SHOCKED residents and visitors to Dalmeny were horrified when they witnessed a car deliberately run down and kill a plover, correctly known as a masked lapwing.
Around 6pm last Tuesday, a red Magna sedan with red P-plates was seen leaving Dalmeny Point north of Narooma when it suddenly changed direction and accelerated towards a plover sitting on the ground.
Plover killing on Dalmeny headland appears to have become a sport for cruel hoons in cars.
It was only a couple of months ago that a mother and her two chicks were deliberately killed by another driver.
What made Tuesday’s incident even more horrific was that witnesses said the driver was laughing as he exited the park speeding onto McMillan Crescent.
NSW Office of Environment and Heritage Threatened Species experts confirmed the bird photographed as a masked lapwing and this matter is being investigated by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).
“This bird is not a threatened species but it is protected fauna,” a NPWS spokesperson said.
“The most appropriate offence in this case is “Harm Protected Fauna”, under Section 98 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act, 1974.
“The penalty for this offence is 100 penalty units ($11,000) with an additional 10 penalty units per animal harmed.
NPWS urges anyone who witnesses people harming native wildlife to contact their local office of the NPWS with as many details as possible including date, time, location, registration numbers, vehicle descriptions and so forth.
NPWS also reminds people that the area may also be habitat for the hooded plover, which is listed as a critically endangered species under Schedule 1A of the Threatened Species Conservation Act, 1995.
The maximum penalty for harming a critically endangered species is two years imprisonment and/or a fine of 2000 penalty units ($220,000). There is an additional penalty of 100 penalty units per each animal harmed.