New Zealand's bird of the year competition flooded with votes for the shag

  • 20 Oct - 26 Oct, 2018
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

A competition to find New Zealand's favourite native bird has received more than 300 "dubious" votes cast in favour of the shag.

The seabird – which is a species of cormorant – received a flood of votes, all traced to Australia, on Wednesday night, which organisers dubbed as "potentially someone's idea of a joke".

The country's annual bird of the year competition is run by Forest and Bird New Zealand and is in its 14th year.

It raises awareness about the country's unique native birds in crisis and receives tens of thousands of votes from around the world, as well as celebrity endorsements.

Forest and Bird shared a graph on Twitter of the king shag's popularity skyrocketing following the high volume of fraudulent votes in just 24 hours.