Project Outcomes 

We're proud to share with you some of the outcomes and findings from our Dotterel Defenders project. 

Identified threats

Highlighted other threats to sand dunes in coastal areas – eg gathering evidence of erosion and damage to dune vegetation from motor bikes . This has triggered discussion around effectiveness of policies for protecting coastal areas with District Councils – eg dog control, vehicle use.

Raised awareness

Raised awareness of threats and protection measures through community workshops and flyers. We bought together coastal communities, local authorities, iwi/hapu and community groups. 

Empowered to protect

Empowered communities to protect their local shorebirds with a range of tools. Provided training to community volunteers in proven ecological and cloud based citizen science methods for investigating and managing threats to wildlife.

Shared learnings

Highlighted the importance for conservation groups conducting comparable projects to monitor and record results, improve their practices and share learnings with the wider scientific community.

Planted trees 

Planted over ... plants at key dotterel sites in collaboration with other groups. 

Collected beach litter

Undertook beach cleanups at each site and recorded what we found. of trash off our beaches! 

Gathered important data

Provided better understanding of threats to NZ dotterels, their behaviour and population numbers in Taranaki. This information will be made available for inclusion in the next national Dotterel Recovery Plan.

Improved trapping networks

Improved trapping network and ongoing maintenance which will also benefit other coastal species.  We set up (or resurrected) trapping networks with the help of Taranaki Regional Council and established volunteer rosters to check the traps.

Improved breeding success of NZ Dotterel

Increased breeding success per NZ Dotterel Pair from 0.23 at an unmanaged site, to 1.1 in 2017/18 and 1.0 in 2018/19. 

Project Data

Predator Trapping and coastblitz

As at March 2019, we have caught across all Dotterel Defenders sites: 

..... rats                                       ..... hedgehogs                         ..... mustelids                                                    ... other


As at March 2019, we have caught over 270 pests from this site! Mostly hedgehogs and mustelids. 

Sandy Bay

Click here to add your own content, or connect to data from your collections.


Click here to add your own content, or connect to data from your collections.

Breeding success

Overall, the Taranaki NZ dotterels monitored managed to raise an average of 1.1 fledged chicks per breeding pair.


To put this in perspective, at unmanaged sites (no predator control or signage) around the country, NZ dotterels only raise 0.23 fledged chicks per breeding pair on average which is not enough to sustain the population.

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