Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


At least five absolutely protected fluttering shearwaters may have been shot dead near Little Barrier Island over Auckland Anniversary Weekend.

Date:  01 February 2017

Dead fluttering shearwater.
A fluttering shearwater (one of several) found dead in the water near Hauturu/Little Barrier Island at Auckland Anniversary weekend

The dead birds were seen floating on the water and photographed by an Auckland man who reported the birds appeared to have bullet holes in them.

DOC’s Auckland Inner Islands biodiversity senior ranger Yuin Khai Foong says fluttering shearwaters have a conservation status of ‘relict’, meaning a small but stable population and are absolutely protected by the Wildlife Act.  

"People harassing and/or shooting these or any other protected species are liable for prosecution and face a jail term of up to two years or a fine of up to $100,000. We are therefore appealing to the public for any further information about this event.  

"It is very disappointing that some people don’t value our native species enough or respect the legal protection they are afforded to treat them accordingly. With the fine weather over the holiday weekend our rangers noted a high level of boat usage so I’m hoping someone will come forward with information that helps us to identify those responsible," Yuin Khai Foong said. 

"Information gathered by the public can help in investigations, especially details which help identify those responsible. Taking clear photos of the incident at the time and quickly writing down notes of what was observed can prove to be critical in investigations."

Mr Foong encourages members of the public who witness harassment of protected wildlife by people or dogs to report these events to DOC via the 0800 DOC HOT line (0800 362 462).


Yuin Khai Foong, Senior Ranger Biodiversity
Mobile: +64 272 364 401
Phone: +64 9 445 9142

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