VISITORS to Venus Bay, Cape Liptrap Coastal Park and surrounding areas are encouraged to respect dog restrictions and take their litter home, as park rangers prepare for a busy summer period.

With high visitor numbers expected during the summer months, Parks Victoria’s authorised officers will be conducting compliance patrols to enforce environmental protection so park visitors can have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Dogs are permitted in the following areas of Cape Liptrap Coastal Park:

* Between Walkerville North and Walkerville South.

* Between Venus Bay Number 1 and Number 5 beaches.

* Between Waratah Bay township and Cooks Creek.

Dogs must be on a lead at all times and are prohibited from these areas between 9am to 6pm from December 1 until March 31. Dogs are prohibited in all other areas of Cape Liptrap Coastal Park.

There are penalties for breaching these restrictions and if a dog is found to impact wildlife, the owner could face court action or substantial fines.

Domestic dogs in parks can cause distress to other visitors and detract from their park experience and wildlife encounters. The simple presence of a dog in a park can frighten or stress native animals, disrupting their natural behaviour.

Parks Victoria marine ranger Cassidy Mackenzie said beaches along Cape Liptrap provided really important habitat for the threatened Hooded Plover.

“These tiny native birds live and breed on exposed, sandy beaches, often in places we like to visit. They are extremely vulnerable to disturbance and predation and we rely on dog owners to help us protect them and other wildlife by respecting dog restrictions over summer,” Ms Mackenzie said.

“We also encourage all visitors to take their rubbish home with them. Littering is a big problem with a small solution, so let’s all take responsibility for keeping our beaches healthy and free of rubbish. If you bring it in, take it out with you.”

Check the Parks Victoria website before you visit.