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Where and when can my dog be on the beach: Information from Auckland Council

"Dear local residents and dog owners, The Auckland region is a hotspot for shorebirds and we are approaching the time of year again where our local birds will be nesting and producing young, and international migrant shorebirds are feeding and resting on our beaches. Auckland Council will implement a temporary change in dog access rules at the northern end of Snells Beach to help protect shorebirds using the area for breeding and resting. The changes to dog acess rules are as follows:

From August 27 2021 until March 28 2022 the following rules apply (see the map below):

  • North of the Sunburst Reserve boat ramp dogs are prohibited from all beach and foreshore areas (red area on the map)

  • North of the Sunburst Reserve boat ramp dogs must always be on-leash on the Esplanade Reserve (orange area on the map).

  • Dog access rules remain unchanged for the rest of Snells Beach (green area on map). See Auckland Council website for existing and changed dog access rules Why are we doing this? One of the big threats to shorebirds over summer is disturbance on our busy beaches. We know that shorebirds such as dotterels feel more threatened by the presence of dogs than people alone. When birds are disturbed they spend more time trying to protect nests, chicks, or themselves rather than feeding or resting. Eggs and chicks may also be left exposed to the weather or predators. Snells Beach and other Rodney east coast beaches are home to many At Risk and Threatened shorebirds. To help protect them please always keep your distance and follow the local dog access rules. Here are a few interesting facts about some of the shorebirds you can see at Snells Beach: Kuaka (Bar-tailed godwit) – migrates an incredible 11,000 km (non-stop) from Alaska to NZ. Kuaka cannot rest on the water or feed at sea, so they require a lot of rest and food while in NZ to to build up their body reserves to make the journey back to Alaska in March. Tara iti (NZ fairy tern) – New Zealand’s rarest bird with only 45 individuals left! These incredibly rare and endangered birds have started visiting Snells Beach over the past two summers. Tūturiwhatu (NZ dotterel) – Once widespread throughout the country, only about 2500 dotterels remain and they are more at risk than some species of kiwi. Dotterels will often fake an injury to draw intruders away from their nest or chicks. If you have any questions regarding this temporary change in dog access rules, or would like to know how else you can protect local shorebirds please contact us at Ngā mihi "



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