Public asked to help protect Banded Dotterels nests
Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) and the Department of Conservation (DOC) are asking members of the public to help protect Banded Dotterel during their upcoming nesting season, by respecting an informal parking area at the Tucker Beach Wildlife Management Reserve and the boundary created by it.
Banded Dotterel are one of three threatened bird species using the reserve land as a nesting site from November through to late January, with Black-billed Gull (nationally critical and the world’s most endangered gull) and the endangered Black-fronted Tern also nesting in the area.
QLDC General Manager Community Services, Dr Thunes Cloete advised that after consulting with a local ecologist Dawn Palmer and the Department of Conservation (DOC), the choice was made to develop an informal parking area within the reserve, using rocks to block further vehicle access and removing the need for a repeat of last year’s road closure.
“All three species of bird build their nests on the ground, making them highly vulnerable to vehicles passing through the area,” Dr Cloete said.
“By providing an informal parking area and clearly marking where vehicles should remain, we can help provide a safe, quiet space for highly threatened birds to nest as successfully as possible.”
"We ask that the rocks blocking further vehicle access into the reserve are left in their current position, and that motorbike users respect the boundary and continue to stay off tracks,” Dr Cloete said.
Foot access to the Legal Road and reserve land will remain, with pedestrians asked to take care in ensuring birds nesting in the area are not disturbed, and that dog control was maintained to a high standard with dogs kept on-lead at all times.