2020-07-22

Black bear activity-related closure of Kejimkujik National Park Seaside ends

by Keith Corcoran

The temporary shuttering of the Parks Canada site in Queens County due to a spike in black bear activity is over.

Kejimkujik National Park Seaside reopened to visitors July 13.

"Parks Canada will continue to monitor the situation and communicate changes to site access as they are determined," the federal agency said in a statement.

A closure of the Port Joli, Queens County area site, off St. Catherine's River Road, had been in effect since June 2 due to increased tracks, scat and sightings of the animals. The temporary measure was aimed at protecting visitors and wildlife alike, as well as takes into consideration the safety of staff.

"The decision to reopen Kejimkujik Seaside was made after monitoring efforts by Parks Canada staff indicated a decrease in recent bear activity along our trails and beaches," Parks Canada said in a news release. "Key indicators of reduced bear activity include measures of fresh bear signs and direct observations."

The agency said the black bear population at Kejimkujik Seaside is healthy, thanks to the largely undisturbed habitat and abundant food supply. The increased activity is not unusual, and it was expected the bears would move away from the shoreline as food became more plentiful in the woods.

In June, a Parks Canada staffer told LighthouseNOW he figured the bears were attracted to a shoreline seaweed wrack as a food source because wild berries hadn't yet ripened.

Seaside's temporary closure did not impact the inland Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site, which has been open since June 1.

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