Sustainable wildlife management

The ministry manages Ontario’s natural resources and wildlife on behalf of all Ontarians.

We manage wildlife species to sustain their populations and habitat while considering the needs of the human population over time. Wildlife management includes:

  • policy and regulation
  • research and monitoring
  • habitat planning, management and conservation
  • allocation and harvest planning

Wildlife laws and regulations

We administer the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997 and supporting regulations that provide the framework for the wildlife conservation and management in Ontario. The act and regulations provide rules about:

  • hunting and trapping of game wildlife, including licensing, seasons, limits and harvest reporting
  • use of firearms, trapping methods and other gear types
  • keeping wildlife in captivity
  • transportation, possession, purchase and sale of wildlife

Migratory birds, including migratory game birds (such as ducks and geese), are protected under the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act.

Species whose populations are at risk due to small size or significant declines may receive further protection under either:


Cervids (deer, moose, elk)

White-tailed Deer



Black bear

Small game and furbearers


Wild turkey

Related links