A protester from the Ashley Rakahuri Rivercare Group in Canterbury stands in entrance of four-wheel-drives racing down the riverbed the place endangered tarapiroe [black-fronted terns] are nesting. Photo / Grant Davey
By Emma Stanford of RNZ
Activists are angered on the eggs of endangered tarapiroe [black-fronted terns] being damaged by Crate Day punters in Canterbury.
The Ashley Rakahuri Rivercare Group (ARRG) mentioned roughly 150 four-wheel-drive autos zoomed up and down the mattress of the Ashley Rakahuri River and threw up stones, breaking the eggs of nesting birds.
It mentioned police and the Department of Conservation had been on the river, the place signage warned of restricted areas round three main colonies of the Bird of the Century contestants which, like different river birds, are within the midst of nesting and hatching chicks.
ARRG spokesperson Grant Davey mentioned a number of the individuals expressed concern for the birds, however little or none was proven.
“They drove into nesting areas which were clearly signposted, and in one case, past protesters. Black-fronted terns were wheeling around the vehicles and chicks were scurrying to get out of the way,” he mentioned.
Davey mentioned the drivers “knew they were doing something wrong” as a result of a number of the autos had quantity plates eliminated or taped over.
He mentioned he discovered 4 nests with damaged eggs or eggs thrown out of the nest, or a chick away from the nest.
A driver stopped and Davey mentioned to him, “Do you know you people have been running over eggs?”
“And he said, ‘Do you want to photograph?’ And I said, ‘Yes, please’, and he stepped out of the car and he brown-eyed me. I think that sums it up. Absolute disrespect.”
Police mentioned they had been in attendance at Ashley River Gorge on Saturday and there have been no incidents of word associated to Crate Day there or at different areas.
Black-fronted terns are very threatened. The ARRG mentioned in the previous couple of years, roughly one fledgling (a chick that will get to the flying stage) has been produced for each 10 nests on the Ashley River.
“This year, the outlook is much better,” Davey mentioned.
“But it is not helped by the actions of irresponsible people. Ashley Rakahuri Rivercare Group is angry that these rallies go ahead despite the fact it is peak breeding season on braided rivers”.