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 (Nestor notabilis)
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© Taubin

Project Status: Active | 2021 - current


New Zealand Parrot Trust, Kea Conservation Trust, Department of Conservation, South Island Wildlife Hospital, Kea Conservation Trust, Biodiversity/Department of Conservation Nelson Lakes District

Kea are threatened by conflict with humans and predation by introduced mammals.

One hundred and fifty thousand Kea were culled between the late 1860s and early 1970s because of an unsubstantiated claim they killed sheep. Although they are now protected they are still occasionally shot. This species is also threatened by depredation by introduced mammals, lead toxicity, window strikes, and conflicts and accidents with humans. Attacks by feral cats, stoats and possums account for 60-90% of failed nesting attempts.

How WPT makes an impact: The WPT is partnering with in-country organisations and wildlife rehabilitators to improve Kea chick survival in Nelson Lakes National Park and to rehabilitate, release and track Kea that have been injured or poisoned. The WPT is also supporting public education about minimizing Kea-human interactions.

IUCN/CITES Status: Endangered / Appendix II

Population: Fewer than 7000

Vital statistics: Size: 48 cm (18.7 in) Weight: 900-1000 g (31.5-35 oz)

Range: Is found in mountainous areas of South Island, New Zealand, from Fiordland north to Nelson and Marlborough Provinces.

Natural history: Is confined to forest in steep side valleys from 600-3000 m (1968-9840 ft); also seen around human settlements. Feeds on flowering mountain flax, rata, snow totara berries, fruits and leaves. Also scavenges on carcasses. Active in early morning and late afternoon. Is playful and inquisitive, foraging around campsites and sometimes damaging cars and equipment. Breeding is July-January. Nest is in a rock crevice or a hollow log.

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