Spur-winged plovers were once occasional visitors to New Zealand from Australia. But in less than a century they have formed a resident population of around 100,000. They were first found breeding at Invercargill airport in 1932, and are now well established through Stewart Island and the mainland, as well as on the Chathams and Raoul Island (in the Kermadec group). They have also been seen on all the subantarctic island groups. Self-introduced species can soon become established if conditions are right – in this case, on large tracts of land cleared for farming.
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Department of Conservation
Photograph by Dick Veitch
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