Image: ©

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


DOC is appealing for information from the public about the shooting of endangered black-billed gulls at Sulphur Bay in Rotorua.

Date:  01 February 2019

Mariana Te Rangi, DOC Senior Ranger Biodiversity, said the dead gulls were found during a routine check of the Sulphur Bay protected breeding colony in November 2018.

DOC is treating the deaths of the gulls seriously as the black-billed gull is the most endangered gull species on the planet.

two men shooting
Image: DOC

Two males were photographed carrying firearms. Images show the men were pointing the rifle at the gulls. 

“These special birds are a taonga to Rotorua and are threatened with extinction,” Ms Te Rangi says. 

“The deliberate killing by people is preventable and unacceptable risk, and we would like to hear from anyone who has information about the incident or can identify the men in the photographs.”

Any information can be reported on a confidential basis by calling the DOC hotline 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468) or the Rotorua Police.

Black-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.


Mariana Te Rangi, Senior Ranger Biodiversity
Phone: +64 7 349 7400

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