Tākapu/Australasian gannet
Image: Sid Mosdell | Creative Commons

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


DOC and Taranaki Iwi are asking for information after a native tākapu/Australasian gannet was found shot at Tuiraho (Stent Road), a popular surfing beach in Taranaki.

Date:  14 March 2023

The injured tākapu, a female, was found in mid-January by a member of the public who took the bird to Ōkato Vets. From there it was sent it to Wildbase at Massey University in Palmerston North.

Despite efforts to save the tākapu it had to be euthanised. A necropsy was performed, and the examination identified pellets of bird shot in its lungs and bone fractures.

Subsequent investigations into the death of the bird by the Department of Conservation (DOC) have seen staff come up empty-handed so they are calling on the public for help.

DOC Senior Ranger Biodiversity Cameron Hunt says the illegal shooting was a callous and inhumane act that left the bird injured and in pain.

“We ask any members of the public who might have information to contact DOC.”

Ngawai Terry, Pou Taiao (Environment Manager) for Taranaki Iwi, says the iwi is also deeply disappointed a member of the public would commit such an act.

Like all native wildlife, tākapu are protected under the Wildlife Act.

The maximum penalty for killing protected wildlife is up to two years in prison or a fine of up to $100,000.

Anyone with information is being urged to contact DOC by phoning 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).


For media enquiries contact:

Email: media@doc.govt.nz

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