For the second straight year, dogs have been temporarily banished from Combers Beach.
The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve has announced a seasonal dog ban at Combers Beach between Sandhill Creek and Green Point Rocks from April 1 to October 1.
The park reserve first launched the ban as a pilot project in 2022 to study whether it would help migratory shorebirds that depend on the beach as a place to rest and eat along their migration route between the Arctic and South America.
“As we learn more about how important the Long Beach area is to migratory shorebirds, this management tool is being used to decrease the disturbance of shorebirds during a critical time of their annual cycle—migration,” the announcement reads.
“When migratory birds are disturbed, the extra time and energy spent fleeing can affect their survival. The presence of dogs can also contribute to the habituation of wildlife such as wolves who frequent beaches to access coastal food sources.”
The dog ban includes Combers Beach Trail and the boardwalk access to Combers Beach from Green Point Campground.
Dogs are permitted in all other areas of the Park Reserve, but must be leashed at all times.
“Parks Canada continues to raise awareness about the importance of keeping dogs on leash in the national park reserve,” the announcement reads.
“Unfortunately, this regulation is often ignored. Ongoing research demonstrates how off-leash dogs negatively impact wildlife, and therefore Parks Canada is trying this management tool to protect migratory shorebirds.”
The Park Reserve says observations from 2022 show the dog ban was successful with the ecological monitoring team observing a 97 per cent decrease in dogs and a 9 per cent increase in shorebirds.
Parks Canada staff will be monitoring the area and anyone who sees a dog in the prohibited area is encouraged to contact Parks Canada Dispatch 250-726-3604, or toll free 1-877-852-3100. More information can be found at www.pc.gc.ca.
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