Re: Walking the dog is bad for birdlife

To: <>, "Dave Torr" <>
Subject: Re: Walking the dog is bad for birdlife
From: "Peter Shute" <>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 09:53:59 +1000
That's probably a good idea.  Like the signs that explain why you
shouldn't feed the ducks.

It seems that making an area good for walking is always going to attract
dogs.  I recall the fuss when they opened Newport Lakes to the public.
This is an old quarry in Newport, Victoria, surrounded on all sides by
suburbia.  When the "no dogs" signs went up they were immediately
disregarded by dog walkers who had been looking forward to this new dog
walking area on their doorstep.  Signs were vandalised and there were a
few violent incidents when people were asked to heed the signs.  A
compromise was reached, with a no dogs section and an off-leash area

It surprises me where people will let their dogs run free.  In Tatura,
in the Goulburn Valley (Vic), the local lake has recently been replanted
with reeds, etc, to create a bird habitat.  The wetlands section has a
causeway through it.  On two consecutive mornings I witnessed a man
walking his dog on a lead around the lake.  When he got to the causeway,
he let the dog off the lead while he walked through it, then put the
lead back on at the other end.  The dog snuffled its way into every
clump of reeds, sending birds scattering.

Why did he let it off the lead only there?!  Because he thought it was
safer there (it was 6am)? Or because he thought the dog could have more
fun there?  I don't know (I didn't ask - too likely to turn out to be an

Then there are the people who cut little holes in boundary fences so
their cats can get in.  Such destruction, all, I suspect, so they don't
have to clean up their cat's poo.  I sometimes wonder if the dog walking
is largely about poo too.

Peter Shute

 wrote on Wednesday, 12 September 2007
6:49 PM:

> Its unfortunate, but many dogs cant read ; )...and a sign
> usually doesn't
> stop owners taking their dogs into signposted areas.
> It would be great to have signs that actually inform the
> public on these
> issues. A sign saying "No dogs allowed", just makes people
> defiant about
> their rights. But a sign that explains what impacts dogs can
> have, the
> birdlife in the area, and accompanying photographs of
> ground-nest birds
> etc will at least inform people to a point where ignorance isn't an
> excuse.

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