Motorists kill rare New Zealand birds

This video from New Zealand is called Fiordland Brown Kiwi.

From Wildlife Extra:

Morepork and kea being killed by motorists in New Zealand

Native NZ birds killed by motorists on the Milford Road

April 2012. Morepork and kea are the latest victims of speeding vehicles on the Milford Highway. The New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) has collecdted ten morepork and two kea killed by vehicles on the Milford Highway this summer.

Morepork particularly vulnerable

Morepork are particularly vulnerable to traffic deaths as they perch near the road at night seeking potential prey and often fly up into the headlights of cars.

“This is the highest number of morepork deaths caused by vehicles in Fiordland National Park since I started work here 15 years ago”, said DOC scientist Moira Pryde.

Morepork breeding

DOC has been researching morepork breeding in the Eglinton Valley since 2008. This research has shown that breeding can be quite erratic but this season has been identified as the best in four years with most monitored female morepork raising two chicks. In the previous three breeding seasons no chicks were known to survive. The thirteen chicks produced this year will be a boost to the population who have suffered poor breeding years and road-related deaths.

Two juvenile kea killed

Meanwhile kea – the mountain parrot that entertains visitors at various locations along the Milford road – are also falling victim to the road, with two juveniles killed by vehicles near Monkey Creek in December.

Kea are most vulnerable near car parking areas along the alpine section of the road where some tourists, including tour buses, feed the kea encouraging them to hang around on the roadside in the way of traffic. DOC would like to remind visitors that kea must not be fed and drivers need to take extra care around the Monkey Creek, Pop’s View and the Homer Tunnel areas.

Speed is definitely a factor contributing to the deaths of native birds along the Milford Road and staff based in the area say there have been several reported near misses. DOC advise motorists travelling in the forested and alpine areas of the road to take extra caution especially when travelling at night. The public are asked to report any dead native birds to the Te Anau Area Office.

Sri Lanka’s Yala National Park inhabits a remote and wild corner of the south-east, but anarchic behaviour by tourists and drivers desperate to glimpse big game has created dangers for the wildlife there, as the BBC’s Charles Haviland experienced: here.

Britain: Speed is the main contributory factor in approximately a third of fatal car crashes in the UK, with the Department of Transport estimating that 4,187 deaths in 2009 were attributable to exceeding the speed limit of going too fast for the conditions: here.

Dam proposal dropped saving one of New Zealand’s largest and most pristine wild rivers: here.

2 thoughts on “Motorists kill rare New Zealand birds

  1. Pingback: Two new sea pen species discovered off New Zealand | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Anti-bird crimes in Britain | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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