• Want to study this muskrat in Quebec? It'll cost you. (Photo: Cephas/Wikimedia Commons)
    Want to study this muskrat in Quebec? It'll cost you. (Photo: Cephas/Wikimedia Commons)

Studying wildlife in Quebec now has an extra price tag attached to it.

Quebec’s Forests, Wildlife, and Parks Ministry recently introduced new fees for research permits, ranging from $67 to over $2000, causing many people to worry abut the future of wildlife research in Quebec.

“There are many biologists who work alone or who work for small organizations that won’t be able to afford these fees, so we think many of them will stop doing their work,” says Patrick Paré, president of the Association des Biologistes du Québec.

The association sent the ministry letters asking them to reconsider, or to at least charge an annual fee that covers an unlimited number of projects.

“We usually ask for more than 10 permits each year to do our projects, so paying for each one of those will be very expensive for us,” says Paré. “We really don’t understand why we have to pay the government at all since we’re working in collaboration with them.”

Permits are needed for a wide range of projects, from wildlife management to habitat modification to educational projects. While these permits have always been needed, there has never been a cost associated with them.

Paré fears that permit fees will prevent important wildlife research from being done in Quebec, a situation he considers to be lose-lose for the government and researchers alike.