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


A kahu/harrier hawk found in Wairoa this week died a slow miserable death and DOC is appealing to the public for information.

Date:  26 February 2019

DOC East Coast Operations Manager John Lucas said the dead bird had tethers attached to its legs and it appears that someone has attempted to tame it for falconry.

“It is never okay to treat a wild bird badly in order to domesticate it. The bird was extremely underweight and in poor condition.

“It may have escaped attempts to be trained and was left unable to naturally feed ultimately resulting in its death,” Mr Lucas said.  

The bird has been sent to Wildbase Hospital for a necropsy and further analysis.

Harrier hawks are partially protected under the Wildlife Act 1953 and possession of them is regulated.

We all have a responsibility to care for Aotearoa and our special native species. Human behaviour has a big impact on wildlife and DOC has been actively out and about this summer educating and encouraging people on the kiwi way to better protect our landscapes and native animals.

Anyone who has any information about the harrier hawk should contact 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).


Jamie Quirk, Ranger Biodiversity
Phone: +64 06 869 0460
Mobile: +64 27 432 4920

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