Two men will go through "alternative actions" instead of police prosecution in relation to the deaths of five critically endangered seagulls at Sulphur Point in Rotorua last year.

The pair are working with police and conservation officials after footage of two men appearing to aim air rifles at the birds was released to the public this month.

The five black-billed gulls were found dead at Rotorua's Sulphur Bay during a routine check by a Department of Conservation (DoC) volunteer in mid-November last year.

Rotorua police area prevention manager Inspector Brendon Keenan said police were working with DoC to deal with the men.


"This has certainly been an incident that has caused distress to members of the public, and police and DoC alike.

"Police in particular from the view of firearms in a public place."

Keenan said police had used its Investigation Support Unit to interview the alleged offenders, take statements, and admissions had been made.

Keenan said the alleged offenders co-operated with police and DoC throughout the process which was another reason alternative actions was the preferred outcome.

"At this stage no official arrests or criminal records likely, but people have been made accountable."

Alternative actions is a form of justice that can include volunteer or charitable work and courses.

Keenan said this form of justice was used where possible because it was effective for all parties involved, especially around areas of reparation, restoration, help for victims, and changing offenders.

Although it was unknown at this stage what the alternative actions would be, Keenan said options could be voluntary work with DoC, completing Mountain Safety firearms courses, or some other charitable work.

DoC ranger Kevin Buttell previously told the Rotorua Daily Post he thought a restorative approach to justice was more beneficial.

DoC senior ranger of biodiversity Mariana Te Rangi said the alleged killing of animals by people was a preventable and unacceptable risk.

"These special birds are a taonga to Rotorua and are threatened with extinction."

Under the Wildlife Act 1953, it is an offence to disturb protected birds and destroy nests and doing so could result in imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $100,000.