Sunday, 20 March 2016

New research on dog walking and wildlife

The New Scientist reports on new research that shows the mere presence of dogs changes and unbalances the entire ecosystem of a place. It doesn't matter if they're "always on a lead", it doesn't matter if they "don't bark", any regular dog-walking changes the balance of nature in a place.

Animals don't think: "Oh, that's just cute Mrs. Fluffee Wuffles down there...". They think: "Uh oh, over forty slavering hairy carnivores regularly walk through this area like they own it, and half of them leave smelly shit behind... so I'm going elsewhere..."

Researchers have known for a long time now that dog-walking permanently scares away around a third of all the birds from conservation areas. Now it seems that a wider and clearer scientific case for banning dog-walking is developing. Especially in country parks and nature reserves, and on coastal and river paths. Dog walking in such areas clearly needs to be banned on ecological grounds, if our nature reserves are really meant for nature as intended.

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