Signs on provincial beaches put in place to protect Island wildlife
'I don’t think people really understand how many ground-nesting birds we do have'
If you walk around some of P.E.I.'s provincial beaches these days, you might come across a white sign asking Islanders to keep their dogs on a leash.
These signs have been put up in an effort to protect piping plovers and other ground-nesting birds during the season.
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The signs are put up by a partnership of the Island Nature Trust and the provincial Environment Department. Shannon Mader, the species at risk coordinator with Island Nature Trust, said the crucial times to protect at-risk piping plovers begin in May and run as late as August.
"I don't think people really understand how many ground-nesting birds we do have and how easy it is for these nests and young to be trampled," said Mader.
Putting up the signs, she said, is a measure that is important for all wildlife and for nesting birds because when dogs roam around off leash they pose a threat to animals on land.
"We're really looking at protecting a nesting and endangered species," Mader said.
Having a dog off-leash in a signed area could bring a fine of $275. Some of the beaches with signs include Eglington, Lakeside, North Lake and Boughton Island.
The signs will remain up until the Island Nature Trust believes the birds have left.
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With files from Stephanie Kelly