004 big game draw for moose and caribou licences is expected to be completed by the end of June.