Presence of dogs has adverse effect on wildlife

In spite of overwhelming, confirming evidence, some folks remain ardent climate-change deniers, others are unshakable anti-evolutionists

In spite of overwhelming, confirming evidence, some folks remain ardent climate-change deniers, others are unshakable anti-evolutionists, some reject the moon landings as bogus government hype, while still others accept X-Files-type aliens tweaking our psyches.

To some, the Earth is still flat and of course – Elvis lives!

Sadly, there are also those who ‘blank out,’or ignore the physiological and biochemical reality of natural, territorial and social communication scent-marking by their pet dogs – a millenia-old behaviour legacy of canine evolution.

In wildlife preserves and sanctuaries, the compounds found ubiquitously in dog scent-markings, such as derivatives of squalene, cholesterol and long-chained carboxylic acids, have been shown to have an adverse effect on resident wildlife.

For example, the presence of dogs along recreational trails is correlated with negatively-altered patterns of habitat utilization by several species including mammals and birds.

This was noted in a study by Lenth, B.E., Knight, R.L. and Brennan, M.E., entitled “The Effects of Dogs On Wildlife Communities” in the Natural Area Journal.

One can only marvel at the entrenched resistance by lakeshore dog-walking proponents to scientifically established facts like these, and marvel even more, at their insensitivity to the disturbance-free needs of the lakeshore’s natural, wildlife inhabitants.

Tom Crowley


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