Dogs owned by irresponsible persons intrude on the Burrowing Owl on the north side of Cesar Chavez Park almost daily. I recorded one incident live on Sunday February 24, see below in this post. An earlier intrusion was caught on live camera on January 28. A motion-activated camera captured another incident on February 11. Analysis of later images from the same camera has now revealed four additional dog intrusions that took place February 22 and 23.
The first image establishes the place where the owl customarily perches all day long, and where it perched on February 22 and 23 2019. The bird’s use of this location as habitat is extensively documented in the Burrowing Owl Diary on this website. This location is on the north side of the park, north of the paved perimeter trail, about 200 yards north of the northern boundary of the off-leash area. Signs all along the perimeter trail say “On Leash Area.” Off-leash dogs have absolutely no business being in or near this location.
At 5:31 p.m. on February 22, at this same location, an off-leash dog triggered the motion-sensitive camera.
At eight minutes past 10 p.m. another dog passed by this spot and triggered the camera:
The next day, February 23, a third off-leash dog triggered the camera at five minutes past 1 p.m.
Three minutes after that intrusion, a dog on leash triggered the camera, evidently led to that spot by its owner.
A dog on leash in that location is not in violation of the Berkeley dog ordinance. It is, however, a disturbance of the birds’ habitat, which is considered a “taking” under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and under the California Department of Fish and Game Code. Violations are potentially punishable by fines and/or imprisonment.
When is Parks management going to start taking effective action to stop these violations?