Owners ignoring 'no dogs' signs on Northland beaches

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 1:20 pm on 6 December 2017

Pet owners are ignoring 'No Dogs' signs in Northland and endangering native species such as kiwi, says a predator control operator.

They're there for a reason and it's the law, says Jarrid Plows, who lives at Whale Bay on the Tutukaka coast

Jarrid is part of the Kiwi Coast Project - a group of volunteers working towards creating New Zealand's first modern-day 'kiwi corridor' between Whangaroa and Bream Head.

He's a pig hunter and not anti-dogs, just against irresponsible dog ownership.

He says a good start for dog owners spending time in protected areas would be getting their dog avian awareness and aversion-trained by Kiwis for kiwi.

Jarrid was in the army for 14 years before becoming a professional operator in predator control.

"I'm primarily a leg-holder, that's what we were taught. I use all methods really – the Steve Allens and the DOC boxes just like everyone else."

It's gonna take a lot more people getting behind the cause for New Zealand to be predator-free by 2050, he says.

Over summer, Jarrid sees dogs where they shouldn't be multiple times a day.

"Mate, the whole village just explodes. We get people with their dogs all over the place."

He says kiwi have a uniquely strong and pungent smell.

"It doesn't take much for a dog to get wind of one of those kiwi birds and find it and basically kill it."

Whale Bay has a dotterel population and little blue penguins are beginning to set up there, too, he says.

"Would you really want to be that dog owner who's responsible for harming a little blue penguin or a kiwi or any form of wildlife, really?"

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