Temporary dog rule helps protect Snells Beach wildlife

Publish Date : 26 Aug 2021
Temporary dog rule helps protect Snells Beach wildlife
Tara-iti or New Zealand fairy tern

Temporary dog walking rules will help endangered shorebirds to breed and roost in safety at the northern end of Snells Beach.

This change to Auckland Council’s dog access rules will apply between 27 August 2021 to 28 March 2022.

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.

The area is an important habitat for many native shorebird species which include NZ dotterel, variable oystercatchers, and bar tailed godwits. New Zealand’s most endangered bird, tara iti or New Zealand fairy tern has also visited the beach over the past two years.

Auckland Council's Natural Environment Team Manager Andrew Nelson says that last year, for the most part, the need for the temporary changes were respected by the community and there was less disturbance to shorebirds.

"This is encouraging for the local volunteers who with support from our council staff are working hard to manage threats to these special shorebirds.

“Last summer, five pairs of NZ dotterels attempted to breed within the managed area. This is the greatest number of breeding pairs at Snells beach in several years,” Nelson says.

The temporary dog access rule protects the nesting shorebirds along with the feeding and roosting bar tailed godwits, who depart on their migration to Alaska in late March.

Dog access rules for all other areas of Snells Beach and Esplanade Reserve remain unchanged. These rules can be found in the  Auckland Council Policy on Dogs 2019 [PDF], which can be viewed on the Auckland Council website.

Signs advising people of the temporary rule change will be installed under Alert Level 3.

Any enquiries regarding the temporary change to dog access rules can be sent to biodiversity@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Exercising with dogs under Alert Level 4

  • It’s ok to keep exercising your dog, but make sure you’re following all government guidance.
  • Keep your dog on a leash at all times to avoid coming into close contact with someone else or other dogs.

More information is available on the council website.

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