Dotterels are classified as threatened species, and highly protected under the Wildlife Protection Act.
There are about 2500 dotterels left nationally.
The Coromandel region holds around a quarter of the population, with about 600 dotterel.
Whangamata¯ is one of the main breeding or flocking sights for Dotterels, and it is currently breeding season for these birds. The usual 12 to 14 pairs expand to 100 or more birds.