Other activities don’t reduce dog disturbance from birds – Vancouver Island Free Daily
The authors of two recent letters have propelled whataboutism into a whole new stratosphere.
In “The Reasons to Ban Off-Leash Dogs on the Beach Don’t Hold Up,” the author points to motorboats, the marina, and “trash heaps” left by beach visitors and nearby homes . He states that “the algal blooms that occur every summer in the bay are likely caused by garden fertilizers” and “some owners may own cats”, although he has no evidence as to whether the either is true, and while no one has ever said there weren’t other issues besides harassment of wildlife by off-leash dogs.
It calls the nine-month migration season from September to May a “short period” and fails to mention that the herons that currently nest in June and use these beaches year-round are also protected species. It does not mention the many other valid safety reasons for restricting dogs on public beaches, either through the use of leashes or seasonal bans during the busy summer months.
In “Human Activity Disturbs Migratory Birds,” the author takes issue with the annual Oak Bay Tea Party fireworks display. Much like stopping a fireworks display on the shore of a bird sanctuary, keeping a dog on a leash is a simple and effective way to prevent wildlife disturbance. Unlike an annual fireworks display, off-leash dogs disturb the birds every day.
He further suggests that the following should be prohibited on shorelines: volleyball, paddle ball, sandcastle building, sunbathing, beach walks, all motorized watercraft, jet skis, paddle boarders, kayakers , boaters, fishermen, sailboats, beach parties, lights and all events with noise.
Yes, there are many other human-caused disturbances to birds. Dogs harassing birds, which is much more likely to happen when off leash, is one of them, and it’s already legislated. Both authors are clearly very passionate about identifying other human-caused problems and they should be encouraged to advocate for more restrictions on all harmful activities to strengthen wildlife protection.