Total ban on dogs at Mornington park (Vic)

To: Birding-Aus <>
Subject: Total ban on dogs at Mornington park (Vic)
From: Peter Shute <>
Date: Sun, 23 Jun 2013 12:18:34 +1000
The recent decision to change the dog access rules for Mornington Peninsula 
(Hooded Plover habitat) has been reported in today's Age. It's interesting that 
20% of dog owners wanted a total ban. See

An adjacent article about dogs in general has the comment:
‘‘ In Australia, dog owners are marginalised, and because they have nowhere 
else to go, they end up on the fringes of society, which are the places that 
are ecologically sensitive,’’ she says.

Peter Shute

Lawless dog owners have spoilt it for the broader canine community, with 
sections of the Mornington Peninsula National Park – including several popular 
summertime beaches – now subject to a total ban on dogs.

Previously, dogs on leashes were allowed in the park from sunrise to 9am, but 
Parks Victoria’s rangers found the restrictions were routinely ignored, with 
dogs found off their leashes at all hours, endangering species-protection 

When policing and $211 fines failed to remedy the situation, an extensive 
public consultation process ensued.

‘‘ We got passionate responses from conservationists and dog walkers,’’ Parks 
Victoria district manager Libby Jude said.

‘‘ The majority of people who walk their dogs have a genuine interest in 
national parks. There is a small percentage at the pointy end that can be 
difficult to deal with.’’

Ms Jude said several groups of passionate dog owners submitted petitions and 
lobbied through the review process. ‘‘ What they have done is form groups I can 
work with in the future ... to manage appropriate behaviour.’’

The results of the review showed a wildly polarised dog community: one in four 
owners wanted fewer restrictions – that is, to let their dogs run free – while 
nearly one in five wanted a total ban on dogs in the national park. Nearly half 
(45 per cent) wanted the restrictions to remain unchanged.

Eight out of 10 non-dog owners wanted a total ban.

The new rules mean dogs will have limited access to 14 kilometres of the 
national park’s coastline, mainly around built-up areas.

The new restrictions will protect key threatened species habitat areas from 
threats posed by dogs. The park’s hooded plover breeding population is one of 
the highest in Victoria but has a consistently low comparable breeding success 
to other parts of the state.

Despite a monitoring program during breeding season, hooded plovers – which 
nest in a scrape on the ground and whose chicks must feed themselves from birth 
– suffer high rates of nest failure, much of it attributed to dogs off the 

Observers have previously told Fairfax Media that some dog owners have refused 
to put their dogs back on leads when confronted. The observers also claimed to 
have been threatened, abused and, in a couple of cases, physically assaulted.

The hooded plover (pictured below) is a threatened species and monitoring of 
breeding outcomes in the park over many years has shown that where dogs are 
banned, breeding success is significantly improved.

The new restrictions will come into force on September 1.

The community consultation report is available at<>.

Copyright © 2013 Fairfax Media

Sent from my iPad

To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Total ban on dogs at Mornington park (Vic), Peter Shute <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU