Wondering why there's a no dogs policy on Rotoroa Island?

Since Christmas Day, we’ve had more than 35 dogs ashore on our predator free sanctuary which is extremely risky for the endangered wildlife.

This summer it’s been great to welcome visitors back to Rotoroa Island, exploring the walks and fabulous swimming beaches. However since Christmas Day, we’ve had more than 35 dogs ashore on our predator free sanctuary which is extremely risky for the endangered wildlife, particularly kiwi and shorebirds (NZ dotterel and oystercatchers).
Oystercatcher and Chicks, Rotoroa Island. Photo gifted by James Gow

Thank you to the many boaties who abide by our rules. We are very grateful for your support and to the growing number who are regular visitors. However we have a small number who either ignore our no dog policy and/or are repeat offenders. A number have also been quite aggressive with our staff.

We acknowledge that taking your dog on the boat is part of your holiday experience and believe that none of you would like to have your dog impact on our native wildlife. It is also stressful for our island staff to deal with people who obviously know our rules but choose to ignore them.

Did you know:

  • Summer is fun for us, but also breeding season to our shorebirds - dotterel barely make a scrape in the sand when making their nests and are extremely vulnerable to disturbance particularly when on eggs or with chicks
  • We have kiwi on the island that often live down near our coastal areas and are very strong smelling. Imagine if a dog got wind of something like that
  • Kiwi’s don’t have a breast bone, it’s easy for a dog to fatally injure a kiwi.
  • When kiwi chicks are released, they weigh about 250g, so tiny! They do not have the strength to defend themselves against dogs
  • There’s a small takahē chick on the island, just over 450 takahē exist so we really want this one to survive

A kiwi chick is only about 250g when they are released onto Rotoroa Island.

We don’t want any dog owner to have to go through the trauma of knowing their dog has injured or killed precious wildlife. Yes this really happens - Kiwi fighting for its life after dog attack in Northland

Here’s the deal:

  1. Dogs are prohibited from predator free islands, including areas below the high-tide mark. 
  2. Rotoroa is a private island. There is no Queen’s chain which means no dogs anywhere on Rotoroa
  3. If you have a registered service dog, please let us know prior to your visit by email  [email protected] or contacting our ranger on 09 283 0849 

Here’s a link to places in Auckland where you can walk your dog 

Thanks to our boating community for letting us know if they see a dog ashore and talking to boaties about our rules.  If you see our island rangers about, come and chat, we’ll have the latest on wildlife and which species are nesting.Dotterel chick on Rotoroa Island
Dotterel chick, Rotoroa Island. Photo gifted by James Gow.

Our island rangers work tirelessly to protect the many endangered species that live on Rotoroa Island, so when you are out visiting predator-free islands in the Hauraki Gulf, please leave your dogs on the boat or at home. If you are going to anchor at Rotoroa with a dog on your boat during the day or overnight please toilet it before you visit.

Help us keep our precious wildlife safe!

Posted by Rotoroa Island Trust on January 18, 2022