Worldwide Species Action Plans
Published by The New Zealand dotterel (Charadrius obscurus) is a threatened endemic shorebird that is classified internationally as Endangered. There are two widely separated subspecies. The northern subspecies (C. o. aquilonius) breeds on or near the coast of the North Island (mainly north of 39°S) and numbered c. 1700 individuals in October 2004. It is classified in New Zealand as Nationally Vulnerable. The southern subspecies (C. o. obscurus) was once widespread in the South Island, but now breeds only inland on Stewart Island/Rakiura. In April 2005, it numbered c. 250 individuals, and it is classified in New Zealand as Nationally Critical. The present plan replaces the first recovery plan for the species, which was published in 1993. This new plan expires in 2014. Summaries are provided of the ecology of the species, its past and present distributions, the threats it faces, and the history of management and research. Long-term and short-term goals for both subspecies are given. Proposed objectives for the northern subspecies include continuing existing protection programmes, expanding protection to new sites, and increasing community involvement and other-agency partnerships in management. There is also a need to identify and protect important breeding, roosting and feeding habitat from degradation using advocacy and statutory protection. Proposed objectives for the southern subspecies include continuing current management on Stewart Island/Rakiura, maintaining the mustelidfree status of the island, and investigating more cost-effective methods of cat (Felis catus) control. A review of the first recovery plan, details of management techniques used at North Island sites and a timeline for the actions proposed in this plan are included in appendices.