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Kaiti Beach, Gisborne, December 2014

The location

Kaiti Beach has shallow rock pools and is used for dog walking during the day

The scenario

To conduct a wildlife survey to identify priority clean up areas, as part of the Tier 2 oil spill exercise run by Gisborne District Council.

The process

The survey was conducted by Sandy Bull, Darryl Coulter, Hayley Pearson and Graeme Finlayson on the morning (0900h – 1100h) of 4 December 2014.

The survey was conducted by foot at low tide using hand-held binoculars to increase field of vision and accuracy of species identification. At the conclusion of the survey the wildlife response team convened with the remainder of the exercise team who were conducting a beach clean-up exercise. Findings from the wildlife assessment were shared with the rest of the oil response crew to highlight likely wildlife response options and decide on priority clean-up areas.


The beach contained relatively few birds, with only a few individual birds located in the shallow rock pools or on the beach. A significant pied shag nesting tree was located above the high tide mark approximately 200 metres from the Gisborne Yacht Club. The beach is used for dog walking which may contribute to a reduced presence of birds throughout the day.

Wildlife species observed at Kaiti Beach in Gisborne during a regional oil spill response. Wildlife priority species ranking is from 1, highest priority, to 6 lowest priority.

Site Wildlife priority rank Species Approx no. Total
Kaiti Beach 5 Black-backed gulls 1
Kaiti Beach 5 White-faced heron 3
Kaiti Beach 5 Australasian harrier 2
Kaiti Beach 1 Pied shag 4
Kaiti Beach 1 Pied shag nesting colony >20
Kaiti Beach 6 Sparrows 5
Kaiti Beach 5 Spur-winged plover 1
Kaiti Beach 5 Welcome swallow 3
Kaiti Beach 6 Starlings 10
Kaiti Beach 2 Variable oyster catcher 1
Kaiti Beach
1 Red-billed gulls 2 52

Kaiti Beach Wildlife Survey Site

Hayley and Darryl identifying birds during the exercise