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Dog walking restrictions increase in Mornington Peninsula National Park to help save threatened bird

Tuesday 27 August, 2013

Parks Victoria is advising visitors to the Mornington Peninsula National Park that changes to dog walking restrictions will apply from 1 September 2013.

The changes have been introduced to help protect wildlife, including the threatened Hooded Plover shorebird, and to respect the needs of all park visitors.

Parks Victoria Ranger in Charge, Kris Rowe, said the changes had been made following extensive public consultation and were an important step in helping to protect the Hooded Plover.

“The Hooded Plover population in the Mornington Peninsula National Park is one of the largest in Victoria. However, it has a lower level of breeding success compared to those in other Victorian coastal areas and is quite vulnerable to the presence of dogs.

“We will be installing new signage and advertising the new restrictions to maximise awareness amongst the community and help everyone understand the changes.

“We would also like to thank everyone in advance for their cooperation in helping to protect Hooded Plovers and other vulnerable species and their breeding habitats,” said Kris.

The new restrictions:

· Dogs are prohibited at all times in an additional 7km of coastline between Portsea and Flinders

Dog walking will continue to be permitted on-lead between sunrise and 9am only, in selected and sign-posted sections of the national park including:

· 14km of coast between Sorrento and Rye

 and additional defined areas at:

· Portsea Surf Beach,

· St Andrews Beach

· Flinders Ocean Beach

Alternative areas for dog walking on the southern peninsula include:

· Some bay beaches and public reserves managed by the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council.

The new restrictions will apply from 1 September 2013 and penalties for non compliance will be enforced.

 For advice on alternative dog walking areas outside of the national park, visit the Mornington Peninsula Shire website at www.mornpen.vic.gov.au or call 1300 850 600.

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