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Home arrow Articles by Topic arrow Dune restoration arrow Vehicles off beaches
Vehicles off beaches PDF Print
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Articles - Dune restoration
Written by Forest and Bird   
Monday, 06 July 2009

Vehicles pose a serious threat to the critically endangered fairy tern (chick pictured above).

Forest & Bird’s campaign to ban vehicles from beaches first began as a drive to protect New Zealand’s rarest bird – the fairy tern – whose nesting sites on Pakiri Beach north of Auckland were destroyed by off-road vehicles.

Since then, concern about the harm being caused by vehicles on beaches has grown into a national campaign and a broader vision to protect natural dune formations, native vegetation and wildlife areas that are prime habitat for wading and coastal birds, such as New Zealand dotterels and bar-tailed godwits

Vehicles on beaches can damage the natural formation of sand dunes, which are important because they help protect land, people and houses from tidal surges and cyclones.

We would like our beaches to be a safe place for our coastal wildlife to flourish and people to enjoy swimming, fishing and our beautiful coastal environment.

Banning vehicles would help restore our beaches to the peaceful, natural places they once were, for the enjoyment of everyone.

The native grasses and tussocks that cover our sand dunes are particularly important because they help retain water and prevent dunes from drying out and becoming eroded. They also provide shelter for sand-dwelling birds, lizards and insects.

Damaging this habitat can have a disastrous long-term effect not only on our much-loved beaches and dunes.

If we protect them, they will protect us. 

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