Fine issued for killing plover chicks

Issued: 8 Aug 2023

Photo of the remains of a plover chick which a man was fined $718 for killing three plover chicks.Open larger image

The man was fined $718 for killing three plover chicks.

A man has been issued with a fine after an investigation into a sickening incident where he was captured on video crushing three plover chicks on a vacant lot in Brisbane.

Wildlife officer Rachel Baker said the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service received a report from a member of the public in November 2022 about a vehicle driving over a Masked lapwing plover’s nest.

“The member of the public also contacted the RSPCA, and we joined forces to conduct the investigation,” Ms Baker said.

“During the investigation, we received troubling video from a member of the public that allegedly showed the man in his vehicle deliberately targeting the nest.

“As he is driving over the nest, the parents of the chicks were squawking and flapping their wings in a futile attempt to prevent it.

“The actions of the man are disturbing, and it is extremely cruel to target defenceless hatchlings, or chicks that were about to hatch.

“During interviews with the man, he admitted he wanted to move the birds on from the vacant lot for development reasons.

“But that is not the way our native wildlife should be treated, and it is believed the plovers would have moved on from the area in a matter of weeks.”

Ms Baker said the video and the man’s actions upset wildlife officers and the RSPCA’s inspectors.

“Under the Nature Conservation Act 1992, it is an offence to take, or kill a protected animal unless the person is authorised under the act,” she said.

“The maximum court-imposed penalty for breaching the act is $14,375.

“Under the Nature Conservation Regulation 2020, it is an offence to tamper with an animal breeding place, such as a nest, that is being used by a protected animal to incubate or raise offspring.

“The maximum court-imposed penalty for breaching the regulation is $23,718.

“After a lengthy investigation, and with the help of the RSPCA and cooperation from witnesses, we issued the man with a $718 Penalty Infringement Notice for taking, or killing the birds.

“The man was also issued with a formal warning about tampering with the plover’s nest.”

“People are reminded that birds will begin nesting as spring approaches, and plovers and other ground-dwelling birds will be setting up their nests.

“If wildlife are potentially causing harm by swooping, people should hire a licenced wildlife removal and relocation service and not take matters into their own hands.”

An RSPCA Spokesperson said they were shocked when they saw this vision.

"While we are pleased that there has been a consequence to this callous behaviour, the community will not tolerate these acts of animal cruelty.

“We absolutely need to send a message that this type of behaviour is completely unacceptable."

Anyone with information about incidents like this is encouraged to call 1300 130 372.

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