Damage to colony of rare gulls decried

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

Relevant offers

National News

Tramper dead on Routeburn Track, partner rescued after month in hut Mass shooting in New Zealand 'inevitable' without action on gun laws, MPs warned Nelson Provincial Museum uses Pokémon to lure kids to exhibitions One person dead after fire in Feilding Goldie pips McCahon to rake in biggest price at Auckland auction of rare NZ art Why Italy's earthquake was like Christchurch Trans Tasman Resources reapply to mine iron ore in South Taranaki Street harassment on Christchurch's Manchester St 'absolutely unacceptable' Wellington red light identity comes to life on Wellington gallery walls Former Newstalk ZB host Justin du Fresne dies

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