New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1998) 22(1): 33- 41

Breeding success and predation at nests of banded dotterel (Charadrius bicinctus) on braided riverbeds in the Central South Island, New Zealand

Research Article
Albert Rebergen 1,2,3,*
Rachel Keedwell 1,4
Henrik Moller 1
Richard Maloney 2
  1. Department of Zoology, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand
  2. Department of Conservation, Private Bag, Twizel, New Zealand
  3. Present address: Department of Conservation, P.O. Box 191, Masterton, New Zealand
  4. Present address: Department of Conservation, Private Bag, Twizel, New Zealand
*  Corresponding author

Egg and chick loss at banded dotterel (Charadrius bicinctus) nests was studied over the 1992/93 season on the Tekapo, Ohau and Ahuriri Rivers in the Central South Island. Egg loss at nests was higher on the Ohau and Tekapo Rivers than on the Ahuriri River, especially early in the season. Only 11% and 12% of nests fledged one or more chicks on the Tekapo and Ohau Rivers respectively, compared to 42% of nests on the Ahuriri River. Nests on islands within the braided riverbeds were more successful than nests on the mainland. Proximity of nests to potential predator cover did not influence hatching success although close proximity of nests to rabbit burrows increased the risk of predation. A lack of knowledge of the predator species involved in this study hampers assessment of the impact of various factors on the breeding success of banded dotterels. Further research to identify predators is necessary to target conservation management and better protect banded dotterel and endangered riverbed birds.