Heart break at Waihi Beach...
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Posted November 20, 2021
Yesterday Brian Gentil spoke to Pip Coombes from Dot Watch at Waihi Beach and recorded an interview to play on air and podcast today. Gold FM wanted to help to get the message out about the plight of the endangered New Zealand dotterels who are struggling to recover their population that is being decimated by development and predation at Waihi Beach.
A nest near the Waihi Surf Club has been the focus for volunteers and had produced three chicks after having to be moved due to the threat of king tides.
Dot Watch has erected signs, a protective tape fence around the nest, and delivered flyers to properties near the site at Waihi Beach North End asking people to please keep their cats indoors for the next four weeks to remove the threat of cats predating the chicks.
Unfortunately last night the nest was visited by a feline prowler who killed two chicks that were less than 48 hours old. There are cat prints all over the nest today.
Thankfully both parents are still alive but there is only one chick left today and understandably this is heart wrenching for the volunteers who have worked so hard to keep the habitat of the Waihi Beach dotterels viable.
If you live at Waihi Beach or are visiting and have a cat please ensure your cats are under control at all times, especially at night.
Unfledged chicks are easy prey for cats.
A big thanks to all the volunteers who freely give their time and dedication to helping our endangered species. There are people all along our Coromandel beaches, including at Waihi, Whiritoa and Whangamata who work to protect New Zealand fauna and flora.
You take up the challenge and have to deal with the heartbreak.
Hopefully there are also enough uplifting times to keep you motivated.
You can hear the interview with Pip Coombes by clicking on our podcast link below.