Date: 04 January 2019
A campfire lit in front of a total fire ban sign on pest-free Burgess/Pokohinu Island near Auckland could have endangered breeding seabirds, skinks and other native species on the island, says DOC.
It has prompted a DOC reminder to act responsibly and follow the rules when visiting pest-free islands to help keep safe threatened native species that live on the islands.
DOC Aotea/Great Barrier Island Operations Manager George Taylor said the remains of the fire on the island and signs of a tent having been pitched were reported to DOC earlier this week.
“Burgess Island is one of the Mokohinau Islands that are significant for seabird and skink populations. Fire is a serious threat to these and other wildlife and plants, many of which on the island could have been wiped out if the fire got out of control.
“Fires and camping are not allowed on the island, and, with the fire risk currently high, the fire could easily have spread with devastating consequences.
“We urge people visiting Burgess Island to abide by the no fire and no camping rules, and to take care to ensure they do not disturb or put at risk the island’s precious native species.”
The Mokohinau Islands lie 100 km north-east of Auckland city and Burgess/Pokohinu Island is the only one that can be freely visited. Permits are required to land on the other islands.
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