Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


DOC and Gisborne District Council are asking the public to be careful near New Zealand dotterel and banded dotterel nesting sites on the East Coast this summer.

Date:  07 December 2016

DOC's Ranger Biodiversity Jamie Quirk says most of the dotterel nesting sites in this region are in coastal areas, around rivers and streambeds from Hicks Bay to Te Wherowhero.

Dotterel chicks with egg.
Step lightly and watch out for New Zealand dotterel chicks this summer
Image: Mithuna Sothieson

"Disturbances at these nesting sites are often due to impacts from gravel extraction, visitors, users of off-road vehicles and dogs."

"We want people to avoid these nesting sites where possible" says Mr Quirk.

Dotterel will nest anywhere from high tide mark to the base of dunes. They lay two or three eggs in nests which are well camouflaged therefore easily crushed by unsuspecting beach users.

You can help in the protection of dotterel by:

  • keeping below the high tide mark
  • keeping noise to a minimum and not getting too close
  • keeping to marked tracks and paths wherever possible
  • keeping dogs on a leash
  • keeping vehicles off beaches and sandspits.

Mr Quirk says these are small and effective measures to give these birds a fighting chance this breeding season, as we all enjoy the warmer days. "We see this as a step forward with DOC and the Gisborne District Council working together in the recovery and long-term conservation of the dotterel."

Dotterel pamphlets will be distributed to freedom campers, information centres and landowners over the next two weeks.


Jamie Quirk
Ranger, Biodiversity
Department of Conservation, Gisborne
Phone: +64 27 432 4920

Abigail Salmond
Senior Policy Advisor/Ecologist
Gisborne District Council
Phone: +64 6 869 2894

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