OPINION: Whose habitat is this?
We have some real hero architecture in our urban area – and we also have settled right upon the coastline.
However, we are now plagued with wildlife that we are continually told that we can do nothing about.
We have infrastructure built to serve the purpose for humans to habitat; CBD buildings, a historically-significant wharf and a breakwater erected and maintained to provide shelter to enable our Harbour area to be functional – this is our natural human habitat.
Humans are nature too, remember.
However, bird life has invaded our infrastructure and we are continually told it’s their habitat and we cannot do anything.
If a red-billed gull builds a nest, we are not able to intrude or touch its dwelling – we must leave them alone by law.
Just like the birds, we have constructed our own nests/dwellings from the natural environment, yet we aren’t allowed to squawk and scare birds away from our nest equivalent – yet they are allowed to intrude on ours and are protected by law.
We literally cannot walk down our main street without dodging toxic bird droppings, and people get attacked during nesting season, for a period of weeks, by dive bombing birds.
Our prized harbour stinks of salty shag excrement, the supposed charming harbour edge seaside walk is spoiled by the foul stench of a shag colony that is ruining an internationally significant historic wharf.
We must stand our ground and rid our town of these pesky invaders from our constructed habitat.
We can still co-habit. The shags can return to their natural home on the Kakanui rock shelves and the rest can get out and build their own nests somewhere else – just not in our habitat!
Time to fight back. We need our habitat back.
Simon Berry is the managing director of Whitestone Cheese and an elected member of the Oamaru Business Collective committee.