Department of Conservation investigates spate of 'appalling' native bird shootings

A  kākā was shot in Whangateau.
A kākā was shot in Whangateau. Photo credit: Getty Images

The Department of Conservation (DoC) is investigating another "appalling" native bird shooting in the Auckland region. 

DoC says the latest in the spate of incidents involves a male juvenile kākā, believed to be one year old. 

The native parrot was shot in Whangateau on Auckland's northeast coast.

"After receiving information from the public DoC staff located the bird alive on Thursday 13 May," DoC says in a statement.

"However, despite DoC staff's best efforts to save this native taonga, the kākā had to be euthanised. A necropsy was performed and the examination identified a slug lodged into the bird's left leg, with its right leg completely fractured." 

The attack comes after the death of eight gannets in March at the Muriwai gannet colony and the shooting of a tūi, north of Auckland.

DoC principal compliance officer Dylan Swain says DoC staff and the conservation community are appalled by the shootings.

"All these incidents are completely unacceptable, and illegal under the Wildlife Act," he says.

"We have a duty of care towards our protected species and this is a callous attack on our native taonga.

"Kākā are already threatened through habitat loss and introduced predators, and we shouldn't be adding inhumane and uncalled for attacks to their list of threats."

According to DoC, kākā were once "found in abundance" throughout forests in the North and South Island, but by 1930 they were localised to a few areas.

Hunting or killing protected wildlife is an offence that comes with a penalty of up to two years imprisonment, a fine of up to $100,000 or both. 

DoC urges anyone with any information on the incidents to come forward. 

Earlier this month DoC pleaded with dog owners to keep their animals under control after the death of a monitored kiwi bird in Kaweka Forest Park in Hawke's Bay. 

The male North Island brown kiwi named Mahika was part of the kiwi breeding programme in the park, about 70km northwest of Napier.

Mahika's body was discovered under a shallow layer of earth with an injury and dog and human prints nearby. 

DoC asks that any information relating to the shooting of the kākā or any other allegations of New Zealand native wildlife crime should be directed to 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468) or