Dotterel Defenders

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Project Overview

There’s only about two thousand New Zealand dotterel left in the world, so our project’s purpose is to find out what is impacting them. There’s a good protection programme in the Waikato and some of those birds are coming to Taranaki, so we need to protect them better here too.

The project could not have come even close to where it is now without knowledge from locals, which they shared through a survey.

We could see from the survey that there were four main types of threat, which differed between coastal areas: introduced predators, people’s pets, vehicles on the beach, and natural events like tides, storms and sand movement.

Better knowledge about the threats at each site meant that we got a clear starting point for a hypothesis to investigate, and much quicker than scientists alone.

Locals and scientists are now putting this knowledge into action by going to beaches and logging what they see there.


Dotterel Defenders is run by the Taranaki Conservationists with help and input from local schools, communities, trustees and Taranaki Regional Council scientists, with support from the Taranaki Participatory Science Platform

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Project Report