Walking the dog is bad for birdlife

To: "Peter Shute" <>
Subject: Walking the dog is bad for birdlife
From: "Dave Torr" <>
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2007 13:09:49 +1000
Birders also tend to be a lot more "adventurous" in the places they go
- most dog owners run their dogs in the local park which is usually
home to other activities as well - Masked Lapwings have raised young
in my local dog-walking park but that is probably pretty rare.

Birders however go bashing through all sorts of terrain looking for
birds - I have rarely seen an accompanied dog when out doing "serious"
birding (although I have seen plenty in National Parks). I suspect
that the average birder probably disturbs more birds than the average
dog walker - although there are far more dog walkers so who knows how
the equation is balanced?

On 07/09/2007, Peter Shute <> wrote:
> After reading the full report emailed to me by Peter Kyne (thanks), it's
> interesting to note that they concluded that humans walking without dogs
> "also induced some disturbance but typically less than half that induced
> by dogs".  Sounds like a good justification for keeping *everyone* out
> of at least some areas.
> I wonder how much disturbance a birder causes compared to the walkers
> they measured results for.  Birder tend to walk slower, poke around,
> etc.  I don't know if that would cause more disturbance, or less.
> It's also interesting to read all the predictable "yeah, but ..."
> comments from dog owners below the online article.
> Peter Shute
>  wrote on Wednesday, 5 September 2007
> 5:47 PM:
> > The following item illustrates why dogs shouldn't be taken into
> > sensitive environments, even on a lead.
> >
> > Regards, Laurie.
> >
> >
> >
> > How man's best friend becomes birds' worst enemy on that walk
> > Lewis Smith, Environment Reporter September 5, 2007
> >
> > Walkies, the seemingly innocuous duty of exercising the dog, has been
> > identified as a huge threat to wildlife.
> > While it is held to be good for the health of owners by ensuring a
> > daily dose of exercise, dog-walking can spell disaster for
> > birds. Numbers of birds in areas where people took their dogs
> > for a walk were
> > found to plummet by more than 40 per cent, according to a scientific
> > study. Researchers also found that the range of bird species in
> > dog-walking areas slumped by 35 per cent, especially among the
> > easy-to-disturb ground-nesting varieties.
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