Conservation department furious rare falcon shot
The Department of Conservation is outraged after a rare falcon was found shot dead in Nikau Valley, Paraparaumu.
The protected New Zealand falcon/karearea was found in a private property in Eucalyptus Way last Thursday.
DOC is investigating the killing and said the culprit faced a punishment of up two years’ jail or a $100,000 fine.
‘‘Shooting the falcon is unacceptable, no matter what the circumstances,’’ biodiversity ranger David Moss said.
‘‘It was a direct hit from a low calibre weapon, such as a .22, and appears to be intentional.
‘‘For someone to shoot this bird is appalling. Not only is the karearea a threatened species, it is a symbol of New Zealand and graces our $20 note.’’
Karearea are the only falcons endemic to New Zealand and are a top predator.
With a maximum speed of 100kmh, they hunt a range of large prey such as mammals and lizards, though other birds make up most of their diet.
That meant they were a danger to domestic poultry, doves and pigeons.
But the birds were a sign of a healthy ecosystem and their presence should be celebrated, Moss said.
‘‘If people experience problems with falcons attacking domestic birds, contact your local DOC office for advice, but don’t shoot them.’’
Simon and Katie Ford, who discovered the bird, said they were devastated when they came across it in their back paddock.
Residents of Metlifecare Kapiti Village shared a special ANZAC day commemoration breakfast yesterday. Residents committee chairman Kert Snater and the centre’s new manager Sheryl Tubman welcomed the residents. Guest speaker was Bob Norman who talked about the New Zealand recovery programme.