No fowl play: Environment Yukon won't pursue charges after Swan Haven flap

No fowl play: Environment Yukon won't pursue charges after Swan Haven flap

Environment Yukon will not be pursuing charges against two men who kayaked near Swan Haven this weekend, disturbing hundreds of migratory birds.

Conservation Officer Ken Knutson says they did not do anything illegal, though he called the kayaker's presence "ill-advised" and said he hoped others will avoid M'Clintock Bay in Marsh Lake.  

"I don't think the intent was to harass the birds," he said. "Had they paddled after them, or kept at them, that would be harassment, but the fact they had a campfire to enjoy the day, I don't think there was an intent to purposefully stress these animals," said Knutson. 

The men's presence on Saturday caused hundreds of birds to fly away for several hours, which raised concerns among biologists.

Environment Yukon recommends people keep their distance this time of year.

However, Knutson says Swan Haven does not have legal status to keep people out. 

"It's Swan Haven by name only. It's not a listed sanctuary. If there was a desire to protect the birds further from this sort of activity then we would have to designate it a sanctuary under the Migratory Game Birds Act," he says.