Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Man Jailed For Driving Into Threatened Gull Colony

Media release


6 May 2013

Man Jailed For Driving Into Threatened Gull Colony

An Ashburton man has been successfully prosecuted by the Department of Conservation for damage to a nesting colony of endangered black-billed gulls (tarāpuka).

Samuel John Townhill pleaded guilty in the Ashburton District Court today to charges of destroying nests and disturbing a protected species when he drove into the large colony on the Ashburton/Hakatere riverbed in November last year.

Her Honour Judge Maze stated the importance of these particular gulls and their exclusive use of braided riverbeds made the preservation of them a responsibility we all share, including the defendant.

Judge Maze sentenced Townhill, who is currently imprisoned on other matters, to one month's jail cumulative on his current sentence under the Wildlife Act.

The offending occurred when, drove his vehicle into the colony near Tinwald Bridge, crushing eggs and distressing the nesting birds. Further nests were destroyed when Townhill was asked to move his vehicle out of the colony by police.

The incident is likely to have had a significant impact on the gull colony, which that year made up 11% of the total black-billed gull population, said DOC Raukapuka Area Office Manager George Hadler.

“Not only were eggs destroyed but the disturbance of adult birds would probably have caused other nests to fail.”

“We don’t know the exact numbers lost but this unnecessary mindless act would have had a serious impact on the colony.”

People killing and disturbing black-billed gulls is a real threat to the species and is unacceptable, as this prosecution shows, said Hadler.

In 2007 more than 100 adult birds were killed by vandals at the same site on the Ashburton riverbed, while in December last year some 50 chicks were killed in an incident on the Ashley River/Rakahuri north of Christchurch.

Black-billed gulls are found only in New Zealand and are classified as ‘nationally endangered’due to concern about their rate of decline and risk of extinction. Most of the population (95%) breeds on South Island riverbeds.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Nauru: Scholars Urge Minister To Act On Deteriorating Democracy

“Since the 2013 election in Nauru, there has been a series of disturbing developments on the islands that indicate a severe deterioration in the state of its parliamentary democracy and in the rule of law,” say the scholars. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: NZ Begins Presidency Of UN Security Council

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed the start of New Zealand’s month-long Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in New York. More>>

ALSO:


Labour: Cash For Charter Schools, Mould For State Schools

“Recently released financial statements show the Whangarei charter school He Puna Marama received $3.9 million in government funding to the end of last year. Yet their audited accounts show they only spent $1.4 million on education, leaving almost $2.5 million over two years unaccounted for." More>>

ALSO:

Kiwirail Plans Shift From Electric: National Urged Not To Take Backwards Step

The National Government shouldn’t drag New Zealand backwards by replacing its climate friendly electric trains with carbon-polluting diesel trains, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Capital Connection:

Harmful Digital Communication Bill Passes: Focus Must Be On Education

InternetNZ acknowledges the passage of the Harmful Digital Communications Bill into law this afternoon, and says that the sooner the education efforts at the heart of the legislation start, the better... More>>

ALSO:

3-Year Transport Plan: No Plans On Six Northland-Election Bridges

The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

Gaza Blockade: Māori TV Crew Returning Safely From Israel

A Māori Television crew will be flown back from Israel after their boat was detained by the Israeli Navy while attempting to break the Gaza blockade. More>>

ALSO:

Family Violence: Increasing Reporting But Fewer Resolutions

“We are aware the Police have embarked on a significant programme of change in how they respond to family violence. The data suggests that adequate resourcing including investing in staff training, support and culture change will be required for this to be effective.” More>>

ALSO:

Health: NZ Children Still Suffer Rickets From Lack Of Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency continues to cause rickets in young New Zealanders, new University of Otago research has found. The researchers say that their finding suggests that at-risk mothers and children should be better targeted for Vitamin D supplementation. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news