Within the operational area of Project Kiwi Trust there are also beaches where NZ Dotterel (charadriusobscurus) and Variable Oystercatchers (haematopus ostralegus) live. Both are endemic.
If you see a NZ Dotterel, lucky you! There are only about 1500 left!
Believe it or not, there are only about 4000 Variable Oystercatchers remaining too.
These birds nest at the same time of year that people love to visit the beach – summer! Humans are another obstacle in the NZ Dotterel and Variable Oystercatchers attempts to successfully rear their chicks along with cats, dogs, hedgehogs, Black-backed Gulls, Australasian Harriers and mustelids.
Keep these things in mind next time you visit the beach:
NZ Dotterel and Variable Oystercatchers want their eggs and chicks to survive just as humans want their babies to survive. They will do things to protect their eggs and chicks, and you just need to understand what they are trying to communicate to you.
NZ Dotterel are very passive in the way that they try to defend their young and if you don't pay attention to their signals, you could be spelling doom for their nest or chicks – you could be the reason that their eggs overheat or chill, or for their chick to be attacked by other birds. If a NZ Dotterel acts as if it is injured, it is trying to draw you away from its nest or chicks. Respect their need for space and move away from the area quickly.
Variable Oystercatchers on the other hand are aggressive defenders of their nests and chicks. There's no mistaking what a Variable Oystercatcher is trying to communicate when it is flying at you making the distinctive 'kervee-kervee-kervee' noise!
What does endemic mean?
Endemic means a plant or animal that is naturally present and unique to a particular geographic location, such as a specific island or habitat type.