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Double-crested Cormorant

Cormorant Management in New York

Cormorants in a tree
Cormorants in a tree.

Cormorant populations have increased markedly across New York in recent years, likely a result of a cleaner environment and fewer pesticides causing reproductive problems. Large nesting colonies are a sight to behold, but high densities of nesting cormorants are not without problems. In Lake Champlain, destruction of vegetation on nesting islands in Vermont by cormorants threatens populations of common terns, a threatened species. On Oneida Lake, cormorant occupation of islands also threatens survival of the common tern. In addition, thousands of cormorants stopping over during the fall migration have raised concerns about their effect on ecologically and economically important fisheries. And in the eastern basin of Lake Ontario, cormorants have been found to be a significant predator of smallmouth bass, which is a native, economically important species.

The Department's mission includes a responsibility to manage fish and wildlife resources for the benefit of current and future generations. It is not an easy job, and often requires balancing of competing interests to find the course of action that will do the most good with the least harm. The profession of wildlife management has grown in sophistication in considering the human side of the equation, and we also pay attention to social and economic issues and consider people's values and desires in developing our management plans. We are currently involved in a series of cormorant studies and management activities with our counterparts in other states, universities, the federal government, and Canada. Sound science is at the base of our investigations, and requires that we keep an open mind, document our observations, and learn from experience.


More about Double-crested Cormorant:

  • Management of Double-crested Cormorants to Protect Public Resources - The NYSDEC Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources, in cooperation with U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services, plans to carry out integrated double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritis) management programs to alleviate and prevent conflicts with public resources at specific problem areas in New York.
  • Managing Cormorants in the Eastern Basin of Lake Ontario, 1999 - Excerpt from a poster on management of Double-crested Cormorants presented at an AOU meeting on August 12, 1999.
  • Impact of Double-crested Cormorant Predation 1998 - Table of Contents for the 1998 report: Impact of Double-Crested Cormorant Predation on the Smallmouth Bass and Other Fishes of the Eastern Basin of Lake Ontario; a cooperative report prepared by: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Fisheries and United States Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division.
  • Impact of Double-crested Cormorant Predation 1999 - Table of Contents for the 1999 report: Impact of Double-Crested Cormorant Predation on the Smallmouth Bass and Other Fishes of the Eastern Basin of Lake Ontario; a cooperative report prepared by: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Fisheries and United States Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division.
  • Impact of Double-crested Cormorant Predation 2000 - Table of Contents for the 2000 report: Impact of Double-Crested Cormorant Predation on the Smallmouth Bass and Other Fishes of the Eastern Basin of Lake Ontario; a cooperative report prepared by: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Fisheries and United States Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division.
  • Impact of Double-crested Cormorant Predation 2001 - Table of Contents for the 2001 report: Impact of Double-Crested Cormorant Predation on the Smallmouth Bass and Other Fishes of the Eastern Basin of Lake Ontario; a cooperative report prepared by: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Fisheries and United States Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division.
  • Impact of Double-crested Cormorant Predation 2002 - Table of Contents for the 2002 report: Impact of Double-Crested Cormorant Predation on the Smallmouth Bass and Other Fishes of the Eastern Basin of Lake Ontario; a cooperative report prepared by: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Fisheries and United States Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division.
  • Impact of Double-crested Cormorant Predation 2003 - Table of Contents for the 2003 report: Impact of Double-Crested Cormorant Predation on the Smallmouth Bass and Other Fishes of the Eastern Basin of Lake Ontario; a cooperative report prepared by: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Fisheries and United States Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division