16 Jan 2011

Dotterel nest-movers on standby in cyclone season

3:02 pm on 16 January 2011

Nesting sites of the rare New Zealand dotterel in Coromandel are being closely monitored as the cyclone season approaches, in case they have to be moved from danger.

New Zealand has just 1700 of the wading birds, with just 50 pairs on the Coromandel Peninsula.

The birds nest beside rivers and on beaches and the Conservation Department's Andy Wills says a sea swell during a single cyclone can flood 30 nests.

Mr Wills says a programme to save the dotterel pays for a ranger who gradually moves the nests to higher ground or builds a buttress of sand underneath them.

He says they're also helped by 60 volunteer nest-minders.