The New Zealand dotterel is endemic to New Zealand and classified as threatened. The population is divided into two small groups, one in the North Island and the other on Stewart Island. The total world population is less than 1500 individuals. New Zealand Dotterels prefer sandy beaches, usually near river mouths where invertebrate food is plentiful. The decline of the New Zealand Dotterel is due to introduced predators such as cats, stoats and ferrets and by disturbance of nesting birds by human activity.