Report from a DOC sponsored project through Worcester Polytechnic Institute's International Qualifying Programme. Published 2017.

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Final report (PDF, 5,904K)


The project is to better understand dog owners' perceptions on dog interactions with coastal wildlife, and provide recommendations for improving messaging so dog owners and wildlife can share the beaches safely. 

The New Zealand Department of Conservation is seeking to prevent or reduce interactions between coastal wildlife and dogs as dog numbers increase on beaches where vulnerable wildlife are also present.

This study used site assessments, surveys and interviews to assess the public’s perceptions of dog-wildlife encounters.

Since many dog owners frequent beaches to exercise their dogs, they have a greater chance of encountering coastal wildlife.

We developed resources to educate dog owners about beach regulations and wildlife, and empower them to make better decisions with their dogs on beaches. Well-educated dog owners have the potential to influence other recreationists in creating a safer, more positive beach environment for people, dogs and wildlife.

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