Auckland road cones are not an endangered species, but there are some that have "strayed from the pack".
And as a result, Auckland Transport has launched operation #ReuniteOurCones after receiving complaints about cones and other temporary traffic management equipment either "borrowed" by mischief makers or left behind by contractors.
The main concern is motorists ignoring "lonely cones" that can lead to "dangerous" situations, Auckland Transport spokesman Al Christ says.
"We have not yet quantified [the number missing] but know that the strays are causing us trouble.
Some of this is due to mischief and some of it due to contractors forgetting and leaving this stuff behind," Christ said.
"The complaint process has been a bit frustrating to some of our customers, so we're trying to address the problem differently.
"By dropping a pin on our online map, customers can quickly notify us to dispatch our cone collectors to pick up the cones.
"You can attach a picture and give us some notes in the notes field to ensure we know right where the cone is.
"We've seen cones in some odd places and can't get all of them, particularly when they are on private property," Christ said.
Each road cone can cost as much as $40 each to replace with Auckland Transport expecting to retrieve over 4000 cones.
By retrieving so many cones, there will be issues around what to do with worn out cones, he admits.
"These 'end of life' cones come in varying degrees, some are a bit worn out and cost too much to 'rehabilitate' to use on the road again.
"We want to re-purpose these cones for use by schools or sports clubs. They will never be allowed on the road again but may enjoy a second life.
"Others are well thrashed and have no useful life in them.
"Instead of sending these cones to the landfill, we are working with a couple of companies to recycle the cones. ProLine Plastics currently recycles old cones into new," Christ said.
Auckland Transport is interested to hear of any suggestions about what do to with road cones that are unable to be used again.
If you have any road equipment to report, you can do so here.