Dogs drive away birds


This is a video of the song Bird dog, by the Everly Brothers.

From the BBC:

Dog walks ‘prompting bird flight

Our four-legged friends are viewed differently by birds

Taking your dog for a walk could be having an impact on local birdlife, a study suggests.

An Australian team found dog-walking was prompting birds to take flight, causing numbers to plummet by 41%.

The researchers, writing in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, said the birds were fleeing because they viewed the dogs as potential predators.

Charity Birdlife International said the longer-term effects of the dogs’ presence now needed to be looked at.

Peter Banks, the lead author of the paper from the University of New South Wales, said: “There is an obvious link between people wanting to walk their dogs and the potential disturbance effect on wildlife, and there has been a lot of debate around this, so we wanted to resolve this issue.”

Surprising magnitude

The researchers looked at 90 woodland trails a few kilometres north of Sydney, half regularly used by dog-walkers and half where the animals were prohibited.

Dogs were walked, on leads, along the 250m-long (820ft) trails, followed 20 seconds later by an observer who counted the birds seen and heard. The experiment was repeated for walkers without dogs and for a control scenario where there were neither walkers nor dogs.

Dr Banks said: “The key finding is that dog-walking certainly does have an impact on birds – and we were quite surprised by the magnitude of the impact.”

The team found that dog-walking was causing bird numbers to drop by an average of 41% at each site and the numbers of species counted fell by 35%.

The results were similar in sites often frequented by dog-walkers and those where the practice was prohibited, suggesting that birds did not get used to the dogs’ presence, despite frequent encounters.

‘Clear aversion’

Humans walking alone also caused a disturbance to bird numbers, but on average less than half of that caused by dog-walking.

See also here.

Dog walker prosecuted for bird disturbance on a nature reserve: here.

Cornwall nature reserve blighted by dog mess: here.

Britain: The Communication Workers Union welcomed an inquiry into dog attacks on postal staff on Wednesday – and called on the government to strengthen laws: here.

Dogs and deer: here.

Tasmanian tigers vs. dingoes: here.

Do dingoes suppress the activity of feral cats in northern Australia? Here.

Dutch dogs butcher roe deer: here.

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6 thoughts on “Dogs drive away birds

  1. Pingback: Good New Zealand kiwi news | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  4. Maximaal 3 honden per persoon in natuurgebieden Lelystad

    24/05/13, 12:29 − bron: ANP

    In twee natuurgebieden in Lelystad mogen straks niet meer dan drie honden per persoon worden uitgelaten. Staatsbosbeheer stelt die maatregel in na klachten van mensen die zich geïntimideerd voelden door grote groepen honden, zoals van hondenuitlaatservices. Dat meldde Staatsbosbeheer vrijdag.

    Het is voor het eerst dat een dergelijke maatregel in Nederland wordt ingesteld. Staatsbosbeheer sluit niet uit dat die elders in Nederland ook gaat gelden. In ‘hondenlosloopgebieden’ in natuurgebieden in Rotterdam en op de Veluwe is het zover niet gekomen; daar werden eerder al afspraken gemaakt tussen de natuurorganisatie en hondenuitlaatservices.

    In het Gelderse Hout en het Zuigerplasbos in Lelystad kunnen boswachters na de zomervakantie een boete van 90 euro uitdelen als iemand meer dan drie honden tegelijk uitlaat. Staatsbosbeheer is in gesprek met hondenuitlaatservices over andere plekken, met minder recreanten, om honden uit te laten.

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