As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Hunters kill takahe during pukeko cull


7:07 PM Thursday Aug 20, 2015

Four birds from a critically endangered species have been killed within a wildlife sanctuary by hunters who thought they were culling pukeko.

Porphyrio porphyrio -Waikawa, Marlborough, New Zealand-8.jpg
Pukeko
Porphyrio hochstetteri -Tiritiri Matangi Island-8b-3c.jpg
Takahe
The Department of Conservation confirmed today that volunteers from the Deerstalkers Association had shot four takahe while carrying out a cull of 600 pukeko on Motutapu Island in the Hauraki Gulf, which is a protected, pest-free haven for endangered bird species.

The embarrassing mistake has angered iwi who approved the transfer of the rare birds from the South Island to the sanctuary.
The takahe were killed by experienced members of the local deerstalkers group, which DOC depends on for some conservation initiatives.

DOC's northern conservation services director Andrew Baucke said pukeko had "very similar colouring" to the flightless takahe and the volunteers may have mixed up the two species. Hunters had been briefed on the differences between the two birds after a similar incident on Mana Island seven years ago, when one takahe was killed.

Mr Baucke said the deaths were "deeply disappointing" for DOC and the volunteers. All culling operations had been put on hold while a review took place.

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