Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


DOC is appealing for information about the deaths of nine red-billed gulls in Kaikoura.

Date:  18 June 2018

One of the dead red-billed gulls at Kaikoura
Image: Sabrina Luecht ©

The gulls had chest and wing wounds and injuries suggesting they’d been crushed. At this stage, it’s not known how the injuries were caused.

The injured gulls were found by members of the public yesterday morning (Sunday June 17) on the Kaikoura wharf at the end of Avoca Street. One of the nine birds was still alive but because of its injuries it was euthanized.

The members of the public reported seeing other injured birds still alive but these were not found and it’s thought they’re unlikely to survive.

DOC Acting South Marlborough Operations Manager James Gilmour said DOC treated the deaths of the gulls seriously and was investigating.  

“We’ve had some people come forward with information and we’re following this up. We appreciate them contacting us. We’d still like to hear from anyone else who has information about the incident and they’re asked to call our DOC 24-hour number 0800 DOCHOT/0800 36 24 68.

“These red-billed gull deaths are disappointing. The red-billed gull is an At Risk species and its numbers have suffered major declines. Every bird is important to sustaining their population.”

One of the red-billed gull’s main breeding colonies is on the Kaikoura Peninsula.

Red-billed gulls are a protected species under the Wildlife Act 1953 and it is illegal to kill them. The offence of hunting or killing absolutely protected wildlife has penalties of up to two years’ imprisonment or a fine of up to $100,000 or both.


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