Brant geese are characterized by their extensive use of native coastal habitats outside the breeding season. (Photo submitted by NIWRA)

Dogs temporarily restricted from Parksville beaches to make way for geese

Even small disturbances can have drastic effect on birds

Parksville beaches within the Parksville-Qualicum Beach Wildlife Management Area will see temporary closed to dogs for certain times between February and April.

The black Brant geese that can be seen along the shores of Parksville are on a remarkable and arduous journey of migration from California and Mexico to northern nesting grounds. Parksville beaches provide an abundant food source for the geese which need to gain weight and strength before making another non-stop flight.

A disturbance caused by something as simple as a child running on the beach can have drastic effects on the geese while feeding. For this reason, Parksville beaches are subject to seasonal no dog restrictions; beaches closed to dogs both on-leash and off-leash for a period of time each year.

Parksville beaches within the Parksville-Qualicum Beach Wildlife Management Area are closed during these times:

· Rathtrevor Beach – Feb. 15 to April 15

· Parksville Bay Beach – March 1 to April 30

The Parksville-Qualicum Beach Wildlife Management Area has regulations in place that dogs must be on leash at all times within the wildlife management area.

Questions should be directed to the RAPP line (Report All Poachers and Polluters) at 1 877 952-7277, #7277 on the Telus mobility network or online at https://forms.gov.bc.ca/environment/rapp/

The annual Brant Wildlife Festival is held in March and April and celebrates nature and the arrival of thousands of migratory birds, fish and marine mammals to the shores of this region, particularly Brant geese. The festival offers many events and activities for all ages such as spring break nature camps for kids, a variety of wildlife tours and field trips, walks and presentations, films and guest speakers. [www.brantfestival.bc.ca]

— NEWS Staff, submitted by the City of Parksville

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