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Dotterel Point Reserve

Dotterels are a threatened species of shore bird, laying eggs in spring and summer and requiring three months to fledge chicks.  Many of the habitats throughout New Zealand are under threat by recreation and development such as housing, roads and marinas.  We're lucky here in Pukehina to have a very successful breeding area along the      Pukehina Spit. 

Pukehina Beach is fortunate that it has a reserve area at the spit of the estuary entrance.

It is an excellent breeding site having ocean beach to the north and extensive feeding grounds behind.

Along with the Maketu spit, there are something like 18 or more pairs of NZ Dotterel, making it possibly the most important single breeding area in the country. Occasional banded dotterel are also seen.

Observation of banded birds shows birds are faithful to the site, returning to it for many years.

In 2012, a semi-permanent fence was constructed, pests were trapped and public awareness raised. We aim to continue to protect this site, to allow breeding to continue without risk.

The dotterel numbers have doubled in the past year, along with increases in oyster- catchers who share the same site because of the lack of disturbance.

As resources allow, we may become involved with environmental aspects of the estuary and wetland accessed by the walkway.

Please respect signage and fences in this area. Dogs are prohibited in the dune area of Dotterel Point (from the surf club to the end of the spit).  When walking your dogs along the beach please keep them on leads at all times when down by the breeding colony.

If you are driving a quad bikes or ATV, please stay below the high tide mark as nesting areas are often in the dry sand. Speeds should also be kept to a minimum in this area. Please note that there is no access around the estuary side as this is a fragile area and dotterel breeding ground.

Maketu Ongatoro Wetland Society are doing a lot of mahi in this area.  Check out their page and plans here and sign up to be involved.

Further information and informative booklets are also available from Bev Nairn on 07 533 4247 or Julian Fitter on 07 533 2040.