In a bold move, quad bikers have been accused of ‘giving the finger’ to Whakatāne council and the public over the misuse of dotterel nesting grounds. Environmental advocates are up in arms as local quad bikers continue to disregard regulations designed to protect the vulnerable bird species at Ōhiwa Spit.
- Quad bikers flout Ōpōtiki District Council’s beach bylaw.
- Linda Conning, Forest and Bird Eastern Bay chairwoman, urges enforcement.
- Concrete barriers and signs have been removed or damaged by offenders.
- Wildlife disturbance could lead to hefty fines or imprisonment.
- Council urged to reinstate security measures to monitor beach access.
quad bikers accused of ‘giving the finger
Linda Conning addressed the Ōpōtiki District Council, emphasizing the importance of protecting the dotterel nesting grounds. Despite the council’s previous efforts to restrict vehicle access, determined offenders have found ways to circumvent barriers, leading to increased habitat destruction. Conning highlighted the council’s duty under the Resource Management Act to maintain indigenous biodiversity.
Consequences of Ignoring Wildlife Protection Laws
The disturbance of wildlife, especially in protected areas like the dotterel nesting grounds, is not taken lightly. Offenders could face severe penalties under the Wildlife Act. Conning pointed out that beaches are not roads and that the misconception of free vehicle access is contributing to the problem. The council is being urged to enforce its bylaws more rigorously to prevent further damage.
|Quad biking on nesting grounds
|Threat to dotterel population
|Enforce beach bylaw
|Removal of barriers and signs
|Reinstate security measures
|Legal penalties for offenders
|Deterrent to illegal activity
|Public awareness and policing
Quad bikers ‘giving the finger’ to Whakatāne council and public has sparked a significant environmental concern. With the council’s bylaws being openly flouted, the call for action is clear. It’s now up to local authorities to step up enforcement and protect the precious dotterel nesting grounds from further damage, ensuring the survival of this endangered species.