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LETTER: Foreshore logs home to wildlife
Port Metro Vancouver (PMV) is planning to disturb and destroy vital foreshore habitat in Canada’s most significant Important Bird Area (IBA) and internationally designated Ramsar Site, IBA and Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve. They plan to do it now in September in the middle of shorebird migration along the Pacific Flyway and at the site where thousands of waterfowl are just arriving for the winter. This is outrageous.
Foreshore logs at the high tide line are perches for Snowy Owls and other birds of prey. They are home to a vast array of wildlife including small mammals, especially Townsend’s vole, the key food species for many birds of prey. The nutrient release from the detritus of decaying logs feeds the foreshore wetland ecosystem; it is very basic ecology. Also, recent fisheries research now recognizes the value of logs as fish habitat.
How can this be happening to the protected habitat in the Boundary Bay Wildlife Management Area (WMA)? The Migratory Bird Act, the WMA regulations, let alone the international designations should forbid such wanton destruction of vital habitat.
Port Metro Vancouver should not be allowed on the foreshore in September let alone bring in equipment to destroy habitat in the Boundary Bay ecosystem at any time. Their Habitat Banking Program is a farce here because Boundary Bay habitats are already protected in the WMA. They must be told to leave well alone immediately.