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Dog Ban To Protect Threatened Species In Mornington Peninsula National Park

24 October 2016

Threatened species in the Mornington Peninsula National Park will be better protected thanks to a total dog ban in place from 1 November 2016.

The move to a total ban follows trial dog walking restrictions introduced in 2013 to 14.5km of the 42km national park coastline area.

Records for the past two years showed that around 70 per cent of non-compliance offences are in areas of the park that are known Hooded Plover habitat areas.

The records also show that around 60 per cent of offences involved dogs off leash.

Hooded Plovers were continuing to have low breeding success rates with only five chicks fledging from a total of 245 eggs during the two breeding seasons.

However, data from the trial showed that 70 per cent of Hooded Plover chicks were successfully fledged in areas where dogs were already prohibited.

Mornington Peninsula National Park is home to more than 32 fauna species of significance including the threatened Hooded Plover, migratory shorebirds, marsupials including the White-footed Dunnart and the Long-nosed Bandicoot, and reptiles such as the Blue-tongued Lizard.

Many of these species are susceptible to dog attacks and even the scent or barking of dogs can cause distress.

Removing dogs from the park will enable Parks Victoria to broaden pest fox and cat programs to increase their effectiveness and give a range of threatened species their best chance of survival.

Alternative areas for dog walking in Mornington Peninsula include many bay beaches and leash free reserves managed by Mornington Peninsula Shire Council.

Parks Victoria will be enforcing this ban within the Mornington Peninsula National Park and breaches will attract infringements.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio

“The Park provides a vital habitat for many threatened species that have lived here for thousands of years – and the evidence shows that removing dogs from the park will greatly increase their chances of survival.”

“Domestic animals such as cats and dogs are not allowed in most national parks across Australia and throughout the world to help protect the native wildlife that live there.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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