Province to Protect White Colored Moose

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The Ontario government has proposed a new regulation protecting white-coloured moose that would enhance eco-tourism and contribute to stronger communities in the North, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay announced.

"A range of local community groups and First Nations have asked us to protect moose with this natural but rare colouring," said Ramsay. "This proposed regulation recognizes the cultural and spiritual significance of the white moose to First Nation communities and the potential for enhanced eco-tourism opportunities in the area."

The draft regulation under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act would prohibit the hunting of moose that are predominantly white-coloured in Wildlife Management Units 30 and 31, an area near Timmins, Chapleau and Foleyet. This proposal will not affect the availability of moose validation tags for both resident and tourist industry hunts.

"I’ve been impressed by the tremendous interest expressed by local residents and First Nations in these unique and magnificent creatures," said Ramsay. "By protecting these animals, we are preserving wildlife viewing and other opportunities while promoting eco-tourism and strengthening the North."

White-coloured moose are naturally produced in wild moose populations. They are not a separate species, and their colour is thought to be caused by a recessive gene that occurs within the broader moose population.

The ministry has posted this proposal on the Environmental Registry for public comment for 30 days. The proposal can be viewed at www.ene.gov.on.ca/samples/search/Ebrquery_REG.htm, by entering Registry Number RB05E6805.