Dotterel nesting on the beach
Image: Mithuna Sothieson | DOC

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


As the weather finally warms up, beachgoers are being asked to be mindful of shorebirds beginning to nest on our beaches.

Date:  25 October 2017

Banded dotterels, northern New Zealand dotterel and variable oystercatchers are vulnerable to many threats and without conservation action may be threatened with extinction. 

DOC Senior Biodiversity Ranger Greg Moorcroft says it’s a hard life being a bird. 

“The effects of the extreme storm events and beach erosion over the last six months has resulted in reduced nesting space available for our at-risk shorebirds. This means it is more important than ever to share our beaches with our native birds and keep an eye out for them over the summer months,” Mr Moorcroft says. 

Trapping for introduced predators that prey on nests and chicks is carried out by dedicated volunteers year-round. Known nesting sites in the eastern Bay of Plenty from Opotiki to Whakatane are temporarily fenced over the summer to provide protection to nesting birds.

In the case of Ōhope spit and Ōpihi Whanaungakore (Whakatane river mouth) the birds have extra legal protection with a Whakatane District Council bylaw prohibiting vehicles from being on the beach between 1 September and 31 January. 

“You can help by keeping yourself, dogs and vehicles out of these nesting sites. Please respect the temporary fencing. If a bird appears distressed – continuously calling, running away quickly or displaying a broken wing, quickly walk away from the area as you could disturb or destroy very camouflaged eggs and chicks.

"Let’s give our threatened shorebirds a fighting chance this summer!” Mr Moorcroft says.


Greg Moorcroft, Senior Biodiversity Ranger 
Mobile: +64 27 205 1473

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