Friday, September 07, 2007

"Dog Walking Harming Wildlife"

"...For while a brisk walk in the park is enjoyed by both man and beast, it can spell disaster for local bird populations.

Numbers of birds in areas where people took their dogs for a walk were found to plummet by more than 40 per cent, according to a scientific study.

Researchers also found that the range of bird species in dog-walking areas slumped by 35 per cent, especially among the easy-to-disturb ground-nesting varieties.

Although domestic dogs rarely succeed in catching birds, the study shows they can devastate avian populations just by scaring them off.

"Dog-walking caused a 41 per cent reduction in the numbers of bird individuals detected and a 35 per cent reduction in species richness," the researchers reported in the journal Biology Letters.

“These results reveal that even dogs restrained on leads can disturb birds sufficiently to induce displacement..." (source)

I can see the SUV and leaking A/C arguments as these things weren't around hundreds of years ago...but dogs are now hurting the delicate balance of the ecosystem? Isn't the argument usually that "the animals were here before us"? I wonder if we can just get a list of activities that are 'acceptable'. It's getting too hard to keep track of what we shouldn't be doing...

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