Dogs Doing Nature No Favors

Overfertilisation reduces biodiversity by allowing a few thriving plants to drive out others and the wildlife that depends on them. Photograph: John Walton/PA

Who knew? Now you do. Yes, one more thing to think about to take better care of your environment:

Deluge of dog pee and poo harming nature reserves, study suggests

Urine and faeces creating nitrogen and phosphorus levels that would be illegal on farms, scientists calculate

Dog faeces and urine are being deposited in nature reserves in such quantities that it is likely to be damaging wildlife, according to a new study.

The analysis found that the resulting overfertilisation of the ground with nitrogen and phosphorus by footpaths could reach levels that would be illegal on farmland.

The scientists reached their conclusions by counting dog numbers over 18 months in four nature reserves on the outskirts of Ghent in Belgium. They said the situation would be similar across Europe, which is home to about 87 million dogs.

Dogs are fed at home and then excrete nutrients while on walks, leaving an annual average of 11kg of nitrogen a hectare and 5kg of phosphorus, the research estimated. That is a similar level of pollution known to be transported through the air from farming, industry and traffic fumes, which ranges from 5kg to 25kg of nitrogen, meaning the impact of dog faeces and urine is significant…

Read the whole story here.

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