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Police reviewing CCTV footage after disappearance of albatross eggs

Adult male albatross displaying on Taiaroa Head.

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File photo.
Photo: Alan Wright / Courtesy Department of Conservation

Police are working with the Department of Conservation following the disappearance of albatross eggs from Otago’s Taiaroa Head colony.

Rangers at the reserve on the Otago Peninsula noticed four eggs were missing during routine checks at Taiaroa Head two weeks ago.

Police are reviewing CCTV footage alongside DOC staff.

At the time, DOC coastal Otago operations manager Annie Wallace said it was strange for eggs to disappear without a trace as the colony had been managed and monitored for years.

It was devastating as toroa are nationally vulnerable, threatened by climate change, and reproduce slowly, she said.

Toroa are protected under the Wildlife Act, it is an offence to kill, injure, harass or disturb them.

Taiaroa Head (Pukekura) is the only mainland site in the world where toroa breed. It is a fully-fenced nature reserve and entry is by permit only.

Te Poāri a Pukekura management group chair Nadia Wesley-Smith said the disappearance of the eggs was not only considered a disruption to the mauri and mana of the headland, but also had a devastating impact to the toroa population and conservation efforts.

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