Seasonal dog ban implemented at western Vancouver Island beach to protect migratory birds

Seasonal dog ban implemented at western Vancouver Island beach to protect migratory birds
Combers Beach on western Vancouver Island is shown.

Dogs will be banned on a popular western Vancouver Island beach in a bid to protect migratory shorebirds, according to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

The seasonal dog ban will take place at Combers Beach, between Tofino and Ucluelet, beginning this Thursday, April 14 through Oct. 1, 2022.

The specific area affected is the beach between Sandhill Creek and Green Point Rocks and includes the Combers Beach trail as well as boardwalk access from Green Point Campground.

A map shows the area of Combers Beach that will be closed to dogs.

“In light of our increasing understanding of the importance of the Long Beach area to migratory shorebirds, this limited measure is being taken to decrease disturbance of shorebirds during a critical time of their annual cycle – migration,” Pacific Rim National Park Reserve said in a statement.

“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 park says dogs can still visit other parts of Long Beach, albeit on a leash.

The seasonal ban is being introduced as a trial to study whether it helps migratory shorebirds and other wildlife, according to Parks Canada.

Parks Canada staff and other law enforcement officers will patrol the area to ensure people adhere to the ban, with tickets for off-leash dogs beginning at $58 for a first offence. Repeated offenders can faces fines of up to $25,000, as well as a court appearance.

Anyone who sees a dog in the restricted area during the seasonal ban is asked to call Parks Canada at 250-726-3604.



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