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The number of critically endangered tarāpuka/black-billed gulls that abandoned their nesting site on Canterbury’s Waimakariri River in November. Though tarāpuka number in the tens of thousands, they are the most endangered gulls in the world as they are rapidly declining. Two dead tarāpuka were found at the site, but experts aren’t sure whether the disruption was caused by a dog attack, a vehicle coming too close, or something else. “It’s their environment and we’ve heavily impacted it,” says David Owen from Environment Canterbury. “We need to keep vehicles and dogs away from them and give them a fair chance.”

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