Signs designed to stop hounding of coastal wildlife
Wednesday 27th May, 2015
Department of Conservation ranger Barry Atkinson puts up a sign in John Wilson Ocean Dr, St Kilda, yesterday as part of an initiative to protect marine wildlife from potential dog ''harassment''.
Signs are being placed at 21 sites along the coast encouraging dog owners to ''know what their dogs are up to and have them under verbal control'', ranger Simon Alefosio-Tuck said.
The signs were the latest development in a programme begun more than a year ago to protect marine animals, he said.
Depending on the time of year, some animals could be especially susceptible, he said.
In September, ''fur seal pups will come ashore that have just been kicked off by their parents, and they're on the beach, a bit bewildered, trying to figure out the next step in life'', Mr Alefosio-Tuck said.
''One [fur seal pup] was attacked last year.''
Around February, penguins were moulting, and towards the end of December, sea lion pups were being born. But Mr Alefosio-Tuck urged dog owners to be vigilant all year long.