Dog owners urged to watch out for dotterels
Published on 27 December 2022
Many of us will be making a beeline for the nearest beach to cool off with friends and whānau over the holiday break and that will often include giving our four-legged friends a chance to run and swim too.
It’s a good time to remind all dog owners to be extra vigilant of their pets when in new environments, especially around our precious wildlife.
Many parts of the Far North have high-density kiwi habitats with strict dog controls. Our beaches are also home to many nesting sea birds and stricter dog access rules are often applied to these areas over summer. The rules are designed to protect wildlife and to help ensure all beachgoers have a good experience.
The New Zealand dotterel (tūturiwhatu) is particularly vulnerable at this time of year when they nest above the high tide line. Once widespread and common, there are now only about 2500 birds left, making them more at risk than some species of kiwi. Find out more about the tūturiwhatu on the Department of Conservation website.
Taupo Bay on the east coast between Totara North and Mangōnui is one of the district’s most popular beaches and is also a favourite nesting ground for tūturiwhatu. Because of that, dogs are prohibited all year round on the southern part of the beach where dotterels nest. Dogs can still use the rest of beach with some extra restrictions over the summer period.
Council Animal Management Officers are working right through the holiday period, responding to urgent complaints and caring for dogs in our animal shelter. They will also be conducting random checks at popular holiday destinations to remind dog owners of their obligations and to enforce dog access rules. Signs detailing the rules are posted at reserves and most beaches. If in doubt, please ask an Animal Management Officer or go to the Dog Management Policy on the council website to find out exactly where and when dogs can be exercised in the Far North.
Image: Dog control areas at Taupo Bay.