Vancouver Island man fined $230 for disturbing nesting bald eagles with drone
Conservation Officer Service reminds people it's illegal to harass wildlife with drones, vehicles
B.C.'s Conservation Officer Service (CSO) says it has convicted and fined a Vancouver Island man accused of flying a drone near an eagle's nest in Nanaimo, B.C.
In a Facebook post, the service says the incident happened in the city's Maffeo Sutton Park in May 2015, when a nature photopgrapher reported the drone flying in close proximity to a nest occupied by adult and baby bald eagles.
"The eagles were extremely agitated by the drone and at one point a flightless baby climbed out the nest and sat on the edge where it was at risk of falling," said the CSO's post.
Many people responding to the post said they were surprised the fine was only $230.
"As a professional drone operator I find it very frustrating that they were fined so little for something like this. [It] does the whole industry a disservice," Jon Ross replied to the post.
Section 27 of B.C.'s Wildlife Act says it is an offence to herd or harass wildlife with the use of a motor vehicle, aircraft, boat or other mechanical device.
"Harassment includes causing any adverse reaction or behaviour in wildlife," said the CSO post.
It aks anyone who witnesses violations like this to contact them through the toll-free conservation officer hotline, at 1-877-952-7277 or to report the violation online.