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Dog walking review - Mornington Peninsula National Park

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Parks Victoria does not guarantee that this data is without flaw of any kind and therefore disclaims all liability which may arise from you relying upon this information

Welcome to the planning page for the review of the dog walking opportunities in the Mornington Peninsula National Park.

Parks Victoria has, in consultation with the community, reviewed options to further restrict dog walking in the Mornington Peninsula National Park to address threats to local wildlife and reports of dog attacks as outlined in the Discussion Paper below.

In response to the two month ‘Have Your Say’ community consultation process in late 2012, Parks Victoria received 683 submissions including five petitions. An independent consultant analysis of the submissions (which can be viewed below) demonstrated there is community support for a ban on dogs in the park as well as a community desire for continued dog walking.

52% of submissions preferred a total ban or more restrictions and 44% preferred no change or fewer restrictions on dog walking.

In balancing the need to enhance conservation outcomes with community desires for continued dog walking, additional “no dog” areas will be introduced in areas with high conservation values. The new ‘no dog’ area restrictions will:

  • apply to an additional seven kilometres of prime Hooded Plover breeding habitat
  • increase protection for 16 Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act listed species and 10 Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act listed species, including small mammals
  • provide areas where visitors can enjoy the park without dogs at any time.

The park is one of the most important parks in Victoria for breeding of the threatened Hooded Plover, which is in decline throughout south east Australia, but the park has a consistently low comparable level of breeding success. Monitoring of Hooded Plover breeding and compliance with dog regulations over many years has shown that breeding success is significantly higher in areas with no dogs and there are fewer issues with compliance with the dog walking regulations where dogs are banned.

With additional no dog areas, and an ability to increase fox and cat control, it is hoped that the Hooded Plovers will increase their breeding success in the park. To achieve this Parks Victoria needs the public to help by observing the new restrictions and ensuring that dogs are kept on lead at all time in areas where dogs can be walked - shown on the Dog walking areas - Maps 1-6 map below.

Changes to signage will occur in July-August and the new regulations will be fully implemented on 1 September 2013.

A review of dog walking will be undertaken over the next two years and further restrictions will be considered if there are concerns with dog walkers not observing the restrictions or if dogs continue to impact on park values and other visitor experiences.

Download/View Files below

Where I Can Walk My Dog – Overview Map plus Maps 1-6 

Independent Consultant Summary Report

Independent Consultant Full Report

Discussion Paper

Fauna Species List

Technical Series No. 4 – Managing the Hooded Plover in Victoria 2003

Dog walking on the Mornington Peninsula

There are obvious health benefits for people walking their dogs, and there are 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 wildlife.

Alternative areas are available 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 Where to Exercise Your Dog – It’s good for you and good for your dog provides detail on other areas where dogs can be walked on leash and where dogs can be exercised in designated leash free areas including beach areas. This brochure will be amended to incorporate the changes on dog walking in the Mornington Peninsula National Park.