PEI

P.E.I. parks enforcement blitz results in charges, warnings

Federal and provincial parks staff joined forces over the Canada Day weekend to enforce laws and lay a handful of charges and warnings in P.E.I.'s North Shore parks.

More beach users are now aware of rules to protect piping plovers

Officials asked dog owners on provincial beaches where piping plovers were nesting to leash their pets. (Submitted/Bird Studies Canada)

Federal and provincial parks staff joined forces over the Canada Day weekend to enforce laws and lay a handful of charges and warnings in P.E.I.'s North Shore parks.

Eight officers and wardens were on the ground and in boats patrolling around North Rustico, P.E.I. National Park, Grand Tracadie and Blooming Point for illegal activity. 

"We're hoping that the presence of conservation officers and national park wardens on provincial and national park piping plover nesting beaches will hopefully remind people and encourage them to respect the laws that are in place to protect piping plovers and their beach habitat," said Julie-Lynne Zahavich, with the Island Nature Trust. 

Officers did not lay any charges on provincial beaches but in parks where there were piping plovers, they asked some dog owners to leash their pets. One ATV driver was ticketed for operating an ATV on the highway without a licence.

Pets versus plovers 

On national park beaches, wardens issued several warnings as well as three charges relating to dogs — which aren't allowed in the park from April to mid-October — one for not picking up after their pet and two for having dogs on the beach. 

"We are encouraged that most people are now aware of the nesting piping plovers and are respecting the signed nesting areas on provincial beaches as well as the closed areas in the national park," said Wade MacKinnon, provincial manager of Investigation and Enforcement, noting officers talked with many beach users during the blitz. 

In 2016, 60 individual piping plovers returned to nest on P.E.I. beaches. The tiny shore birds are endangered, and nest on the Island's North and northeastern shore from mid-April to mid-July. Staging shorebirds and nesting common terns also use the beaches through mid-autumn.

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