Dog owners who walk their furry friends at conservation reserves are being reminded to keep their pets under control.
DOC Murihiku operations manager Tony Preston says Southland dog owners are generally very good when it comes to following access and control rules on conservation land, however checking the rules before setting out to new locations is always a good idea.
“Most of us are dog lovers here too, so we know what it’s like trying to find new and interesting places to exercise our pooches,” Tony says.
“For the most part, dog owners in Southland are responsible and respectful. We’re just looking for those very few owners who are a bit too lax in letting their dogs roam too far from sight.”
Dogs found to be roaming free without an owner in sight become a compliance issue, and DOC would rather spend time and resources on conservation and threatened species, Tony says.
“If everyone does their part and plays by the same rules it’s not an issue but if it got to the point where we had to chase up owners regularly then that’s not the best use of anyone’s resources.”
The current rules for dog access on conservation land vary depending where in the south you are located. For the most part, dogs are permitted as long as they are under the direct control of their owners.
National parks, nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries are completely off limits, except with express written approval.
“New Zealand has some fantastic outdoor spaces and we want as many people to be able to get out and enjoy them as possible – dog owners included.” Tony says.
“Before you head out, check the DOC website for notices about dog access and track closures.”
Get more information on where dogs are permitted.