Responsible Pet Management

how to manage


To reduce predation of native birds and lizards by cats:

  • Keep your cat indoors at night (native wildlife are particularly vulnerable at dawn and dusk)
  • Feed your cat a quality diet
  • Cats to wear a collar with a bell to alert birds
  • Provide moving toys for your cat to play with to reduce boredom
  • Never abandon a cat

If you ever spot a feral cat or see sign please contact the local council 09 40290 258

how to manage


  • To prevent predation of coastal and ground nesting birds by dogs:
  • Know the dog exercise areas and rules
  • Discourage your dog from chasing birds on beaches, reserves, parks or tracks
  • Join a puppy or dog training group to learn how control your dog
  • Dogs wear a collar with identification tags
  • Provide appropriate shelter and food
  • Keep your dog on a leash around coastal areas where native birds nest

Auckland Council and DOC do hold Bird Adversion Training courses for your dogs. Please get in contact with them for more information (details below). If you see a wandering dog or unappropriate dog behaviour (i.e., chasing protected shore birds) on beaches please contact the local Auckland Council office 09 4290 258 or DOC 09 4290 044


how to manage


Owning a turtle on Aotea


At this point and time, owning a turtle on Aotea/Great Barrier Island is still permittable. There are, however, some turtles including the snake neck turtle and the red-eared slider turtle, which are now seen as a threat to our ecosystem and are prohibited from being brought to the island.


Under the Auckland Regional Pest Management Plan 2020-2030, it is illegal to move red-eared slider turtles to Aotea / Great Barrier Island or breed or distribute them on the island. However, there may be some pet turtles that were brought to the island prior to this ruling and if so, it is OK to keep them as long as they are contained in a secure enclosure to avoid accidental escapes.


Red-eared slider turtles have an olive to brown shell, patterned with yellow spots or stripes and a distinctive red stripe behind each eye. (see images for identification in link below).


Preferring still or slow-moving freshwater bodies, REST turtles can have a negative impact on the environment as they predate native species, take over water bird nesting sites to use for basking, spread disease, and may reduce water quality.


Report a sighting

Council’s Conservation Advisors are keen to hear from anyone who owns any type of turtle on the island and are appealing to the community to keep an eye out for any signs of turtles in the wild.


If you see a red-eared slider turtle in the wild, catch and contain it if you can. Record a photo of it on iNaturalist or report it via email or phone (09) 301 0101 or (09) 429 0258.