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Source: Auckland Council

Dotterel resting on shell beach

Some of the non-beach breeding sites had more success than usual, not having to deal with the effects of storm surge and overflow from this year’s storm events.

Auckland is a national stronghold for the species with an estimated national population of around 2,600 birds. As the population increases and with added human pressure on our beaches, dotterel pairs are continuing to turn up at new sites around the region, particularly non-beach sites, to nest each season.

Six chicks fledged from the land surrounding the NorthWest Shopping Centre at Westgate, three from the industrial area at Onehunga, and one from the grounds of St Kentigern’s College – highlighting dotterels can show up at all sorts of locations, not just the beach.

The northern NZ dotterel population has gone from a steady decline to nationally increasing and is a true conservation success story – Auckland dotterel minders have played a significant role in their national recovery.

Ben Paris says to make up for last season’s lower productivity, it is important everyone helps give dotterel the best chance they can this coming breeding season.

“We urge people to follow the messaging on dotterel signage and stay away from any fenced areas where they are nesting, follow the relevant dog rules at the beach (check where you can take your dog before you head out), keep your cat inside at night and get involved in a local pest free group.”

Auckland Council is funding a cohort of 20 dotterel minders to attend the Pūkorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre dotterel management course in August.

With the 2023-24 breeding season about to get underway, Auckland Council and dotterel minders are hoping for a better season.