The deliberate killing of three plover chicks has left a man $718 out of pocket after a video of the incident was provided to the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) last year.
A member of the public reported the man to the QPWS in November after he was recorded crushing three plover chicks with his car at a vacant lot in Brisbane.
Video shows the man deliberately targeting the nest, with the chicks’ parents squawking and flapping in an attempt to stop him.
The vision is sickening and upset wildlife officials, compliance officer Warren Christensen said.
“The actions of the man are disturbing, and it is extremely cruel to target defenceless hatchlings, or chicks that were about to hatch,” he said.
“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.”
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. A maximum court-imposed penalty for such a breach is $14,375.
On top of his $718 fine, the man was issued with a formal warning.
RSPCA spokesperson Emma Lagoon was shocked when she saw the recording.
“While we are pleased that there has been a consequence to this callous behaviour, the community will not tolerate these acts of animal cruelty,” she said.
“We absolutely need to send a message that this type of behaviour is completely unacceptable.”
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This article was first published by The Guardian on 8 August 2023. Lead Image: Man fined for killing masked lapwing plover chicks in Brisbane has also been issued with a formal warning. Photograph: phototrip/Alamy.