Thursday, 30 January 2014

dogs can help our native birds

There's a great article in The Age newspaper today, about a small wetland in a densely urbanised area, where native silver gulls were driving away most other species of birds.

In an effort to get rid of the gulls without harming them, a variety of strategies were implemented. The one that interested me was the decision to allow dogs to visit the wetlands off-lead.

The article says: The species of birds and frogs that frequent the site have doubled to more than 51. Of the 48 bird species that visit, 42 are native. Six of those, including the dusky moorhen, Pacific black duck and Australian grebe, have started breeding at the site.                                                                                                                                             So far, three species of frog have been recorded at the wetland: the common froglet, spotted marsh frog and striped marsh frog.                                                              Melbourne Water senior biodiversity scientist Will Steele said he wouldn't be surprised if turtles started arriving too...                                                                                               Dr Steele said the native birds...seemed willing to put up with dogs if they kept a safe distance.

I hope the dog owners who visit the wetlands will realise they have a responsibility to make sure their pets do keep a safe distance. I guess there would be signs telling them the dogs can't swim there. That's how it often is in wetlands.

Penny rarely takes notice of birds. I'm not sure whether it's because she frequently swims in creeks and rivers amongst water birds and walks past land birds...




or whether it's due to all the training in her early years, being rewarded for ignoring birds.

However, we would never assume that she's not going to attack a bird. There's a first time for everything, so we remain vigilant.

If you click the the link in the first line, above, I think you'll enjoy the whole article, and especially the video clip of the wetlands, where you can see an off-lead dog walking past.

7 comments:

proud womon said...

oh i hope it remains an oasis for the bird life parlance - sadly not all human guardians are responsible...

parlance said...

proud womon, so far it seems to have gone okay, so I'll be hoping it continues to be safe for the birds. We've already stolen so much of their habitat.

Mitch and Molly said...

What a beautiful spot to visit! We thought the off-lead dog was going to be you, Penny.

Love ya lots♥
Mitch and Molly

parlance said...

Mitch and Molly, I'm sure if it had been Penny, she would have ignored the water birds. Fingers crossed!

Johann The Dog said...

Oh dear....birds....I'm afraid I would have to herd them all. Mum had to get rid of our bird feeder early on in my life because I pester and try to herd the birds until I dropped. But they sure are beautiful.

Mitch and Molly said...

We have never had any problems with the white swans and black swans mating. They seem to pair up with their own species.

parlance said...

Thanks, Mitch and Molly. I wondered about that. We have mixes of white and black ones here in Australia these days, too.