New Zealand Dotterel and Variable Oystercatcher

Threatened by dogs on beaches

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 season.