Dog rule change protects Snells Beach shorebirds

Publish Date : 01 Sep 2022
Eastern bar-tailed godwits taking to flight at Snells Beach.

Snells Beach is a hotspot for threatened and at-risk shorebirds, particularly during the spring and summer months. A temporary change to Auckland Council’s dog walking rules helps shorebirds breed and rest safely at the beach’s northern end.

The rule change will apply between 2 September to 27 March. During that time dogs are:

  • prohibited from all beach and intertidal areas, north of the Sunburst Avenue boat ramp
  • on leash at all times on all reserves, north of the Sunburst Avenue boat ramp.

Also, signs advising people of the temporary rule change will be installed.

Dog access rules for all other beach and reserve areas south of the Sunburst Avenue Boat ramp are unchanged. These rules can be found in the Auckland Council Policy on Dogs 2019 document available on the council website at

Any enquiries regarding the temporary change to dog access rules, should be emailed to

How you can help

  • Always give shorebirds plenty of space
    Our beaches are busy over summer and shorebirds often don’t have anywhere else to go. While the birds can fly away, the constant interruption can affect their health and ability to rest and feed.
  • When you walk your dog, follow the rules
    Dog owners are expected to know the rules for the areas where they walk their dogs and this information is available on the council website. Following the rules helps protect wildlife and there are over six species of threatened and at risk shorebirds that regularly roost at Snells Beach. Shorebirds include the kuaka (bar-tailed godwit) which migrates to Snells Beach from Alaska annually. Other shorebirds are the New Zealand dotterel, New Zealand fairy tern, variable oystercatchers, and South Island pied oystercatchers; for details visit
  • Volunteer with a local community conservation group or at your local park
    At Snells Beach, volunteers monitor active dotterel nests, and carry out animal and plant  pest control, for details visit

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