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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 October 2006, 20:58 GMT 21:58 UK
Dog ban imposed to protect birds
Vazon
Vazon supports the island's largest flocks of wader birds
A voluntary ban on dogs at a beach in Guernsey is being introduced to protect species of wading birds.

Conservationists called for the voluntary measure after a reported decline in wading birds over winter.

The ban was agreed by the States, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, British Trust for Ornithology and La Societe Guernesiaise.

It will apply to the Richmond end of Vazon until 30 April 2007 and aims to reduce disturbances caused by dogs.

'Dramatic declines'

Vazon supports the island's largest flocks of many waders, including Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Turnstone.

Ornithologist Jamie Hooper said Guernsey's longest-running survey, the Wader Count, had shown "dramatic declines" in most of the common species and recorded a significant increase in disturbance from walkers and dog-walkers.

Mr Hooper said that disturbance in the winter months meant birds burned vital fat reserves when they should be trying to feed, rest and conserve energy.

The voluntary ban follows the end of island-wide dog restrictions over the summer in eight Guernsey beaches.

The Environment Department is currently looking at introducing a complete dog ban at Richmond in the winter months.




SEE ALSO
Seasonal beach restrictions start
30 Apr 06 |  Guernsey
Minister insists beaches are safe
31 May 05 |  Guernsey
Study singles out three beaches
27 May 05 |  Guernsey
Surfers deliver sewage petition
06 Oct 04 |  Guernsey

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