Dotterels deterred from nesting

The NZ Transport Agency is deliberately letting the grass grow long on sections of the Northern Motorway, which it hopes will deter endangered dotterels from nesting in the area.

Several nesting dotterel pairs and chicks have made their homes in Albany and other sections of the Northern Motorway and work is now underway to prevent them from moving into areas that may become construction sites as part of the Northern Corridor improvements project.

The Transport Agency’s environmental specialist Carol Bannock says dotterels prefer mown, short grass and construction sites, and experience has shown that keeping the grass long will help deter them from choosing to nest in the construction areas.

“The grass might look a bit unkempt as a result and we hope people support us in doing all we can to protect these birds.”

Residents can also help by keeping off the long grass, not littering and keeping dogs on a leash.

Ecologists will be on site every week between now and the end of summer to check for signs of dotterels and will work with the Transport Agency to protect any dotterels that are determined to nest in the area.

Construction of the Northern Corridor improvements project is due to start next year, pending approvals at a Board of Inquiry hearing.


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