76 days ago

Woman breaches Auckland border, gets car stuck in endangered bird nesting site

Caroline Williams Reporter from Whangārei Leader

Kia ora neighbours. A woman who breached Auckland's Covid border ended up having to be rescued, after her vehicle got stuck in a sand dune at the nesting site of the country’s rarest endemic bird.

According to the Department of Conservation (DOC), the woman and her dog stayed overnight in the vehicle after it got stuck in sand at the Mangawhai wildlife refuge last weekend.

DOC manager Craig Deal said the police were called and DOC compliance officers will be following up with the woman, over her entering a wildlife refuge with a vehicle and a dog, both of which are prohibited and carry an $800 infringement notice.

The site is one of four tara iti (fairy tern) nesting sites located just north of Auckland, and protected by Northland Reserves Bylaws.

With a population of fewer than 40 birds, the birds have been near extinction since the 1980s and require a lot of human help to ensure their survival.

The attached video from the 2020 breeding season shows the steps taken to protect fairy tern eggs during a storm. (Video credit: Ricky Wilson/Stuff)

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