Motueka dog owners are being invited to a free breakfast while taking their dogs for a walk on the Motueka foreshore, at the first ‘Dog’s Breakfast’ to be held in New Zealand.
Breakfast for dogs and their owners will be provided between 8:30 am and 11:00 am on Saturday 8 March, accompanied by a chance to learn fascinating facts about birds of the Motueka foreshore and sandspit.
The event is being organised by Tasman District Council, Department of Conservation, and Birds NZ (Ornithological Society of New Zealand) and supported by the SPCA to increase awareness of how dogs and shorebirds can easily co-exist.
Breakfast will be served at “The Kumaras” carpark, which is at the seaward end of Staples Street in Motueka. Presentations at 8.30 am and 9:30 am will provide an overview of current dog by-laws, an introduction to the birds of the area, and how to enjoy the area without conflict.
Kath Inwood, DOC Partnerships Ranger said that the organisers wanted to encourage use of this area as a shared space for people, dogs and birds.
“Sharing of the Motueka foreshore and sandspit can be easily achieved if people know the simple things they can do to avoid disturbing the birds.”
David Melville of Birds NZ said that many people are aware of the godwits, which are roosting migratory birds, but the sandspit area is also important for nesting birds such as the banded dotterel and variable oystercatcher.
“The Motueka Sandspit area is the second-most significant shorebird site in Tasman after Farewell Spit, and one of eight internationally important sites in the district. Being so close to town means the birds are at higher risk from disturbance than other significant areas.”
DOC staff and volunteers from Birds NZ will provide information and pictures of the relevant bird species. Tasman District Council staff will also be on hand to explain the dog control by-laws and answer questions.