The Green Party is calling on people to go dotty for dotterel and vote for the New Zealand Dotterel/Tūturiwhatu as Bird of the Year 2021.
“For too long, our winged friends of the beaches have been trodden on by the competition – literally and figuratively,” says Eugenie Sage, spokesperson for the Green’s Vote for the Shorebird campaign.
“Every day, the Tūturiwhatu faces the bird-en of having to protect its beach habitat and nests from careless walkers, dogs and off-road vehicles.
“With summer coming up and more of us likely to head to the beach for physically-distanced walks, there is a chance people may see one of these adorable birds or their cousins, the banded dotterel.
“And so, we’re asking everyone to connect the dots to protect the dots. Look where you’re walking, keep dogs on a leash, and do not drive on beaches or dunes or anywhere near where there may be nests.
“Tūturiwhatu already have enough to ruffle their feathers, with climate change and the risk that more extreme and frequent storms wash away nests and higher tides from sea-level rise.
“Making Tūturiwhatu Bird of the Year will help make sure the risks they face do not fly over New Zealanders’ heads.
“Only one shorebird has been crowned Bird of the Year since the competition hatched. It’s time to back the small, but mighty, New Zealand Dotterel. Make it a shore thing – vote for the shorebird.
“Or should we have a referendum on calling it the Aotearoa Dotterel?
“We believe it will help address the continued confusion with the banded dotterel by ensuring the true king of the beach always appears first in alphabetised lists.”
Alongside endorsing this absolute sweetheart of a bird, the Green Party is asking New Zealanders to give their second, third, fourth, and fifth votes to:
- Kororā / Little blue penguin
- Toroa / Antipodean albatross
- Tara iti / New Zealand fairy tern
- Kākāriki karaka/ orange fronted parakeet