(Pexels)

For the second year in a row, dog access will be closed on Combers Beach, between Sandhill Creek and Green Point Rocks in Tofino.

The temporary ban will take place from April 1st to October 1st, 2023.

Last year was the first year this project was implemented. Parks Canada originally introduced the regulation to decrease the disturbance of shorebirds during a critical time of their annual cycle migration.

Recent estimates have shown that over 500,000 shorebirds spanning more than 30 species make landfall on beaches and mudflats twice a year.

Shorebirds use the park as a place to rest and forage for food during their trips, replenishing their fat reserves before continuing on their journey between the Arctic and parts of South America.

According to Parks Canada, dogs off leash often follow their instincts and chase shorebirds, causing the birds to expend energy reserves they should actually be building. 

The same impact is produced by visitors carelessly walking, cycling or running through flocks of shorebirds roosting or feeding on the beach.

A first offence of walking a dog off a leash in the area could result in a fine of $58 and repeated offenders will be fined up to $25,000, under the Canada National Parks Act.

Parks Canada asks anyone who sees a dog in the area to call  Parks Canada Dispatch at 250-726-3604.

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