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Title: Supplement to Animal Sanctuaries in Labrador - Supplement to an Address Presented by Lt.-Colonel William Wood, - F.R.S.C. Before the Second Annual Meeting of the Commission of - Conservation in January, 1911
Author: Wood, William (William Charles Henry), 1864-1947
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Supplement to Animal Sanctuaries in Labrador - Supplement to an Address Presented by Lt.-Colonel William Wood, - F.R.S.C. Before the Second Annual Meeting of the Commission of - Conservation in January, 1911" ***

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     Commission of Conservation



     Before the Second Annual Meeting of the
     Commission of Conservation in
     January, 1911

     OTTAWA, JUNE 1912

     _Animal Sanctuaries


Animal Sanctuaries in Labrador



The appeal prefixed to the original _Address_ in 1911 announced the
issue of the present supplement in 1912, and asked experts and other
leaders of public opinion to set the subject on firm foundations by
contributing advice and criticism.

The response was most gratifying. The twelve hundred review copies
sent out to the Canadian press, and the hundreds more sent out to
general and specialist periodicals in every part of the
English-speaking world, all met with a sympathetic welcome, and were
often given long and careful notices. Many scientific journals, like
the _Bulletin of the Zoological Society of America_, sporting
magazines, like the Canadian _Rod and Gun_, and zoophil organs, like
the English _Animals' Guardian_, examined the _Address_ thoroughly
from their respective standpoints. The _Empire Review_ has already
reprinted it _verbatim_ in London, and an association of outing men
are now preparing to do the same in New York.

But though the press has been of the greatest service in the matter of
publicity the principal additions to a knowledge of the question have
come from individuals. Naturalists, sportsmen and leaders in public
life have all helped both by advice and encouragement. Quotations from
a number of letters are published at the end of this supplement. The
most remarkable characteristic of all this private correspondence and
public notice, as well as the spoken opinions of many experts, is
their perfect agreement on the cardinal point that we are wantonly
living like spendthrifts on the capital of our wild life, and that the
general argument of the _Address_ is, therefore, incontrovertibly

The gist of some of the most valuable advice is, that while the
_Address_ is true so far as it goes, its application ought to be
extended to completion by including the leasehold system, side by side
with the establishment of sanctuaries and the improvement and
enforcement of laws.

Such an extension takes me beyond my original limits. Yet, both for
the sake of completeness and because this system is a most valuable
means toward the end desired by all conservers of wild life, I
willingly insert leaseholds as the connecting link between laws and

But before trying to give a few working suggestions on laws,
leaseholds and sanctuaries, and, more particularly still, before
giving any quotations from letters, I feel bound to point out again,
as I did in the _Address_ itself, that my own personality is really of
no special consequence, either in giving the suggestions or receiving
the letters. I have freely picked the brains of other men and simply
put together the scattered parts of what ought to be a consistent


It is a truism and a counsel of perfection to say so, but, to be
effective, wild-life protection laws, like other laws, must be
scientific, comprehensive, accepted by the public, understood by all
concerned, and impartially enforced.

To be scientifically comprehensive they must define man's whole
attitude towards wild life, whether for business, sport or study. One
general code would suffice. A preamble could explain that the object
was to use the interest, not abuse the capital of wild life. Then the
noxious and beneficial kinds could be enumerated, close seasons
mentioned, regulations laid down, etc. From this one code it would be
easy to pick out for separate publication whatever applied only to one
place or one form of human activity. But even this general code would
not be enough unless the relations between animal and plant life were
carefully adjusted, so that each might benefit the other, whenever
possible, and neither might suffer because the other was under a
different department. If, in both the Dominion and Provincial
governments there are unified departments of agriculture to aid and
control man's own domestic harvest, why should there not also be
unified departments to aid and control his harvest of the wilds? A
_Minister of Fauna and Flora_ sounds startling, and perhaps a little
absurd. But fisheries, forests and game have more to do with each
other than any one of them with mines. And, whatever his designation,
such a minister would have no lack of work, especially in Labrador.
But here we come again to the complex human factors of three
Governments and more Departments. Yet, if this bio-geographic area
cannot be brought into one administrative entity, then the next best
thing is concerted action on the part of all the Governments and all
their Departments.

There is no time to lose. Even now, when laws themselves stop short at
the Atlantic, new and adjacent areas are about to be exploited without
the slightest check being put on the exploiters. An expedition is
leaving New York for the Arctic. It is well found in all the
implements of destruction. It will soon be followed by others. And the
musk-ox, polar bears and walrus will shrink into narrower and narrower
limits, when, under protection, far wider ones might easily support
abundance of this big game, together with geese, duck and curlews. It
is wrong to say that such people can safely have their fling for a few
years more. None of the nobler forms of wild life have any chance
against modern facilities of uncontrolled destruction. What happened
to the great auk and the Labrador duck in the Gulf? What happened to
the musk-ox in Greenland? What is happening everywhere to every form
of beneficial and preservable wild life that is not being actively
protected to-day? Then, there is the disappearing whale and persecuted
seal to think of also in those latitudes. The _laissez-faire_ argument
is no better here than elsewhere. For if wild life is worth exploiting
it must be worth conserving.

There is need, and urgent need, for extending protective laws all
along the Atlantic Labrador and over the whole of the Canadian Arctic,
where the barren-ground caribou may soon share the fate of the
barren-ground bear in Ungava, especially if mineral exploitation sets
in. Ungava and the Arctic are Dominion grounds, the Atlantic Labrador
belongs to Newfoundland, Greenland to Denmark, and the open sea to
all comers, among whom are many Americans. Under these circumstances
the new international conference on whaling should deal effectively
with the protection of all the marine carnivora, and be followed by an
inter-dominion-and-provincial conference at which a joint system of
conservation can be agreed upon for all the wild life of Labrador,
including the cognate lands of Arctic Canada to the north and
Newfoundland to the south.

This occasion should be taken to place the whole of the fauna under
law; not only _game_, but noxious and beneficial species of every
kind. And here both local experts and trained zoologists ought to be
consulted. Probably everyone would agree that flies, wolves and
English sparrows are noxious. But the indiscriminate destruction of
all mammals and birds of prey is not a good thing, as a general rule,
any more than any other complete upsetting of the balance of nature. A
great deal could be learnt from the excellent work already done all
over the continent with regard to the farmer's and forester's wild
friends and foes. A migrating flight of curlew, snipe, plover or
sandpipers is worth much more to the farmer alive than dead. But by no
means every farmer knows the value of the difference.

This is only one of the many reasons why a special effort should be
made to bring a knowledge of the laws home to everyone in the areas
affected, including the areas crossed by the lines of migration.

The language should be unmistakeably plain. Every form of wild life
should be included, as wholly, seasonally, locally or otherwise
protected, or as not protected, or as exterminable, with penalties and
rewards mentioned in each case. All animals should be called by their
scientific, English, French, and special local names, to prevent the
possibility of mistake or excuse. Every man, resident or not, who uses
rod, gun, rifle, net or snare, afloat or ashore, should be obliged to
take out a license, even in cases where it might be given gratis; and
his receipt for it should contain his own acknowledgment that he has a
copy of the laws, which he thoroughly understands. Particular clauses
should be devoted to rapacious dealers who get collecting permits as
scientific men, to poison, to shooting from power boats or with swivel
guns, to that most diabolical engine of all murderers--the Maxim
silencer,--to hounding and crusting, to egging and nefarious pluming,
to illegal netting and cod-trapping, and last, but emphatically not
least, to any and every form of wanton cruelty. The next step may be
to provide against the misuse of aeroplanes.

I believe it would be well worth while, from every point of view, to
publish the laws, or at all events a digest of them, in all the
principal papers. Even educated people know little enough; and no one,
even down the coast, at the trading posts, or in Newfoundland, should
have the chance of pleading ignorance. "We don't know no law here"
ought to be an impossible saying two years hence. And we might
remember that the Newfoundlanders who chiefly use it are really no
worse than others, and quite as amenable to good laws impartially
enforced. They have seen the necessity of laws at home, after
depleting their salmon rivers, deer runs and seal floes to the danger
point. And there is no reason to suppose that an excellent population
in so many ways would be any harder to deal with in this one than the
hordes of poachers and sham sportsmen much nearer home.

Of course, everything ultimately turns on the enforcement of the laws.
And I still think that two naturalists and twenty men afloat and the
same number ashore, with double these numbers when Hudson bay and the
Arctic are included, would be enough to patrol Labrador
satisfactorily, if they were in touch with local and leasehold wardens
and with foresters, if the telegraph was used only on their side, if
they and the general inspector were all of the right kind, and if the
whole service was vigorously backed up at headquarters. Two fast motor
cruisers and suitable means of making the land force also as mobile as
possible are _sine qua non_.

The Ungava peninsula, Hudson bay and Arctic together would mean a
million square miles for barely a hundred men. But, with close
co-operation between sea and land, they could guard the sanctuaries as
efficiently as private wardens guard leased limits, watch the outlets
of the trade, and harry law-breakers in the intervening spaces. Of
course, the system will never be complete till the law is enforced
against both buyers and sellers in the market. But it is worth
enforcing, worth it in every way. And the interest of the wild life
growing on a million miles will soon pay the keep of the hundred men
who guard its capital.


An article by Mr. W.H. Blake, K.C., of Toronto, on "The Laurentides
National Park" appeared in the February number of the _University
Magazine_. The following extracts have been taken from Mr. Blake's

"It was in the year 1895, that the idea took substance of setting
apart some two thousand five hundred square miles of the wild and
mountainous country north of Quebec and south of Lake St. John as 'a
forest reservation, fish and game preserve, public park and pleasure
ground'. At a later date, the area was increased, until now some three
thousand seven hundred square miles are removed from sale or
settlement. An important though indirect object was the maintenance of
water-level in the dozen or more rivers which take their rise in the
high-lying plateau forming the heart of the Park.

"When the ice takes in early November the caribou make it their great
rallying ground. These animals, so wary in summer and early autumn,
appear to gain confidence by their numbers, and are easily stalked and
all too easily shot. It is to be feared that too great an annual toll
is taken, and that the herd is being diminished by more than the
amount of its natural increase. Slightly more stringent regulations,
the allowance of one caribou instead of two, the forbidding of
shooting in December and January, when the bulls have lost their
horns, would effect the result, and would ensure excellent sport in
the region so long as the Park exists and is administered as it is
to-day. There is, however, very serious menace to the caribou in the
unfortunate fact that the great timber wolf has at last discovered
this happy hunting ground. Already it would seem that there are fewer
caribou, but the marked increase in the number of moose may be one
cause of this. Before the days of the Park the moose were almost
exterminated throughout this region; but a few must have escaped
slaughter in some inaccessible fastness, and under a careful and
intelligent system of protection they have multiplied exceedingly. Man
may not shoot them, and probably only unprotected calves have anything
to dread from the wolves.

"In the administration of this Reserve the government adopts a policy
which has shown admirable results; and as this policy is in direct
contrast to the one pursued in the Algonquin Park it may be
interesting to explain and discuss it. It can be admitted, as a matter
of theory, that a 'public park and pleasure ground' should be
maintained by the people for the people, and that no individuals
should have exclusive rights conferred upon them to fish or shoot
within it. This ideal conception takes no account of human nature, and
a scheme that has to do with the control and conduct of men should not
disregard their weaknesses, or the powerful motive of self-interest.
The greater part of the Laurentide Park is free to anyone who takes
out a license and complies with certain regulations. But, at the
points most threatened by poachers, the practice is followed of
granting five-year leases of moderate areas to individuals and to
clubs. The first requirement of these grants is that the lessee shall
appoint a guardian, approved by the Department, and shall cause the
conceded territories to be protected in an adequate manner. The
guardian, for his part, is immediately answerable to an individual who
pays his salary. He contrasts his former precarious living as a
trapper or poacher with the assured competence which he now earns more
easily, and makes his election in favor of virtue. Thus he becomes a
faithful servant both of the Government and his employer, and a
really effective unit in the protection of the Park. The lessee, in
turn, will neither practice nor tolerate any infringement of the laws
which would imperil his lease, nor deplete of fish and game a country
which he intends to revisit. He would not necessarily be actuated by
these motives if he entered the Park casually and considered nothing
but his own sport or pleasure. It may be added that the lessee has
reasonable assurance of the extension of his privileges if they are
not abused and knows that he will be compensated for moneys properly
expended if the Government sees fit not to renew his term. The
guardians co-operate with one another under the general guidance of a
most competent inspector, and the striking increase in fish, fur and
feather is apparent not only in the region immediately protected but
also ouside its boundaries. Trappers who fought bitterly against being
excluded from this part of the public domain now find that the
overflow of wild life into the surrounding country enables them to
bring more pelts to market than they did in the old days, and have
become reconciled. Guardians, gillies, carters, porters and canoemen
live in whole or in part, on providing fishing and shooting. Under no
other arrangement could the conceded territory afford sport and a
living to so many people, and in no other way could the balance
between resources and their exhaustion be so nicely maintained."

On page 47, Mr. Blake corroborates the statement of the shameful act I
mentioned at the bottom of page 18 of my _Address_. "On sighting a
band of six caribou he bade his man sit down to give him a rest for
his rifle. He then fired and continued firing till all were killed.
When his companion made to walk towards the animals, Sir ---- said to
him roughly:

"'Where are you going?'

"'To cut up the caribou.'

"'... I don't want them.'"

This game murderer killed three times as many as the prescribed limit
on this one occasion. Yet nothing was done to him!


However desirable they are from any point of view leaseholds are not
likely to cover much of Labrador for some time to come. They should be
encouraged only on condition that every lessee of every
kind--sportsman, professional on land or water, lumberman or
other--accepts the obligation to keep and enforce the wild-life
protection laws in co-operation with the public wardens who guard the
sanctuaries, watch the open areas and patrol the trade outlets.

I have very little to add to what I said about sanctuaries in the
_Address_. Most of the information received since it was published has
only emphasized the points it made. And as no one has opposed and many
have supported the establishment of the Harrington sanctuary I again
recommend it strongly. The 64 miles in a straight line between cape
Whittle and cape Mekattina should be made into an absolute sanctuary
for all birds and mammals. If some more ground can be taken in on
either side, so much the better. But the 64 miles must be kept in any
case. The Bird rocks and Bonaventure island, one of the Mingans, the
Perroquets, Egg island and The Pilgrims, are all desirable in every
way. There are plenty of islands to choose from along the Atlantic
Labrador and round Hudson and James bays. It is most important to keep
the migratory birds free from molestation during the first fortnight
after their arrival; and the same applies to migratory mammals, though
not quite in the same way. Inland sanctuaries should be made near
Hamilton inlet, in the Mingan and Mistassini districts and up the
Eastmain river. Ultimately an Arctic sanctuary might be made on
either Baffin or Melville islands. A meteorological station in the
Arctic, linked up with Labrador by wireless, would be of great benefit
to the weather forecasts, as we now have no reports from where so much
of our cold or mild winters are affected by the different drift of
enormous ice-fields; and whenever one is established, a wild-life
protection station should accompany it.

Sanctuaries should never be too big; not one tenth of the whole area
will ever be required for them. But they should be placed where they
will best serve the double purpose of being natural wild "zoos" and
over-flowing reservoirs of wild-life. The exact situations of most,
especially inland, will require a good deal of co-operative study
between zoologists and other experts. But there is no doubt whatever,
that they ought to be established, no matter how well the laws are
enforced over both leaseholds and open areas. Civilised man is
appreciating them more and more every day; and every day he is
becoming better able to reach them. By giving absolute security to all
desirable species in at least two different localities we can keep
objects of Nature study in the best possible way both for ourselves
and our posterity.

Only twelve years ago forty mills were debasing the immemorial and
gigantic sequoia into mere timber in its last refuge in California.
But even the general public sees now that this was a barbarous and
idiotic perversion of relative values. What is a little perishable
timber, for which substitutes can be found elsewhere, compared with a
grove of trees that will be the wonder and delight of generations?
What is the fleeting but abominable gratification of destroying the
harmless lizard-like Tuatera of New Zealand compared with the deep
interest of preserving it as the last living vertebrate that takes us
back to Primary times? What is the momentary gratification of wearing
egret feathers compared with the certainty of soon destroying the
herons that produce them altogether; or what can compensate for the
vile cruelty done to mutilated parent birds and starving young, or the
murder of Bradley, the bird warden when trying to protect them?


The following quotations from a few of the many and wholly unsolicited
letters received are arranged in alphabetical order. They are strictly

_Australia._ The Animals' Protection Society. F. Montagu Rothery,
Esq., Secretary, 82 Pitt Street, Sydney, New South Wales.

     Here in this State our _fauna_ and _flora_ are both rapidly
     disappearing, there being so many agencies at work for their
     destruction. It will soon be too late to save many of our
     beautiful birds and animals, and I am anxious to bring
     under notice your words for the preservation of animals by
     a system of sanctuaries.

Dr. Robert Bell, late Chief Geologist, Geological Survey of Canada,
who has made many explorations in Labrador and adjacent lands and
waters, and who has always given special attention to the mammals,

     I approve very heartily of the plan. It will be a humane
     thing to try to protect the animals and will be very
     advantageous in every way. It will no doubt receive the
     sympathy of all classes. There will, however, be some
     difficulties to overcome and much work to be done before the
     plan gets into successful operation.... As to the location
     and dimensions of the sanctuary, the north side of the lower
     St. Lawrence is the most suitable or only region left,
     except where it is too far north to benefit the most of the
     mammals and birds which we should try to preserve. It will
     be desirable to reserve and protect as great a length of the
     shore as possible, but perhaps enough will be found between
     Bradore bay on the east and Great Mekattina island on the
     west, or this might be extended to Natashkwan. To carry it
     up to Mingan, it would become more and more difficult to
     protect the coast the further up you come. Between Mekattina
     island and Natashkwan, there are no attractive rivers to
     tempt trespassers to go inland, those which exist being
     difficult for canoe navigation....

     The animals soon find out where they are safe and come to
     live in even a small area. The Algonquin park is a case in
     point. There the bears have increased immensely in a few
     years and the less noticeable mammals and birds have also
     increased very much. I know of a more conspicuous case of a
     small area, on the Nelson river, where, owing to an
     old-standing superstition of the Indians, the animals have
     not been molested for a long period and they have become
     much more numerous than elsewhere.... Everything that can be
     killed is called Game. Most of it should be called animal
     murder and should be discouraged.

     The Sanctuary should be placed in charge of a committee of
     naturalists. But zoologists are scarce in Canada and those
     who have taken an interest in the animals might be included.
     Faithful men to carry out their instructions I think can be

The President of the Boone and Crockett Club, Major W. Austin
Wadsworth, Geneseo, N.Y., wrote:

     I wish to express officially the admiration of our Club for
     your paper on Animal Sanctuaries in Labrador, because the
     whole question of Game Refuges has been one of especial
     interest to us and we have been identified with all
     movements in that direction in this country.

Captain R.G. Boulton, R.N., retired, was engaged for many years on the
Hydrographic Survey of the Lower St. Lawrence, the Gulf and
Newfoundland. He says:

     There is no doubt, as regards the conservation of _birds_,
     that sea-birds, such as gulls, &c., &c., are useful "aids to
     navigation," by warning the mariner of the proximity of
     land, on making the coast. On foggy shores, like those of
     Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, they are especially
     useful, and it is to the advantage of the voyaging public to
     conserve what we have left. While carrying on the Survey of
     Georgian bay, and North channel of lake Huron, 1883-1893,
     the _Bayfield_, my surveying vessel, was more than once kept
     off the rocks in the foggy weather which prevails in May and
     June, by the chirping and warbling of land birds.

His Excellency the Right Hon. James Bryce, British Ambassador at
Washington, who is a keen botanist and lover of the wilds, writes:

     It is painfully interesting. One finds it hard to realize
     that such wicked waste of the gifts of Providence, and such
     horrible cruelty, should be going on in our time. You are
     doing a great service in calling attention to them and I
     heartily wish you success in your endeavours.

At a special meeting of the Board of Governors of the Camp-Fire Club
of America, held on December 12th last, the following resolution was
unanimously passed:

     "_Whereas_, the Camp-Fire Club of America desires to express
     its interest in and endorsement of the plan for the
     establishment of Bird and Animal Sanctuaries in Labrador,
     outlined by Lieut.-Colonel William Wood in his address
     before the Commission of Conservation delivered at Quebec,
     in January, 1911;

     "We believe that the establishment of adequate sanctuaries
     is one of the most potent factors in the conservation of our
     rapidly disappearing wild life. The Camp-Fire Club of
     America has taken, and is taking, an active part in the
     movement for the establishment of such sanctuaries in
     various places. We believe that such sanctuaries should be
     established in Labrador in the near future, while an
     abundance of undeveloped land is available and before the
     wild life has been decimated to such an extent as to make
     its preservation difficult;

     "_Be it therefore Resolved_, that the Secretary convey to
     Colonel Wood the assurance of our hearty interest in and
     approval of the plan to establish adequate animal
     sanctuaries in Labrador, and our hope that such sanctuaries
     will be established in the near future."

Dr. John M. Clarke, Director, Science Division, New York State
Education Department, and a gentleman acquainted with the wild life of
the gulf of St. Lawrence, writes:

     I have taken much interest in reading your paper. It seems
     to be based on an extraordinary acquaintance with the

     Canada is blessed with many unique natural resorts of animal
     life and I have been particularly impressed with the
     invasions that have been made on the wonderful nesting
     places of the waterfowl. In my repeated stays on the coast
     of Gaspe and the islands of the Gulf, now running over a
     dozen years, I have had my attention forced to the hideous
     sacrifices of bird life that are constantly going on; for
     example in the Magdalen islands with their extraordinary
     array of shore birds. The great lagoons within the islands
     afford ideal breeding conditions, and an extraordinary
     attraction for the hunter as well.

     My observation leads me to the conviction that the shooting
     law is not in the least respected on these islands, except
     perhaps by the residents themselves. In some cases the
     outsider is obliged to wait for the fall migration of the
     ducks and geese and so comes within the law, but there are
     plenty of early migrants that arrive during the close
     season, only to be quickly picked up by the summer hunter,
     who realizes that he is too far away to incur the law's

     As far as the shore birds are concerned, it is not the
     occasional hunter that does the real damage. The islands are
     becoming widely known to students of birds, and it is the
     bird student, the member of the Audubon Society, (in most
     instances, I regret to say, men of my own country) who are
     guilty of ruthless slaughter of the shore birds for their
     skins, and particularly for their eggs; all this in the
     protected season.

     The situation is even worse on the Bird rocks. That is a
     protected area and yet is subject to fearful attacks from
     the egg hunters. I do not mean the commercial "eggers," but
     the member of the Audubon Society who has a collection of
     birds' eggs and skins and wants duplicates in order to enter
     into exchange with his colleagues. I met there on one of my
     visits an American "student" who had taken 369 clutches of
     eggs of each of the seven or more species of waterfowl there
     breeding, thus destroying at one swoop upwards of two
     thousand potential birds. It is no wonder that, with such a
     hideous desecration of the rights of the birds, the
     population of the Rocks is rapidly decreasing.

     I believe the light-keeper is supposed to be a conservator
     of the birds and to prevent such uncontrolled destruction;
     but what can he do, a man who is practically exiled from the
     rest of his race for the entire year, frozen in for six
     months of the year? He is naturally so overjoyed at the
     sight of a fellow creature from the big world outside as to
     indulge him, whatever his collecting proclivities may be.
     The eggs that are taken by the occasional sailor seem to me
     to cut no figure at all in the actual diminution of the bird
     life there. That is a slender thing compared with the
     destruction caused by the bird students. It is a severe
     indictment of the ornithologist that such statements as the
     foregoing happen to be true.

     Almost as remarkable for its number of waterfowl of the same
     species is the roost on the east cliffs of Bonaventure
     island. These have fortunately been rendered by Nature, thus
     far, inaccessible and the bird men have not yet found a way
     of getting among them. Yet, even so, there is constantly a
     great deal of reckless shooting at the birds simply for the
     sake of "stirring them up." This place is not protected by
     law, I believe, as a special reservation, but that might
     easily be brought about if the matter were placed in the
     hands of some responsible citizen residing on that island.

     There is a happy situation in connection with the great
     Percé rock at Percé, on the top of which the gulls and
     cormorants have kept house for untold generations. These
     birds are a constant temptation to the men with a gun, but
     the Percé people are so attached to the birds that no one
     would ever think of killing one, except the occasional
     French fisherman who will eat a young gull when hard
     pressed. Any attempt made by outsiders to use the birds as
     targets is resented so strongly that even the cormorants are
     let live.

     Your address seems to me timely and extremely pertinent. I
     hope your proposition may receive more than passing
     attention and the suggestions therein be made effective, for
     they certainly aim to maintain the natural attractions and
     the natural resources of the country.

Mr. Napoleon A. Comeau, author of _Life and Sport on the North Shore_,
and one who has had fifty years' practical experience within the
Labrador area, writes from Godbout River, Que.:

     I trust your good work will be crowned with success. A lot
     of good has already been accomplished by the spreading of
     literature on this subject by the Audubon Society, the
     A.O.U. and others, but much remains to be accomplished. It
     has always been my aim in this section to prevent wanton
     destruction of all kinds and I am glad to say I have had
     considerable success in educating our younger generation
     here. Small birds of all kinds used to be wantonly killed by
     boys, a thing I rarely see now--it was the same in the other
     ways by men--but I must say that _real_ trappers or Indians
     are not the worst by any means. These men will kill at all
     times and seasons but only through necessity; strangers and
     so-called sportsmen are generally the offenders. I have been
     a trapper myself for years, a professional, but had been
     taught never to kill wantonly.... Of course, much study and
     care must be exercised in preserving species of birds and
     animals from destruction, or else, as you say, mistakes may
     be made. There are species of such that are destructive to
     others when allowed to increase beyond certain limits, and
     it takes a very short time to do that in some cases....
     About three years ago, ruffed grouse were so scarce
     everywhere that I have travelled hundreds of miles without
     seeing one. They were protected by law, which no doubt did
     much near the densely populated sections, but as far as our
     coast was concerned did absolutely nothing because Indians
     and trappers shot them on sight for food. Last year there
     were a few seen here and there and all at once, during the
     present season, there are thousands. Hundreds have been shot
     and they are reported abundant all over. I imagine this must
     be due to particularly favourable weather conditions and the
     immense number of foxes trapped last winter. There is also
     this fall, an extraordinary number of muskrats--they are
     swarming everywhere, even in totally, unfavourable
     localities, doing much damage in some places. What is the
     cause of this? Presumably it must be through some cause
     decreasing the number of their enemies. This is why I think
     much care must be taken before any steps are taken to
     protect certain species. Some still hold their own against
     all odds.

His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught, Governor General of Canada,
acknowledged the receipt of the _Address_ from Balmoral Castle in
September, granted an interview at Ottawa in December, and authorized
the use of his name to show his sympathy with the movement.

Dr. W.T. Grenfell has a long and most intimate knowledge of the
Atlantic Labrador. He writes:

     The matters of animal preservation which interest me most
     are: The rapid decline in numbers of harp seals which we
     Northern people can get for our boots and clothing. This
     food and clothing supply, formerly readily obtainable all
     along the Labrador, helped greatly to maintain in comfort
     our scattered population. It is scarcely now worth while
     putting out seal nets. We attribute this to the destruction
     of seals at the time of their whelping, by steamers which
     are ever growing larger and more numerous. No mammal,
     producing but one offspring can long survive this.

     Along the Labrador coast east of the Canadian border, birds
     are destroyed on sight and nests robbed wherever found. The
     laws are a dead letter because there is no one to enforce

     There is great need also for scientific inquiry with regard
     to the fisheries--the herring and mackerel are apparently
     gone, the salmon are getting scarcer, and the cod fisheries
     have been failing perceptibly these past years. Yet there is
     no practical effort made to discover the reason and obviate

On the 9th of September, 1911, Earl Grey made the following entry in
the visitors' book at La Roche:

     I desire to thank the provincial government of Quebec for
     having given me the opportunity of visiting, as their guest,
     the Laurentides National Park, and to acknowledge the great
     pleasure which I have derived from all I have seen and
     done.... I would also like to congratulate them on the
     wisdom of their policy in establishing so large a reserve,
     as a protection for various breeds of wild animals which
     would otherwise be in danger of extinction, and as a place
     of rest, refreshment, and recreation for those who love the
     quiet of the wilds.

Mr. George Bird Grinnell, one of the greatest authorities in the world
on the Indian and wild life of North America, writes:

     I have recently read with extraordinary interest your
     address, presented last January to the Commission of

     I wish to offer you my personal thanks for the effective way
     in which you have set forth the desirability of establishing
     wild-life refuges in Labrador, and I trust that what you
     have said will start a movement in Canada to carry out this
     good project. It has long interested me to know that your
     people and their officials seem much more farseeing than
     those on this side of the line, and Canada's show of
     national parks and reservations is far more creditable than
     that of her neighbour to the south.

Dr. H. Mather Hare, who does on the Canadian Labrador what Dr.
Grenfell does on the Newfoundland or Atlantic Labrador, and whose
headquarters are at Harrington, where the first coast sanctuary ought
to be established at the earliest possible moment, says:

     May I make a suggestion? The fishermen coming here from Nova
     Scotia and Newfoundland do not believe there is really a law
     against egging and shooting. They say it is a put-up job by
     the people living on the coast, because they want all the
     eggs and birds themselves. This being the case, would it not
     be a good idea to have a notice in several of the Nova
     Scotia and Newfoundland papers warning the fishermen
     against breaking the law, and in this way putting the
     interdiction on a legal footing; so they may understand that
     it is not a mere bluff on the part of the people living on
     the coast. So far there has been nothing but talk, and
     nothing official; no arrest made, etc., so one can hardly
     blame them for the position they take, especially as they
     have been doing the same thing for many years.

     The notice should be very clear and penalties set forth

Mr. W.T. Lindsay, M.E., who has travelled thousands of miles through
Labrador, writes:

     I have spent two summers in the north eastern wilderness of
     Quebec and can fully appreciate your suggestions.

     I take the liberty of sending you a copy of an "interview"
     by the _Montreal Witness_ upon my return in 1909, by which
     you will see that I am in accord with your views, _i.e._,
     unless the Government takes immediate steps to protect the
     wild animals in the Province of Quebec, many of them will
     become extinct....

     I would suggest that the Commission of Conservation make a
     close investigation of the _ways and means_ of the fur
     traders along the north shore, and I believe that official,
     unbiassed and independent investigation will expose a very
     peculiar state of affairs in connection with the
     mal-conservation of game.

Mr. Clive Phillips-Wolley, the well known authority on big-game sport,
writes from Koksilah, Nanaimo, B.C., Canada:

     ... of course I agree with your views: we have in this
     Province been doing our best to put them in practice with
     the most excellent results. Dr. W.T. Hornaday stirred us up,
     and, though we did not put our sanctuaries exactly where he
     suggested we took a hint from him and have been rewarded by
     an extraordinary increase in big-horns, wapiti and other big
     game. I, of course, have shot a great deal as a big game
     hunter, but, thank God, I don't remember one wanton kill,
     and I know I have not killed one per cent. of the beasts I
     might have done. No one wants to....

The Hon. Theodore Roosevelt, ex-President of the United States,

     I desire to extend my most earnest good wishes and
     congratulations to the Commission of Conservation of Canada.
     Your address on the need of animal sanctuaries in Labrador
     must appeal, it seems to me, to every civilized man. The
     great naturalist, Alfred Russell Wallace, in his book, "The
     World of Life," recently published, says that all who
     profess religion, or sincerely believe in the Deity, the
     designer and maker of this world and of every living thing,
     as well as all lovers of Nature, should treat the wanton and
     brutal destruction of living things and of forests as among
     the first of forbidden sins. In his own words, "All the
     works of Nature, animate or inanimate, should be invested
     with a certain sanctity, to be used by us but not abused,
     and never to be recklessly destroyed or defaced. To pollute
     a spring or a river, to exterminate a bird or a beast,
     should be treated as moral offences and as social crimes.
     Never before has there been such widespread ravage of the
     earth's surface by the destruction of vegetation, and with
     it, animal life, and such wholesale defacement of the earth.
     The nineteenth century saw the rise and development and
     culmination of these crimes against God and man. Let us hope
     that the twentieth century will see the rise of a truer
     religion, a purer Christianity." I have condensed what Mr.
     Wallace said because it is too long to quote in full. He
     shows that this wanton and brutal defacement of Nature, this
     annihilation of the natural resources that should be part of
     the National capital of our children and children's
     children, this destruction of so much that is beautiful and
     grand, goes hand in hand with the sordid selfishness which
     is responsible for so very much of the misery of our
     civilization. The movement for the conservation of our
     natural resources, for the protection of our forests and of
     the wild life of the woods, the mountains and the coasts, is
     essentially a democratic movement. Democracy, in its
     essence, means that a few people shall not be allowed for
     their own selfish gratification, to destroy what ought to
     belong to the people as a whole. The men who destroy our
     forests for their own immediate pecuniary benefit, the men
     who make a lifeless desert of what were once coasts teeming
     with a wonderfully varied bird life, these, whether rich or
     poor, and their fellows in destruction of every type, are
     robbing the whole people, are robbing the citizens of the
     future of their natural rights. Over most of the United
     States, over all of South Africa and large portions of
     Canada, this destruction was permitted to go on to the
     bitter end. It is late now, but it is not too late for us to
     put a stop to the process elsewhere. What is being done in
     Labrador is substantially what was done, and is still, in
     places, being done in Florida. A resolute effort is now
     being made by the Audubon Societies, and all kindred
     organizations, to stop the waste in the United States. Great
     good can be done by this effort, for there is still very
     much left to save in the United States. But there is very
     much more left to save in Canada. Canada has taken the lead
     in many matters of far-reaching importance to the future
     welfare of mankind, and has taught other nations much. She
     can teach no more important lesson to other nations, and
     incidentally, she can benefit herself in no more striking
     way, than by resolutely setting to work to preserve her
     forests, and the strange and beautiful wild creatures, both
     beasts and birds, of her forests and her sea-coasts.
     Labrador offers one of the best of all possible fields for
     such work. The forests, the wild beasts and wild birds of
     Labrador can be kept perpetually as one of the great assets
     of Canada; or they can he destroyed in a spirit of brutal
     and careless vandalism, with no permanent benefit to anyone,
     and with the effect of ruining the country and preventing
     its ever becoming what it otherwise would become. The
     economic argument is by no means the only argument, and, in
     my eyes, is hardly the most important argument for
     preserving the forests and wild life of Labrador, as your
     Commission desires to preserve them, but it is in itself so
     important that, even though there were no other reason to be
     adduced, it would amply warrant the taking of the action
     you recommend. I extend you my warmest good wishes for the
     success of your movement.

Mr. Ernest Thompson Seton writes:

     ... your most interesting and convincing address on _Animal
     Sanctuaries in Labrador_. You certainly have hit the nail on
     the head. It is now demonstrated by experiments in many
     parts of the world that the only sure way to preserve
     indefinitely a supply of wild animals is by giving them
     well-placed, well-selected sanctuaries, wherein at all
     seasons they are safe. I am delighted to know that you are
     taking up this important matter with such vigor.

_South Africa_. Major Hamilton, Superintendent, Transvaal Government
Game Reserves, Koomatipoort, says:

     I have been much interested in reading Col. Wood's address.
     They seem to have the same difficulties to contend with
     there as we have here, _i.e._, ignorance and apathy of the
     public, and active opposition from those with axes to grind.

Major Hamilton encloses the _Regulations under Section_ 4 _of the Game
Preservation Ordinance_, 1905, (C)--_Reserves_. By these it appears
that "owners of private land situate in a Reserve or persons having
the permission in writing of such owners shall have free access to
every part of such land." But routes of access in the Reserve
generally are exactly defined and must be followed. Penalties up to
£50 may be imposed for the infraction of any one of six different
clauses. Major Hamilton also says:

     The Game Sanctuaries of the Transvaal stretch along the
     eastern border of the Province for a length of 250 miles
     with an average breadth of 50 miles.

     They are in charge of a Warden under whom are six Rangers.
     Five of these Rangers are in charge of each of one of the
     five areas into which the Reserves are divided, four for the
     Sabi Reserve and one for the Singwitsi Reserve, and each has
     at his disposal a force of 12 native rangers or police. The
     sixth Ranger is specially employed in the capture of live
     animals for zoological purposes, the destruction of vermin
     and for any emergency duty which may arise. His headquarters
     are, therefore, within easy reach of the Warden.

     The Warden has, further, in the districts included in the
     Game Reserve, the powers of a Resident Justice of the Peace,
     a Sub Native Commissioner, and a Customs Officer, while the
     Rangers, white and native, have the full powers and duties
     of police. The area is therefore quite self-contained, and
     at the Warden's headquarters, are police barracks, court
     house and lock-up, and a post of the Transvaal police in
     charge of a corporal is permanently stationed there. The
     special by-laws which are enforced are set forth in the
     attached slip. There are about 4,000 natives, all told,
     resident within the area. Most of them have been admitted as
     residents on condition of their giving assistance to the
     staff, and hold their tenure conditionally on their
     behaviour. This system has been found to work admirably,
     for, while practically no harm is done by these residents,
     very considerable assistance has been obtained from them in
     detecting poachers.

     All carnivorous mammals are treated as vermin and are
     systematically destroyed.

     No shooting or hunting of any kind is permitted in the
     Reserve, and in fact members of the public except on special
     permit are not allowed to carry firearms or to leave certain
     main tracks.

     The species of game mammals found are as follows: Elephant,
     rhinoceros, hippopotamus, giraffe, buffalo, zebra, sable and
     roan antelope, kudu, water buck, blue wilde-beest, impalla,
     reed buck, bush-buck, steenbok, duiker, klipspringer,
     mountain reed buck, red duiker.

     Of game birds there are: five kinds of francolin, two kinds
     of knorhaan, sand grouse, quail and crested paauw.

     The most destructive of the carnivora are lions, leopards,
     chitas, hunting dogs, caracals and servals.

     Baboons, porcupines, &c., being destructive in various ways,
     are considered to be vermin.

     Vermin have perceptibly decreased during the last few years,
     in spite of the fact that the game has increased at the rate
     of fully 10 per cent, per annum.

     About 1,500 head of vermin, on an average, are destroyed
     annually. The figures for 1910 included 21 lions, 24
     leopards, 31 wild dogs, &c., the balance being made up of
     chetahs, caracals, servals, civets, genets, wild cats,
     hyenas, jackals, otters, baboons, crocodiles, pythons and
     birds of prey.

     There were 133 prosecutions for infringement of the
     regulations, all against natives.

Dr. Charles W. Townsend, Boston, Mass., an eminent ornithologist,

     I have just read with much interest your Address on _Animal
     Sanctuaries in Labrador_, and wish to tell you how fully I
     agree with you, not only as to the importance of stopping
     the destruction in Labrador before it is too late, but also
     in the value of animal sanctuaries in general and of
     Labrador in particular. I sincerely hope you will succeed in
     your good work.

     In the _Birds of Labrador_, 1907, Boston Society of Natural
     History, by Mr. Glover, Mr. Allen and myself, we called
     especial attention to the great destruction of life that has
     gone on and is still going on there, and we suggested the
     protection of the eiders for their down, as is done in
     Norway, instead of their extermination, the present course.

Commander W. Wakeham, of the Department of Marine, says:

     No one can question the desirability of having certain areas
     set apart, where wild animals may find asylum, and rest....

     A few years ago, from some unusual cause, the woodland
     caribou, in great numbers, visited that part of Labrador,
     east of Forteau, and along down as far as St. Charles. A
     large number were there killed by the white settlers--but
     this was a solitary, and exceptional year. The Indians who
     hunt in the interior of Labrador undoubtedly do kill a large
     number of these caribou; but, when we consider the great
     extent of country over which these deer migrate, compared
     with the comparatively small number of Indians--and there is
     a steadily decreasing number--I can hardly believe that
     there is much fear of their ever exterminating these deer.
     Then, could we possibly prevent these Indians from hunting
     the deer wherever they meet them? I hardly think we could.
     The barren-ground caribou are not hunted to any extent by
     whites. During the month of August, the Eskimo of the Ungava
     peninsula, as well as those in Baffin island, resort to
     certain fords, or narrows where these caribou usually pass
     at the beginning of the fall migration. They kill
     considerable numbers--rather for the skins as clothing, than
     for food. But the Eskimo are few in number, and I cannot
     conceive that there is any fear of these caribou ever being
     greatly reduced in number by these native hunters. Any one
     who has ever met a herd of barren-ground caribou, and seen
     the countless thousands of them, could hardly conceive of
     their ever being exterminated. Nor would they be if we had
     to deal only with the native hunters. But, with our
     experience of what happened to the buffalo when the white
     man took up the slaughter, we must take precaution in time.

     Up to the present, very few white men have penetrated any
     distance into the interior of the Labrador peninsula, and I
     do not see that they are very likely to, in the near future.
     But we never can tell. A few years ago we would have said
     the same of the Yukon region, so that it would be a wise
     precaution to have set apart a considerable section of the
     Labrador, in the interior, as a sanctuary.... It would
     perhaps be better to have two regions set apart, one near
     the Saguenay country and another nearer the Atlantic coast.
     We have, however, to consider the fact that sanctuaries
     will be of no value unless they are well guarded.

     In the case of the birds the conditions are bad; the
     destruction on the Labrador is horrible to contemplate. The
     outer islands were scoured by crews from foreign vessels,
     and whole loads of eggs carried off. There has not been much
     of this done in recent years. There can he no doubt that, if
     certain of the larger and less inhabited islands were set
     apart, and carefully protected, the birds would return to
     them. I believe that owing to the constant way in which the
     birds--eider ducks, certain of the divers, gulls, &c., were
     disturbed, on their natural and original nesting places,
     they have changed their habits; and, instead of nesting on
     the islands and by the sea, they have moved to the shores of
     the interior lakes. You see flocks of young birds in the
     fall; they have come from the interior, as they were not
     hatched out on the islands as they used to be.

     The destruction of geese and curlew does not take place on
     the Labrador. These birds are not disturbed on their nesting
     grounds; but, to the south and west when they are passing to
     their winter haunts. Geese are found feeding on the
     hill-sides, on the most distant and northern islands--as far
     north as any of our explorers have gone. The first birds
     Sverdrup met as he was coming south, in the early spring,
     were wild geese. These birds are not disturbed on their
     breeding grounds. The Eskimo do not meddle with them. In the
     same way caribou are found feeding about the shores of
     Hudson bay and strait. Like the geese, they feed on berries
     about the hill sides. I have shot them at the mouth of
     Churchill river, and near cape Digges in August, when they
     were very fat--so fat that it is said that, on falling on
     hard ground, they would burst open; though this did not
     actually happen in my case. I certainly think that it would
     be a grand thing to have certain groups of islands--or even
     certain sections of coast--set apart as bird sanctuaries.

     Your paper deals entirely with conditions in Labrador. There
     is, however, another part of the Gulf coast, where the need
     of protection is much greater than on the Labrador. That is
     the interior of the Gaspe peninsula. A certain region in the
     interior has been set aside as a park, but it is quite
     unprotected. Here, we have moose, woodland caribou and the
     red deer, besides nearly all the fur-bearing animals that we
     find on the Labrador. There is no game protection whatever.
     Moose and caribou are killed mostly out of season--when they
     are yarded, or when it is easy to run them down. In many
     cases the meat is left in the woods, the hide only being
     wanted. Lumbermen are penetrating up the rivers, further
     into the interior--every lumber camp is a centre from which
     the game laws are persistently violated.... the game, both
     fur and feather, (particularly the ruffled grouse) is
     rapidly disappearing before their pitiless onslaughts.
     Lumber camps are opened much earlier in the season than they
     used to be; so that the interior lakes and head waters of
     the rivers are being cleaned out of fish taken while in the
     act of spawning. All this may seem very strong language; but
     it is really not exaggerated. It may help to show the need
     of more and better conservation....

Mr. Alfred Russell Wallace, the founder and exponent of the science of
zoo-geography, writes:

     ... your address on "Animal Sanctuaries" in Labrador, which
     I have read with the greatest interest and astonishment.
     Such reckless destruction I should hardly have thought

     There is a considerable public opinion now against the use
     of feathers as _ornaments_[A] because it inevitably leads to
     the extermination of some of the most beautiful of living
     things; but I think the attempts to stop it by legal
     enactments begin at the wrong end. They seek to punish the
     actual collectors or importers of the plumes, who are really
     the least guilty and the most difficult to get at. It is the
     actual _wearers_ of such ornaments who should be subject to
     fines or even imprisonment, because, without the _demand_
     they make there would be no supply. They also are,
     presumably, the most educated and should know better. If it
     were known that any lady with a feather in her hat (or
     elsewhere) would be taken before a magistrate and _fined_,
     and, on a second offence, _imprisoned_, and if this were the
     case in the chief civilized countries of Europe and America,
     the whole trade would at once cease and the poor birds be
     left in peace.

     You have, however, treated the subject very carefully and
     thoroughly, and I hope your views will be soon carried

     I am glad to hear that Mr. Roosevelt is a reader of the
     "World of Life." My own interest is more especially in the
     preservation of adequate areas of the glorious tropical and
     equatorial forests, with their teeming and marvellous forms
     of life.

Numerous other letters from all parts of the world expressing
appreciation of the _Address_ have been received, the correspondents
expressing strong approval of the effort to establish Animal
Sanctuaries in Labrador. The names of some of the correspondents are
given herewith:

Sir Robert Baden-Powell, London; Prof. H.T. Barnes, Montreal; Julien
Corbett, London; Rudyard Kipling; Lord Stamfordham, London; Sir James
LeMoine, Quebec; J.M. Macoun, Ottawa; Henry F. Osborn, New York;
Madison Grant, New York.

_Note._--As a postscript I might add that the owner of part of a very
desirable little archipelago, not far from the Saguenay, has already
offered to give the property outright if a suitable sanctuary can be
made out of the whole. This is all the more encouraging because such a
gift involves the refusal of an offer from a speculative purchaser.
May others be moved to do the same!


[Footnote A: Mr. Wallace refers to feathers like egrets, not the
permissable kinds, like ostrich plumes.]

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Supplement to Animal Sanctuaries in Labrador - Supplement to an Address Presented by Lt.-Colonel William Wood, - F.R.S.C. Before the Second Annual Meeting of the Commission of - Conservation in January, 1911" ***

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