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Mount Royal Park is a wonderful place to take a nature walk with your dog. But it is mandatory to keep your dog on a leash at all times in the park.
Les amis de la montagne explains why this rule exists and why it is important to comply with it!
1. Letting your dog explore the forest of leash disturbs the animals on the mountain.
Generally more imposing than other animals on Mount Royal, dogs are perceived by these animals as predators. When a dog runs at full speed on a path or when he wanders off the pathway, he can become a source of stress for various animals, which may cause them to alter their behaviour.
Breeding birds, like the Ovenbird, need a quiet area around their nest during the nesting season. A bird that senses it is in danger might abandon its chicks or its eggs.
2. Contact between your dog and a wild animal poses health risks for both.
Several communicable diseases can be transmitted between dogs and Mount Royal's fauna. Transmission of parasites can happen through saliva, excrement or physical contact between two animals. While dogs can easily be taken to a veterinary clinic, it is impossible to treat a wild animal following contamination.
From 2008 to 2010, a scabies epidemic resulting from contact with dogs decimated the majority of foxes living in Mount Royal Park. The red fox was not observed on the park for two years following the plague.
3. Being the largest animals in the park, dogs running through vulnerable environments such as wetlands on a regular basis, can result in the deterioration of natural habitats.
Though each individual dog may not have a significant impact on Mount Royal’s natural habitats, think of the cumulative effect of the presence of all dogs in the mountain’s woodlands. If you take a look at the edges of the path leading to the wetlands, you can see the damages caused by humans and their pets over time. Ferns and trilliums (which need seven to ten years to produce flowers) are good examples of fragile plants that get trampled on.
Finally, it is important to show courtesy to other visitors in the park. While your dog may melt the hearts of many, some people do not feel comfortable with animals.
In accordance of the bylaws of the City of Montreal (RCG 10-016), be an informed citizen on your next visit in Mount Royal Park and keep your dog on a leash to ensure its security as well as that of visitors, and to protect the park's natural habitats!