Re: Walking the dog is bad for birdlife

To: "Chris Sanderson" <>
Subject: Re: Walking the dog is bad for birdlife
From: "Beth Symonds" <>
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 18:58:16 +1000
Hi everyone,

The Ramsar Convention on wetlands promotes the "wise use of wetlands" in a
country's territory, so those that have joined the convention simply agree
to have significant wetlands included on the "List of Wetlands of
International Importance".

As far as I am aware, the convention has no jurisdiction over its member
countries and, therefore, no power to legislate on issues such as dog

When a development application (residential, recreational, industrial or
otherwise) is lodged, a search of the EPBC database (federal database) is
conducted to identify if any Ramsar wetlands exist nearby ("nearby", by the
way, is quite arbitrary) and if so, potential impacts and mitigation
measures must be addressed before the application will even be considered.
In some cases, the development may need a referral from the EPA (or other
relevant government body).

So basically, if you are at all concerned about the impact of any type of
development on a wetland (or similar reserve of significance) you need to
lobby your local and state governments.


Beth Symonds

On 9/12/07, Chris Sanderson <> wrote:
> Hi Peter (and everyone),
> A good example of what you talk about would be the disgraceful way the
> Broome Shire Council handles Roebuck Bay in Western Australia.  Having
> worked there for almost a year I was constantly depressed by the number of
> dogs let loose amongst roosting migratory waders, cars on the beach,
> dirtbikes, and general lack of concern for what is probably our most
> important Ramsar wetland in Australia.  The bay should be a marine park,
> national park and world heritage area, but instead relies solely on the
> protection (or lack thereof) that Ramsar status provides.
> Another good example would be the bike path planned for Cheetham Wetlands
> in
> Altona Meadows in western Melbourne. It's already been shown that a
> disturbingly high number of people currently ignore the "no access" rule
> for
> Cheetham and walk their dogs or ride their bikes or dirtbikes through the
> wetland.
> I'm sure others have similar examples from the rest of Australia.
> Regards,
> Chris
> On 9/12/07,  <>
> wrote:
> >
> > The recent posting about the affects of dog walking on bird populations
> > got me thinking about the affect on RAMSAR listed wetlands.
> >
> > Does anyone know if there is anything regarding dogs in the RAMSAR
> > agreements?
> >
> > Its concerning that many new residential developments are being built
> > adjoining RAMSAR-listed wetlands, and although the developments are
> > percieved not to impact the wetlands, they are magnets for dog walkers
> and
> > other recreational activities by the residence that live in close
> > proximity to them.
> >
> > There seems to be pressure to put walking tracks past any bodies of
> water
> > these days.
> >
> > A local example from Southern Victoria is a proposed walking track along
> > the Barwon River all the way to Barwon Heads, which includes through the
> > Lake Connewarre system.  Lake Connewarre has always been a fairly
> isolated
> > and inaccessible lake, despite being a huge wetland close to a fairly
> > major city (Geelong).  Even though its degraded due to silting problems,
> > its isolation still makes it  a 'wild' refuge for birdlife. (including
> the
> > Orange-Bellied Parrot).  A walking path will no doubt make people more
> > aware of the location and also about its problems that need addressing.
> A
> > 500-lot residential development is also being proposed in Barwon Heads
> > adjoining another section of the ramsar listed wetlands.     But will
> the
> > positive impacts of exposing the public to significant wetlands outway
> the
> > negatives???
> >
> > Peter
> >
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