Date: 12 October 2012
The Eastern Bay of Plenty is lucky to have native shorebirds like the NZ Dotterel and the Variable Oystercatcher, that call it home in the breeding season, so the public are asked to ‘share our beaches’ this summer.
To protect these birds, the Department of Conservation (DOC) and dedicated volunteers will be resuming their pest control programme.
DOC staff, Forest & Bird volunteers and local care groups (supported by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council), have started trapping at important shorebird nesting sites. The trapping will provide added protection against introduced predators such as stoats, rats and hedgehogs says Ranger, Biodiversity Assets Mithuna Sothieson.
“The aim of the game, is to enhance breeding success by increasing chick survival, as well as protecting important habitat. But we cannot do this alone” says Ms Sothieson.
Nesting failures can also be attributed to human disturbance. The public is urged to help by looking out for native birds along our coastline. Avoid areas where birds appear distressed as this is often a good indication that eggs or chicks are nearby.
The impact on nesting birds and damage to well-camouflaged nests can be minimised if beach users:
- respect temporary fences and signs that are erected around nesting areas
- keep dogs on leads
- keep vehicles off beaches and sandspits
- walk below the high tide mark
“These are small, yet effective measures we can take to give these birds a fighting chance this breeding season, as we all enjoy the warmer days” says Ms Sothieson.
For further information on how you can help protect our native shorebirds, contact the DOC Office in Opotiki.
Ranger, Biodiversity Assets
Ph: +64 7 315 1027 or +64 7 315 1001 (DOC Opotiki)