Not everyone likes dogs or wants to deal with dogs on a day out at the beach, especially when they have small children with them.
Other than a fear of dogs there is also the possibility of an overly excited dog running or jumping on kids or peeing on sandcastles, which do not make for very happy children.
Moreover, beach runners may prefer a beach without dogs as dogs with a high prey/chase drive may chase/attack a runner.
But many people also enjoy dogs on beaches. There is very little more beautiful than an animal thoroughly enjoying itself in nature and being free.
And this is true also for birds and other wild animals!
Zoning will help people, dogs and our shorebirds live their best lives.
With the new dog zones, the needs of our companion animals, wildlife and beach-goer are taken in to account.
Striving for a compromise that affords every type of beach-users space on the beach that they can enjoy.
What is the issue with dogs and birds on beaches?
"My dogs have never chased, caught or killed any bird on the beach."
This statement is probably true for most of us. But the reality is that it's not about the direct physical harm your dog can do to a bird.
- Your dog is a predator
Or at least that is what a bird would perceive it as, given your pup has all the physical characteristics of the type of predator birds have evolved to fear a 4-legged furry mammal.
- Breeding success
In Plettenberg Bay the breeding success of unmanaged local White-fonted Plover populations is less than 10%. Off-leash dogs were identified as the main cause of disturbance.
- Shore-breeding birds breed in summer
Our warmets season and time of year when tourists flock to our beaches. inthe heat of summer, shorebirds incubate to cool their eggs down. So, the more times a bird is disturbed off its eggs by people or dogs, the slimmer the chance those eggs will survive the hatch.
The thermal capacity of an egg is 42˚C -above this temperature eggs die. In peak summer it can take an exposed egg 5 minutes to reach its thermal capacity.
With intervention of extensive public awareness, zoning, signage and rope enclosures, beaches have experienced an increase in breeding success, of up to 30%.