Damage to colony of rare gulls decried

KEITH LYNCH
Last updated 05:00 08/11/2012

Relevant offers

National News

PM John Key lampooned on US comedy show Man fighting for his life after accident Prime Minister John Key navigates Dubai skies Search for missing Dunedin hunter to resume this week Dunedin student on Routeburn makes it out safely Booze ban slapped on four Vic Uni halls of residence Kiwis "lucky" to leave Nepal Nepal earthquake: New Zealanders sought after disaster PM on a tightrope in the Gulf Kiwi USAR team heads to quake stricken Nepal

A motorist has allegedly driven on to a colony of 3000 endangered birds, squashing nests and eggs.

The colony of black-billed gulls, one of the most endangered gull species in the world, has been nesting at the Ashburton River.

Environment Canterbury senior biodiversity adviser Frances Schmechel said she understood that the Conservation Department was investigating.

Disturbing protected birds and destroying nests are offences under the Wildlife Act that can result in imprisonment or a fine of $100,000.

"We would strongly support such a move. This sort of behaviour is totally unacceptable," she said.

"Unfortunately, it's not the first time a motorist has driven on to the riverbed and destroyed nests and eggs of a very vulnerable species, which tends to desert its nest if disturbed early in incubation. This is despite prominent ‘endangered bird' signs at a number of locations along the river, including the access point apparently used in this instance."

In 2007, the colony was attacked by vandals who killed more than 100 birds.

Ad Feedback

- The Press

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content