Temporary dog rule changes to protect Snells Beach wildlife

Publish Date : 27 Aug 2020
Temporary dog rule changes to protect Snells Beach wildlife
Photo courtesy of Michele Mackenzie.

The northern end of Snells Beach will be off limits to dogs for several months to allow some of the area’s much-loved and endangered shorebirds to breed in safety.

The temporary change to Auckland Council’s dog access rules will apply between 28 August to 31 March. During that time dogs will be:

  • prohibited from all beach areas north of the Sunburst Avenue boat ramp
  • on leash at all times along Snells Beach Esplanade Reserve, north of the boat ramp.

Auckland Council's Natural Environment Team Manager Andrew Nelson says this area is an important habitat for many native shorebird species which include NZ dotterel, variable oystercatchers, and bar tailed godwits.

The temporary rules support the great work the community are doing to protect local native shorebirds.

“For the most part, these temporary changes were well received by the community last year. We heard there was less disturbance to shorebirds, and the birds seemed to be more settled.

“Two dotterel chicks successfully fledged and there were frequent visits from the NZ fairy tern, our most endangered bird, says Andrew.

“Now it’s again time to ensure that nesting dotterels and oystercatchers are protected, along with feeding and roosting godwits, who depart on their northward migration to Alaska in late March.”

Rules south of reserve still apply

All beach areas south of the Sunburst Reserve boat ramp are still subject to current rules. Which are:

  • Winter: Up until 30 November - dogs can be off leash but must be under control.
  • Summer: Between 1 December and 1 March dogs can be off leash but must be under control between 5pm and 10am and are prohibited at all other times.

These rules can be found in the Auckland Council Policy on Dogs 2019 which can be viewed on the Auckland Council website.

Any enquiries regarding the temporary change to dog access, should be emailed to biodiversity@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

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