Patrols for dogs in P.E.I. National Park increasing
Parks Canada staff enforcing 15-year-old regulation with warnings, fines
Staff at P.E.I. National Park will be stepping up patrols and handing out fines to people taking dogs on to the beaches.
The regulation, first put in place 15 years ago, also applies to cats and horses.
Parks Canada ecological integrity coordinator Kim Gamble said the goal is to protect the surrounding natural habitat of endangered species, such as piping plovers.
"We are still finding that people are bringing their dogs to the beaches illegally and so this year, we're stepping up and we'll have more presence on the beach," said Gamble.
"The focus is to really ensure that people are respecting that domestic animal regulation and that we're protecting our coastal ecosystem as best as possible."
Gamble said five people have been charged this year for bringing their dogs to the park. Even having your dog on a leash is a problem.
"Birds see the dog right away and identify it as a predator, and they'll either stop their feeding or their incubating and that can really impact migrating or nesting species." said Gamble.
"We usually see dog tracks everyday when we're out on the beaches, so there is evidence of dogs being on beaches."
Gamble said pets are too hard on the sensitive shoreline area and can damage plants and wreck nesting areas for birds.