A 2019 Deakin University study found more than two-thirds of people walking dogs along beaches ignore regulations about keeping their pets under control. This, of course, leaves native wildlife vulnerable to attack.
The research was conducted on eight beaches between Point Lonsdale and Anglesea in Victoria, using GPS trackers attached to dog collars to monitor the threat dogs posed to beach nesting birds. It showed that 70% of dogs being walked at ‘on-leash’ beaches were actually off their leashes.
This high level of complacency about dog behaviour continues to be the lived experience since Station Beach commenced its on-leash exercise area from 1 January 2020. The Palm Beach Protection Group notes that enforcement is lacking and the regulations in place are being ignored.
The Review of Environmental Factors (REF) notes the importance of beach habitat and the potential negative impacts to the marine vegetation and fauna habitats from introducing dog activity on Station Beach. These include the general impact of dogs on the sand, where there is concern relating to blue swimmer crab populations, digging up habitat and ongoing disturbance to shore bird populations.
Click here : Deakin University study media release