Thursday, May 30, 2024

DOC investigates spate of native wildlife shootings

A native parrot has been shot and killed in the latest in a series of incidents in Auckland involving protected wildlife.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) says the kākā – a male juvenile believed to be one year old – was shot in Whangateau on Auckland’s northeast coast.

The Department is urging anyone with information about the incident to come forward.  

“After receiving information from the public DOC staff located the bird alive on Thursday 13 May,” it said in a statement.

“However, despite DOC staff’s best efforts to save this native taonga, the kākā had to be euthanised. A necropsy was performed and the examination identified a slug lodged into the bird’s left leg, with its right leg completely fractured.”

It said the attack followed recent similar firearm incidents involving protected wildlife in Auckland, including the death of eight gannets in March at the Muriwai gannet colony, and the shooting of a tūi, north of Auckland.

DOC Principal Compliance Officer, Dylan Swain says DOC staff and the conservation community are appalled by this incident.

“All these incidents are completely unacceptable, and illegal under the Wildlife Act,” Mr Swain said.

“We have a duty of care towards our protected species and this is a callous attack on our native taonga.

“Kākā are already threatened through habitat loss and introduced predators, and we shouldn’t be adding inhumane and uncalled for attacks to their list of threats.”

Kākā were once found in abundance throughout the forests of both North and South islands, but by 1930 the birds were localised to a few areas,

The offence of hunting or killing absolutely protected wildlife has penalties of up to two years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $100,000 or both.

Any information relating to the shooting of this kākā or any other allegations of New Zealand native wildlife crime should be directed to 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468) or wildlifecrime@doc.govt.nz.

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