Navigation Links
A dog in the hand scares birds in the bush
Date:9/5/2007

New research showing that dog-walking in bushland significantly reduces bird diversity and abundance will lend support to bans against the practice in sensitive bushland and conservation areas.

Until now, arguments and debate about the ecological impacts of dog-walking have remained subjective and unresolved because experimental evidence has been lacking.

But the first clear evidence that birds perceive dogs as predators and avoid dog-walking areas is published today in Biology Letters, reporting research by UNSW biologist Peter Banks.

We found in field studies that dog-walking in bushland causes a 35 percent reduction in bird diversity the number of species and a 41 percent reduction in abundance the number of individual birds in an area, says Dr Banks.

The effect occurs even in areas where dog-walking is common and where they are prohibited, indicating that birds dont become accustomed to continued disturbance by dogs.

This evidence clearly supports the long term prohibition of dog-walking from sensitive conservation areas, Banks says.

The revelation has immediate implications for popular recreation activities such as bird-watching and eco-tourism, where visitor satisfaction has a strong relationship to the number of species seen.

The experiment was conducted at 90 sites in the Hornsby-Berowra-Cowan regions, 35kms north of Sydney, Australia. The area was chosen because it contains remnants of bushland with trails that are either frequently dog-walked or where dog-walking is prohibited.

The experiment used three conditions to study dogs impact on birds: (1) a person walking a dog on a lead on a trail; (2) a person walking alone on a trail; (3) a control condition with no dog walking or humans.

Observers monitored all native birds seen or heard within 50 metres of a 250-metre trail. Monitoring commenced 20 seconds after the walker/dog-walker had set off and continued for 10 minutes.

Ground-dwellings birds appeared most affected: 50 percent of bird species observed in control sites were absent in dog-walked sites. The effect of dog-walking was most pronounced in the area immediately adjacent to the site where dogs were walked, according to Dr Banks.

There were 76 fewer birds within 10 metres of the trail when dog-walking occurred compared to control sites, suggesting birds were seeking refuge away from the immediate vicinity of threat."

The particular sensitivity of ground-dwelling birds to dog-walking was of concern because it could lead to a cascade of behavioural changes that could further threaten these species, Dr Banks says.

Dog-walking was also likely to affect the accuracy of wildlife surveys that are used to map bird distributions around the world.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Peter Banks
p.banks@unsw.edu.au
61-402-908-909
University of New South Wales
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Birds brains reveal source of songs
2. Migratory songbirds have a specialized night-vision brain area
3. The lopsided brain: Attention bias is shared by humans and birds
4. Bobbing birds do it for a reason
5. Mother birds increase progesterone to hatch females
6. Overbearing colored light may reveal a second mechanism by which birds interpret magnetic signals
7. Industrial contaminants spread by seabirds in High Arctic, new Canadian study shows
8. Birds and bats sow tropical seeds
9. Displaced songbirds navigate in the high Arctic
10. Oil spills and climate change double the mortality rate of British seabirds
11. Wild birds help to create human flu vaccine
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/3/2017)... 3, 2017  Data captured by IsoCode, ... detected a statistically significant association between the ... treatment and objective response of cancer patients ... predict whether cancer patients will respond to ... well as to improve both pre-infusion potency testing ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... , March 29, 2017  higi, the health ... in North America , today announced ... and the acquisition of EveryMove. The new investment and ... set of tools to transform population health activities through ... lifestyle data. higi collects and secures data ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Biometric Vehicle Access System ... over the next decade to reach approximately $1,580 million by 2025. ... forecasts for all the given segments on global as well as ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and increased emissions are ... 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living in larger cities are affected by ... in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take action. , ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 10, ... ... development-stage cancer-focused pharmaceutical company advancing targeted antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapeutics, today confirmed ... targeted HPLN (Hybrid Polymerized Liposomal Nanoparticle), a technology developed in collaboration with ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... Calif. , Oct. 10, 2017 SomaGenics ... from the NIH to develop RealSeq®-SC (Single Cell), expected ... for profiling small RNAs (including microRNAs) from single cells ... Program highlights the need to accelerate development of approaches ... "New techniques for measuring levels ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... ... The award-winning American Farmer television series will feature 3 Bar Biologics in an ... on RFD-TV. , With global population estimates nearing ten billion people by 2050, ... a growing nation. At the same time, many of our valuable resources are becoming ...
Breaking Biology Technology: