New Zealand Dotterel & Variable
Oystercatchers will soon be establishing their nesting sites on the
eastern Great Barrier beaches. The New Zealand dotterel is classified as
nationally vulnerable to extinction. Great Barrier is one of its prime
locations – but research shows there are only about 50 birds here and
numbers are trending downwards.
As a responsible dog owner you can prevent
the loss of this bird by not allowing your dog to run free on any
eastern beach (Medlands, Kaitoke, Awana, Harataonga or Whangapoua).
Exercise areas are designated; but elsewhere, if you must take your dog
onto the beach then obey the by-laws and keep it on a leash. Birds do
not know that your dog may not harm them and they invariably leave their
nest – a mere scrape in the sand – so that the eggs are exposed to the
hot sun and the predatory gulls. Their future is in your hands.
Please keep your dogs off the beaches as
much as possible between September and February – the main nesting