Pet lovers will now be prompted to keep their pooches on a leash when taking a stroll by the Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary courtesy of quirky new signs stencilled on surrounding pathways.
The idea was championed by Cr Dan Bull who was concerned our four legged friends may be inadvertently causing damage to the much loved Bird Sanctuary. The stencilled image of a dog on a lead will complement existing signage.
"Feedback from locals was that it was becoming commonplace for dogs to be let off their leads in and around the Bird Sanctuary.
"I thought the signs might be an innovative way to inform people of the fragility of the wetland area whilst encouraging responsible pet ownership.
The $3 million revitalisation of the Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary has been a major success story with City staff, councillors, community groups and representatives from the Department of Parks and Wildlife working tirelessly on the ambitious project. The restoration of the Bird Sanctuary has increased the diversity of wildlife and improved the water quality of the Swan and Canning River system. The wetlands now prevent an estimated 1.3 tonnes of nitrogen, 200kg of phosphorus and 40 tonnes of sediment and rubbish from flowing into the river each year.
"Since the restoration of the Bird Sanctuary, City staff have sighted bird species such as the great egret, rainbow bee-eaters, black swans and their cygnets - just to name a few. The wetlands also provide habitat for oblong turtles who are unique to the South Western corner of WA. Turtles are particularly vulnerable as mothers lay their eggs on dry land and hatchlings emerge and instinctively make their way to water. The Sanctuary now boasts 75 per cent plant cover as new seedlings continue to grow and establish themselves.
"It is hoped new stencilled signage will serve as a gentle reminder to pet owners to keep their dogs on a leash to prevent flora and fauna from being disturbed.
"The Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary is a beautiful natural asset and we need to ensure we protect it for future generations.
"It would be heartbreaking if the fragile ecosystem of the much loved Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary was damaged.
"The new stencilled signs are a simple way of reminding people to do the right thing.
The City encourages pet owners to use the designated dog exercise areas in adjacent Riverside Gardens. Owners are also reminded to 'pick up' after their pets and avoid children's play areas.
City Rangers regularly patrol the City's reserves and wetlands with on-the-spot fines of $200 being issued to repeat offenders.