Several reports of one-legged weka have got the Department of Conservation concerned people are incorrectly laying possum traps that are injuring the birds.

A number of sightings have been reported to authorities; prompting DoC to issue a call for anyone who sees an illegal or incorrect trap to contact them immediately.

One-legged weka have been sighted in and around the Fiordland National Park - at the Chasm carpark on Milford Rd and Milford foreshore.

DoC's principal ranger for biodiversity, Lindsay Wilson, said the injuries were caused by the birds standing in incorrectly placed possum leg-hold traps.


"When working in an area with flightless birds, possum traps must be set at least 70cm above ground level on a surface that ground birds cannot gain access to.

"It's not just weka at risk,'' he said.

"The Milford area has a significant population of kiwi, which could also be harmed by incorrectly placed leg-hold traps.'

Any traps laid on land managed by DoC required a possum permit.

The injuries on the birds were therefore even more concerning, given no permits had been issued in the area since March.

DoC spokesman Greg Lind said: "Anyone setting traps in the Cleddau or Milford area is therefore trapping illegally.''

Can you help? Call the Department of Conservation hotline to report illegal activity: 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468)