Conservationists want people to give the endangered northern New Zealand dotterel space on beaches this summer, saying the wading birds need all the help they can get.
Just 2175 of the birds are estimated to remain, a quarter of them in the Coromandel area.
Department of Conservation ranger Nicola Miller helps to monitor them on the peninsula and said because the ground-nesting birds were quite visible, people thought they were more common than they were.
She said they nested quite close to the high-tide line, to keep away from high water, but that puts them at risk of being run over by vehicles.
Ms Miller said predatory black-backed gulls were also a huge threat to dotterels.