The coastal area of the Top of the South Island has extensive estuaries and large tidal flats that are visited by thousands of shorebirds annually. Shorebird surveys at the Top of the South Island started at Farewell Spit in 1961, and since 1983 biannual shorebird counts have been undertaken at about 20 sites by members of the Ornithological Society of New Zealand (OSNZ).

Eight areas are considered of international importance for at least one species of shorebird: Westhaven Inlet, Farewell Spit, Pakawau, Collingwood, Rototai, Motueka Sandspit and the West and East Arms of Waimea Inlet. The reports attached provide analysis of shorebird counts, including trends as well as the effects of various activities on shorebirds and issues and options for managing this important resource.

Further Information

Further information is available in the following reports: