Response to a call to ban vehicles on beaches

4WDs destroying threatened coastal bird habitat

Response to F&B facebook Post

[ 5/12/20 ]

The damage caused by ignorance is huge.

A total ban seems over the top to me, and actually counter productive.

What we need is a requirement for all beach traffic to stay in one set of tracks, unless they pull off to stop, and then only for a vehicle length (to clear the tracks and no more).

Need to have instant fines for any breech.

There is no doubt that motorbikes, quad bikes, and 4WDs can and do crush eggs and chicks – I have seen it happen, but from our studies in and around Kaikoura, the damage done by hedgehogs and cats is at least 4 times greater. A total ban would prevent effective trapping, and could put the birds in a worse situation.

We need to educate people to respect the wildlife present. That is tough, and it is doable.

Calling for a blanket ban on vehicular access does not seem reasonable to me, demanding responsibility of drivers does.

And it is not just bird nests that are endangered, but many bivalve molluscs and other things that live in the intertidal sands. Driving on the intertidal flats needs to be discouraged as well.

The destruction caused to dune vegetation by traffic is now fairly well known, so sticking to well defined paths in the dunes (even when walking) is a very good thing.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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