The Department of Conservation (DOC) reminds the public to ‘step lightly on the beach’ in the Eastern Bay of Plenty as the NZ dotterel breeding season gets underway.
Dotterel population census results indicate numbers are increasing which is encouraging, but we need the help of the public for this to continue says Biodiversity Assets Ranger, James Barsdell.
“Since work started on enhancing dotterel breeding in this region in the mid 1990s results have consistently exceeded the targets set by the New Zealand Dotterel Recovery Group.”
“The North Island dotterel population showed a steady increase between 1996 and 2004, with that trend expected to continue when the next population census is carried out later this month” says Mr Barsdell.
The public can help in the protection of dotterel by:
- respecting temporary fences and signs that are erected around nesting areas,
- keeping dogs on leads,
- keeping vehicles off beaches and sandspits,
- walking below the high tide mark
Dotterel will nest anywhere from the high tide mark to the base of dunes. Dotterel lay two or three eggs in nests which are well camouflaged therefore easily crushed by unsuspecting beach users. As dotterel prefer to nest in the vicinity of streams and river mouths beach-users are asked to be wary at these locations.
Mr Barsdell says “Having the public support in the protection of dotterel is an important part of the recovery programme and vital to the long-term conservation of the dotterel.”
For further information on how you can help protect the NZ dotterel contact the DOC office in Opotiki.