Date: 09 October 2017
Taranaki’s Department of Conservation is cracking down on dog owners who bring their dogs into Egmont National Park, with owners potentially facing fines of up to $100,000 under the National Parks Act.
The number of people bringing their dogs into the park has been steadily increasing over the past few years, says Dave Rogers, DOC Senior Ranger Recreation/Historic.
“People have been using excuses that they haven’t seen the no dogs sign at the park entrance, or think that the sign doesn’t apply to them and their dog. Dogs big or small, ugly or cute, are a danger to kiwi and other native wildlife in the national park. We’re not going to take excuses any longer.”
While a fine of up to $100,000 may seem extreme the life of a kiwi or blue duck/whio is priceless, says Mr Rogers.
No dogs sign
“There’s estimated to be just 3,000 whio left in the world. We’ve got around 100 of them here in our park. Imagine if someone’s dog killed a whio – how devastating that would be to the whio population.”
Dogs have been known to escape their owners. Even docile dogs can be predatory animals and a threat to native wildlife. A dog can sniff out a kiwi or whio with ease.
Large ‘no dog’ signs have been installed on Egmont Road leading up to North Egmont road-end. The signage is very clear – no dogs – not even in peoples’ cars.
“People think it’s ok to leave their dog in the car while they go for a walk or have a coffee. Not only is it not allowed, it’s dangerous for the dog as it could overheat in a hot car.”
DOC rangers will be monitoring tracks and car parks over summer to check compliance. Anyone seen with a dog in the national park may face prosecution.
Dave Rogers, Senior Ranger Recreation/Historic
Phone: +64 6 759 0250
Callum Lilley, Acting Operations Manager Taranaki
Phone: +64 6 759 0350