New Zealand Dotterel and Eggs
Onemana Beach is home to the endangered New Zealand Dotterel and some Oystercatchers. Areas of the beach are fenced off from September to February to endeavour to protect the Dotterels and variable Oystercatchers during their nesting season. These birds easily abandon their nests if they are disturbed.
Image source: Wikipedia
Local volunteers work hard to protect the vulnerable Dotterels. Daily checks are made on the nests and chicks during the breeding season and attempts are made to preserve the nests from incursions of high tides and pests (such as Black back gulls, rats, hedgehogs, stoats and feral cats). You will know if you are nearing a nest when the parents try to lure you away pretending to be injured. If you see this behaviour suspect an unprotected nest nearby. Please inform the Dotterel volunteer team of the nest location- Les Fleming 021790459, Chris McDonald 021620448, or Dean Campbell 0274903957.
During the breeding season the public are requested to keep clear of the areas where birds are nesting to avoid disturbing the birds and their chicks, and also to keep their dogs under control by keeping them on their leash, unless on the north end of the beach where dogs are generally able to roam freely.
There are strict DOC and TCDC dog regulations for the beach, reserves and public places. On the beach north of Castle Rock dogs may run freely all year except occasionally there may be some restrictions when there is a nest or chicks roaming. Dogs are not allowed South of Castle Rock from Labour weekend until March 1st due to Dotterels nesting and breeding. At all other times dogs must be on a leash south end. These rules are published on signs at the entrance to the beach reserve in the car parks. It is important that these regulations are respected and followed in order to protect the fragile populations of Dotterels and wild life in and around the village.
There are doggy bags available at the entrance to the reserves so owners can collect their dog droppings and place in rubbish bins provided. TCDC dog rangers regularly patrol the reserve and beach. Regular Dotterel updates can be found on the beach notice board and in news letters sent to ORCA members during the breeding season to raise public awareness of the status of these vulnerable birds.
Onemana Predator Free-
Pest control is undertaken by the local residents. Onemana has a high incidence of rabbits, rats, hedgehogs, possums and stoats in the village and on the reserves and beach. Rat, hedgehog and stoat traps are laid in the dunes near the reserves and by streams to help control the pest numbers in order to protect our wildlife. Possum, rat and mice traps are installed in some homes around the village as well as rat poison stations. If you have any questions concerning pest control contact ORCA