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This species has a very small, severely fragmented population and a small overall range. Extirpation of the southern subspecies has been averted owing to extensive predator control, and numbers are now gradually increasing. However, the status of the northern subspecies is uncertain and populations in some areas have undergone substantial declines. The species is therefore listed as Endangered. Further clarification of the status of the northern subspecies may lead to downlisting in the future.
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
Turbott, E. G. 1990. Checklist of the birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.
Himantopus himantopus and H. leucocephalus (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993), cross-regional species, are retained as separate species contra Christidis and Boles (1994) and Turbott (1990) who include leucocephalus as a subpecies of H. himantopus.
25 cm. Largest Charadrius plover. Sexes similar in eclipse. Brown upperparts. Feathers with paler edges. White forehead. Whitish underparts. Dark line through eye. Breeding adult, reddish underparts. Male, slightly redder on breast for much of year. Heavy black bill. Legs pale/mid grey. Iris dark brown. Voice Sharp chip most common call, long, loud churring call used in aggressive interactions.
Anon. 2008. Matapouri sandspit bulldozed. Forest and Bird: 8.
Dowding, J. 1993. New Zealand Dotterel recovery plan. Department of Conservation, Wellington.
Dowding, J. E. 1998. The impact of predation on New Zealand Dotterels.
Dowding, J. E. 1999. Past distribution and decline of the New Zealand Dotterel (Charadrius obscurus) in the South Island of New Zealand. Notornis 46: 167-180.
Dowding, J. E.; Davis, A. M. 2007. New Zealand Dotterel (Charadrius obscurus) recovery plan, 2004-2014. Department of Conservation, Wellington.
Dowding, J. E.; Murphy, E. C. 1993. Decline of the Stewart Island population of the New Zealand Dotterel. Notornis 40: 1-14.
Dowding, J. E.; Murphy, E. C. 2001. The impact of predation by introduced mammals on endemic shorebirds in New Zealand: a conservation perspective. Biological Conservation 99: 47-64.
Dowding, J.E. 2006. Management of northern New Zealand dotterels on Coromandel Peninsula. Department of Conservation, Wellington.
Heather, B. D.; Robertson, H. A. 1997. The field guide to the birds of New Zealand. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
Lord, A.; Waas, J. R.; Innes, J.; Whittingham, M. J. 2001. Effects of human approaches to nests of northern New Zealand Dotterels. Biological Conservation 98: 233-240.
Ombler, K. 2006. Breeding success for southern dotterels. Forest and Bird: 12.
Wills, D. E.; Murray, J.; Powlesland, R. G. 2003. Impact of management on the breeding success of the northern New Zealand dotterel (Charadrius obscurus aquilonius) on Matakana Island, Bay of Plenty. Notornis 50: 1-10.
Further web sources of information
New Zealand Govt - Dept of Conservation - Recovery Plan
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Harding, M., Khwaja, N., Mahood, S., McClellan, R., Taylor, J.
Dowding, J., Hitchmough, R., Parrish, R.
IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.
BirdLife International (2013) Species factsheet: Charadrius obscurus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 06/12/2013. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2013) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 06/12/2013.
This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.
To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife
To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.
Additional resources for this species
|Current IUCN Red List category||Endangered|
|Species name author||Gmelin, 1789|
|Population size||1300 mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||10,100 km2|
|Links to further information|
|- Additional Information on this species|