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Dog walking review - Mornington Peninsula National Park Park Subotopic Layout
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Change of conditions
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Welcome to the planning page for the review of the current dog walking opportunities in the Mornington Peninsula National Park.
Parks Victoria is reviewing options to further restrict dog walking in the Mornington Peninsula National Park. Community feedback is being sought following numerous reports of dog attacks and threats to local wildlife.
“There are 32 fauna species listed in Victoria as endangered, vulnerable or near threatened have been recorded in the park,” said District Chief Ranger Libby Jude. “We need to protect them.”
“There are obvious health benefits for people walking their dogs, and there remains many areas on the Mornington Peninsula where people can do just that. However, within the national park it is an activity that needs to be carefully managed in the interests of protecting local wildlife.”
A discussion paper outlines the issues associated with dog walking and presents 4 options that are under consideration to determine the future of this activity in the park.
Options for consideration include:
- A seasonal ban for the whole park where dogs are currently permitted
- Restricting dogs to designated visitor sites and adjacent beach areas
- A seasonal ban in selected areas
- A total ban for the whole park.
- Discussion Paper
- Figure 1 - Current status
- Figure 2 - Seasonal closure
- Figure 3 - Visitor sites only
- Fauna species list
Submissions closed on 30 November 2012.
Dog walking on the Mornington Peninsula
There are many alternative areas available on the Mornington Peninsula where dogs can be exercised responsibly, where people and their dogs can achieve the health benefits of exercise and where risks or threats to wildlife are relatively low.
The Mornington Peninsula Shire brochure on Where to Exercise Your Dog – It’s good for you and good for your dog provides details on where dogs can be walked on leash and where dogs can be exercised in designated leash free areas including beach areas.
Uncontrolled dogs and wildlife don’t mix
Dogs are not usually permitted in national parks or conservation reserves and are only permitted in 8 of the 46 national parks in Victoria. Dogs are generally restricted to small areas or sections of the 8 parks and must be kept on a leash at all times.
Studies on the impacts of dogs provide evidence that dogs have adverse impacts on native wildlife through attacks, harassment and disturbance.
A recent study by a University of Tasmania masters student found that dogs may be a more serious problem than cats for native wildlife in some circumstances. This study includes records of injuries to wildlife caused by dogs obtained from the Healesville Sanctuary Animal Hospital and records of native wildlife injuries from veterinary practices in Tasmania. The study also includes data from analysis of dog droppings or scats in the Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve at Frankston which showed that dogs have preyed on wallabies, possums and small mammals in the reserve. A review of dog walking in the Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve will be undertaken in consultation with the community in the near future to address the impacts that dogs are having in the reserve.
A study to assess the ecological impacts of dog walking in woodland areas found that dogs caused a 35 per cent reduction in the diversity of bird species and a 41 per cent reduction in the abundance of birds. This study was undertaken to provide experimental evidence of the ecological impacts of dog walking.
Monitoring of the Hooded Plover, a shorebird species listed as vulnerable under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act, has shown that dogs and particularly off leash dogs cause disturbance to nesting and are known to chase birds and prey on birds and eggs. Parks Victoria commissioned a review of information on the management of the Hooded Plover in Victoria. This review identifies options to manage the threats posed by dogs including education, enforcement of regulations, seasonal bans on dogs or a ban on dogs.
- Dog walking review - Discussion paper (PDF File 886.2 KB)
- Dog walking review - Fauna species list (PDF File 23.6 KB)
- Dog walking review - Fig 1 Current Status (PDF File 345.3 KB)
- Dog walking review - Fig 2 Seasonal Closure (PDF File 346.6 KB)
- Dog walking review - Fig 3 Visitor sites only (PDF File 346.2 KB)
08 May 2013
There have been a couple of reasons for recent celebrations on the Budj Bim country also known as Mount Eccles National Park. One was to celebrate the six year anniversary of the Gunditjmara Native Title Settlement for the area, ratified in March 2007, and the other was the completion of a …