Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Who Let the Dogs Out?

I've heard about the debate over outdoor cats and their impact on bird populations, but now it looks like dogs are a problem too.

Dogs are the four legged foes of natural wildlife and not their friends, according to the first study to quantify the effects on local birds of taking them for a walks.

Experiments show that dog-walking causes more than 40 per cent reduction in bird abundance and more than 35 per cent reduction in bird diversity in woodlands, even if the pets are kept on a lead.

We live near a city park that is pretty much an urban forest. While I love dogs and truly believe walking them is a joy, I can definitely see the impact they have on wildlife. They are loud, excited and active. This makes them highly disruptive to shy and sensitive wildlife.

It's hard enough already to find good places to walk your dog, but I think it's fair to analyze the biological sensitivity of a public area to determine whether dog-walking should be allowed.

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