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

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Debut, Mockingjay, And Drunk Texting

John Key’s credibility has taken a hammering this week – at least among the 50% of the electorate who have always had doubts about him on that score.

The other substantial story of the week has been about Andrew Little’s debut as Labour leader, which has received top marks, especially among the 25% of the electorate still voting Labour. According to some reports, the Labour caucus has been ‘in seventh heaven’ about Little’s success this week in taking it to the government in the House. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On Government Arrogance

Right now, National is ramming anti-terrorism measures through Parliament. This legislation will grant the SIS the power to carry out 48 hour bouts of surveillance on anyone without a warrant, and will bestow on government the power to unilaterally revoke anyone’s passports and thus deny them the freedom to travel. More>>

ALSO:

Glenn Inquiry: Report Offers Solutions To Family Violence

The People’s Blueprint unveiled today by Sir Owen Glenn’s independent inquiry into child abuse and domestic violence outlines a new, more cohesive and effective system for reducing New Zealand’s alarmingly high family violence rates. More>>

ALSO:

Environment Commissioner: Changing Climate And Rising Seas - Understanding The Science

A rising sea will be with us for a long time to come – one way or another we will have to adapt. But how high and how fast the water rises will be influenced by the speed at which the world – including New Zealand – reduces greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades. More>>

ALSO:

Key Texts With Whale Oil Released: PM Can’t Be Trusted Over Dirty Politics Defence - Greens

John Key’s answers to questions about dirty politics can’t be trusted, after he was forced to admit that he had misled journalists and Parliament about contact with attack blogger Cameron Slater, said the Green Party today.. More>>

ALSO:

Temporary Release Crackdown Continues: Corrections Review Of Phillip Smith Case

“The review by Corrections’ Chief Custodial Officer reveals that the plan for Smith’s series of temporary releases was overly ambitious and misinformed. He’s a highly manipulative and deceptive person who although technically eligible, should not have been considered for temporary release." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news