Forest & Bird donate $20,000 to save Southern NZ Dotterel

Daniel Cocker and Jenny Campbell
8 May 2024
The Southland branch of Forest and Bird has donated $20,000 towards a campaign to save a critically endangered local native shorebird.

The Southland branch of Forest and Bird has donated $20,000 towards a campaign to save a critically endangered local native shorebird.

Last week the Department of Conservation released its annual flock count for the Southern NZ Dotterel indicating a 19% decline in the population to 101 birds. Doc believes 41 adult birds were killed during the 2023/24 breeding season in the alpine tops of Rakiura (Stewart Island), defending their nests or chicks from feral cats.

The New Zealand Nature is aiming to raise up to $400,000 over the next four years in order to accelerate the efforts of DOC rangers on Rakiura to defend the bird from predators.

NZ Nature Fund CEO Sarah Lyttle says the donation by the Southland Forest and Bird branch brings the total funds raised for the project since November 2023 to $100,000 and these funds  can now be used DOC’s Southern Dotterel team in preparation for the 2024 nesting season.

Lyttle says it is particularly poignant that Southland Forest and Bird has made this donation because it was long-time local member Jenny Campbell who brought the Southern NZ Dotterel’s plight to the attention of the NZ Nature Fund.

“Jenny knew that we had the ability to raise funds and support DOC with species facing extinction, so she contacted us.”

Rakiura resident and another longtime Southland Forest and Bird member, Margaret Hopkins said the donated funds came from the proceeds of a sale of a property some time ago and it was very appropriate that they could be used to save such a precious local taonga.

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