Reduce Ptarmigan Bag and Possession Limit in Portions of the Skeena Region

Regulation Number: 
2020-06-04
Status: 
Decided
Region: 
Region 6 - Skeena
MU: 
6-1
6-2
6-3
6-4
6-5
6-6
6-8
6-11
6-15
6-30
Regulation Type: 
General Open Season
Species: 
Ptarmigan
Closing Date: 
January 19, 2020 at midnight
Decision Statement: 

This regulation was approved as proposed and is included in the 2020-2022 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis.

Current Regulations: 

Ptarmigan

6-1 to 6-11, 6-14 to 6-30

Aug 15 - Feb 28

10 (30)

Proposed Regulations: 

Ptarmigan

6-1 to 6-06, 6-08 to 6-11, 6-15, 6-30

Aug 15 - Feb 28

5 (15)

 

6-07, 6-14, 6-16 to 6-29

Aug 15 – Feb 28

10 (30)

Rationale: 

There are three species of ptarmigan that inhabit BC; Willow, Rock and White-tailed. Generally, in BC, these species spend the breeding season in the alpine and then, in late fall, they gather in flocks and migrate to more protected areas. These are typically mid-elevation wetlands or meadows, which provide tall shrubs and vegetation for forage and cover. These habitat types can be limited, so flocks from multiple mountains may congregate in a small number of locations. This may leave them vulnerable to harvest by hunters.

Currently there is no population data for ptarmigan in the Skeena region. Incidental observations from wildlife survey (goats, caribou, sheep) and anecdotal information from public suggest that the MUs in the southern portion of the Skeena region (MUs 6-01 to 6-06, 6-08-6-11, 6-15 and 6-30) have lower densities of ptarmigan than the northern MUs. Furthermore, summer habitat is more discrete than the northern part of the region, which limits breeding habitat and likely explain the lower densities of ptarmigan.

Natural mortality for ptarmigan is typically highest in the spring and fall and low during the summer and winter. Therefore, winter hunting harvest may be additive mortality that would impact population numbers at the start of the spring breeding.