On Air Now

The Real Overnighter

Midnight - 6:00am

Now Playing

Kygo

Higher Love

Dog kills little blue penguin at Ōamaru Harbour

A Kororā, (little blue penguin) was killed at Ōamaru Harbour on Sunday. File photo: Supplied / Julie Chandelier

Waitaki District Council is reminding dog owners to keep their pets on a lead after a little blue penguin (kororā) was killed by a dog at Ōamaru Harbour on Sunday.

“The entire Ōamaru Harbour area is a beautiful space to exercise dogs, but it is an on-lead area. This means dogs need to be on their leads and under effective control at all times,” Waitaki District Council senior compliance officer, Tristan Hope said. 

There is signage that lets the public know that the Ōamaru Harbour area is an on-lead area under the Waitaki Dog Control Bylaw.

Additionally, dogs are prohibited in the harbour area between sunset and sunrise because of the increased penguin activity during these times.

Council is working with the Penguin Colony to update the signage to ensure everyone is aware of the rules and remind the public of the severity of affecting a protected species in New Zealand.

Any dog owners found breaching the bylaws are liable to receive an infringement fine of $300.

Waitaki District Council senior compliance officer, Tristan Hope and Ōamaru Blue Penguin Colony...

Waitaki District Council senior compliance officer, Tristan Hope and Ōamaru Blue Penguin Colony science and environmental manager, Dr Philippa Agnew. Photo: Supplied WDC

Little Blue Penguins are also a protected species and owners of dogs that cause the death of protected wildlife are liable to conviction, with a prison term of up to 3 years or a fine of $20,000, or both.

The dog may also be ordered to be destroyed.

The loss of the penguin on Sunday could affect an entire nest as penguins work as a mating team and rely on each other to raise their chicks.

“We have been lucky enough to have an extended breeding season with the first eggs spotted in May. The chicks in the colony are close to fledging so we really want to send a strong reminder to please keep your dogs on their lead while visiting the Ōamaru Harbour area,” Ōamaru Blue Penguin Colony science and environmental manager, Dr Philippa Agnew said.

Dog owners can set an example to other owners by keeping their dogs on lead as there are a variety of wildlife at the harbour including shags who are also breeding.

“Shag chicks are also beginning to fledge in the harbour area, please keep your dogs away from these young birds too,” Dr Agnew said.

If any member of the public was a witness or has any further information about Sunday’s incident, please contact Waitaki District Council on (03) 433 0300.

More from Local News

Podcasts

Weather with Waitaki Refrigeration

Hot or cold, the team at Waitaki Refrigeration Ltd have the right solution for your home or business.

  • Mon

    24°C

  • Tue

    20°C

  • Wed

    19°C

  • Thu

    18°C

  • Fri

    21°C

Recently Played