Taylor Swift accused of endangering rare bird

Taylor Swift’s (above) film crew allegedly drove a dozen vehicles onto a beach that is home to an endangered bird.
Taylor Swift’s (above) film crew allegedly drove a dozen vehicles onto a beach that is home to an endangered bird.PHOTO: ALOYSIUS LIM

WELLINGTON • Conservationists in New Zealand on Thursday accused American singer Taylor Swift of endangering a rare bird species while shooting a music video near Auckland.

Swift, 25, slipped into New Zealand this week to film the video at Bethells Beach, a popular seaside town just outside the city.

The chairman of the Waitakere Ranges Local Board Sandra Coney said Swift's production company was given permission to film on the beach, home to the critically endangered New Zealand dotterel.

But she said the film crew flouted a restriction limiting them to two vehicles on the sand, instead churning it up with up to a dozen vans and four-wheel drives.

The Department of Conservation website says there are only 1,700 dotterels left in New Zealand and warns beachgoers to watch out for their nests in the sand. "Because they are so hard to see, nests are sometimes crushed by people, vehicles, horses or stock," it says.

Despite admitting she was a fan of Swift's pop-country warblings, Ms Coney was in no mood to follow the advice of the singer's biggest hit Shake It Off.

"I don't know whether Shake It Off is the right thing," she said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 27, 2015, with the headline 'Taylor Swift accused of endangering rare bird'. Print Edition | Subscribe