The shore dotterel or shore plover (Thinornis novaeseelandiae) is a small species (20 cm in length, 60g) of plover endemic to New Zealand. Its Māori name is tuturuatu. It is a brown and white bird with a white-edged black mask and a brown crown.
The shore dotterel is an endangered species with a world population of around 200 birds. It once was found across the South Island and North Island in New Zealand but became extinct there, probably due to the predations of introduced cats and rats. Shore dotterels are the only plovers which nest in burrows, which is thought to be one of the contributing factors to their decline, as such nests are more vulnerable to predators. It survived on one island, Rangatira, in the Chatham Islands, from where it has been introduced to other offshore islands in the Chathams (Mangere Island) and near the North Island. The population of the birds was roughly 70 breeding pairs in 1937 and their habitat was declared a reserve in 1954. Figures fluctuating in the 1980s, though, with only 40 breeding pairs in 1982, which rose to 80 pairs in 1987.
A number of captive-reared juvenile shore dotterel were moved to Mana Island, off Wellington's westcoast, between March and May 2007, as part of a Department of Conservation plan to ensure their long-term survival. The shore dotterel surprised conservationists by breeding within months of their release. In February 2008, twenty more shore plover were released on Mana Island. The small flock there is monitored by the Department of Conservation, members of the Ornithological Society and Friends of Mana Island. As of 20 February 2012 NZ shore plover have been released onto Motutapu Island with the hope they will become established there and on other pest free islands in the Hauraki Gulf.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Thinornis novaeseelandiae". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Barrie Heather and Hugh Robertson, "The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand" (revised edition), Viking, 2005
- Coomber, Richard (1991). "Charadriiformes: Plovers". Birds of the World. Godalming, Surrey: Colour Library Books Ltd. pp. 97–100. ISBN 0862838061.
- BirdLife Species Factsheet.
- "New Zealand shore plover recovery plan 2001-2011" (PDF). Department of Conservation, Wellington, New Zealand. 2001. Retrieved 2007-09-28.
- "Critically endangered NZ shore plover released on Motutapu Island". New Zealand Department of Conservation. 20 February 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
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