BREAKING NEWS
A worker has died after being trapped under falling pallets in Auckland's Onehunga ... read more ... Read more
Close

Damage to colony of rare gulls decried

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

Relevant offers

National News

Man drowns at Rotorua pool complex Man charged with murder after south Auckland shooting Man, kids towed to safety as floodwaters see people sleeping in cars in Coromandel Hammer attack victim flown to Wellington Hospital with serious head injuries Ngapuhi break-away group would rather no settlement than have the current board negotiate it Flooding across North Shore as wet weekend welcomes daylight savings Two-car crash closes SH5 at Eskdale in Hawke's Bay Flooding traps motorists in valley near Thames Search for Lucas Cochrane after teen disappears from friend's family function in Whitianga The evolving classroom: Education's biggest revamp in 30 years

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