Our website is going through a major upgrade with Avoca Design. This means that it will be a bit untidy and disorganised over the next few months as we work through revamping the content and updating our online tools. Please bear with us!
Dulux - 'Protecting the Kea's Place' (2013-2015)
The Kea Conservation Trust is receiving $50,000 a year for the next three years from Dulux to fund kea nest monitoring as part of their "Protecting our Place" partnership with Department of Conservation. This is excellent news, providing us with the certainty and ability to plan some serious conservation efforts for kea over the next three years.
In addition to this, Dulux's new spring promotion will also benefit kea. $1 from every pail sold will go to the Kea Conservation Trust plus we get a boost in raising awareness of kea!
Long term funding at this level is rare and we would like to thank both Dulux and partners Department of Conservation for their efforts in developing this partnership with us. Not only have we been able to set in place dedicated personnel to ensure all our known breeding females and their nests are monitored, but it has enabled us to maximise our Nelson Lakes nest protection programme. Any additional funds will be used to seed fund our important advocacy and education programmes to promote kea conservation in our communities.
Thank you again Dulux for 'protecting the Keas place'!
2013 Nest Monitoring - chicks on the way!
Although the nesting season started off very slowly, 20 females are now being tracked by Kea Conservation Trust (KCT) field coordinator, Corey Mosen and KCT assistant Tom Goodman throughout the 2013 nest season. As of the 25th September, 7 of these females have been confirmed as nesting; 3 in Nelson Lakes (Ceejay, Rachel and Aphrodite), 2 in the Hawdon Valley (Beryl and How), 1 in Otira (Goji) and 1 in Kahurangi (Janis Joplin). Four of these nests contain eggs while the other three contain chicks (exact numbers at present unknown).
All of these nests are vulnerable to predation by stoats and possums and female kea and their chicks are at threat right up until the day the chicks fledge (through to the end of January). The possibility of female predation is particularly worrying as it is likely there are less than 2,000 females remaining throughout the kea range. Protection of these valuable females is therefore of utmost importance. All our active nest sites are monitored by nest cameras to check for predator visitation and breeding/nesting progress and pest control is set up around active nests in areas where predators are seen to be a threat.
Nelson Lakes Protection Plan
Corey Mosen and Department of Conservation St Arnaud have put in place a network of stoat and possum traps around each of the 3 active nests in Nelson Lakes. An additional nest which has shown kea activity around it but, at last visit, was unoccupied also has a network of stoat and possum traps and is monitored by a camera outside the nest site.
One of the active nests, close to the Rainbow Ski field is occupied by a kea known as Rachel. Camera footage confirmed that she is sitting on 4 eggs, the first one laid on the 15th September. This nest has been protected for the last few months with a variety of traps maintained by the local DOC rangers and we hope that by mid October, we will find 4 healthy chicks! Nest monitoring funding:
Monitoring kea nests helps us to ascertain breeding productivity and identify predation threats to female kea and their chicks in the nest. As such it is enormously valuable work helping us to ascertain stability of key populations and to identify locations under serious threat - none of which could be achieved without the commitment of our valued funding partners.
Dulux – is providing significant funding for nest monitoring across all survey sites for a three year period (2013 – 2015). In addition to this, Dulux is providing funding for Kea Conservation Trust to increase kea advocacy and education projects.
Wellington Zoo – provided significant funding for 2 nest sites in 2010-2012. It is also providing support funding for nest monitoring for a further 3 years (2013-2015).
Hubbards Food Ltd – provided our first year of funding for the Nelson Lakes site (2009). This enabled us to establish the value of this work and the need to extend it across our other sites as a valuable monitoring tool.
21 Peaks in 21 Days Expedition Sponsors - these funds have allowed us to purchase traps and bait stations for development of a nest protection network for female kea and their nests at Nelson Lakes. All our expedition sponsors are listed on our website sponsors page. This is enormously valuable work which will provide benefits for the wider ecosystem for many years to come.
New kea t-shirt designs available - thank you Print Poppa!
Our new t-shirt range has been launched and can be accessed on-line through our Shop for Kea page (or go directly to the Kea Conservation Shop at Print Poppa). Many thanks to Campbell Fleming and designer Ronald Yu at Print Poppa for investing considerable time and expertise into redeveloping this stunning range of Tees for us!
We hope that you will take the time to visit our shop and purchase a t-shirt, singlet or fleece or two. Not only does this provide us with funds to support kea conservation efforts but also helps spread the kea conservation message!
Kea dead after 1080 drop
5 kea are dead after a 1080 drop in Otira in August. Department of Conservation monitored 39 kea throughout the operation which incorporated the primary bird repellent d-Pulegone in both the pre-feed and the toxic pellets. Primary repellents taste and smell bad and it was hoped that this would be enough to deter curious kea from ingesting the pellets.
Unfortunately this was not the case and it is now hoped that further tests will be conducted on the repellent combination, Anthraquinone (AQ) and d-Pulegone, which showed significant aversive response in captive kea trials conducted by the KCT in 2010.
AQ is a secondary bird repellent, which causes mild nausea when ingested. Kea learn that it is not a good food source - much the same way as they would learn not to eat poisonous berries in their environment. AQ wasn't used in the recent 1080 drop due to concerns that it may impact on its effectiveness to kill rats. DOC will now be conducting more field tests on rats.
Photographic Competition- submit your winning kea photos!
The 2013 Kea Conservation Trust kea photo competition is in full swing with photos being accepted up until the end of November. If you have a great photo of kea showing how intelligent, fun or stunning they are, please send it to Corey Mosen at
Corey will be judging the photos along with a group of talented photographers and KCT trustees, with the winners announced in time for Xmas. Prizes include: • $150 online voucher from Gl0wing Sky Merino Clothing (ideal gear for going out in the mountains) • Your choice of Kea Conservation trust t-shirt • The option to volunteer in the mountains with kea (with KCT field coordinator, Corey Mosen) • Your photo published in next years Nestor Notabilis magazine (view the 2013 edition on-line)
KCT/DOC Strategic Plan for Kea Conservation
The three main aims of the new Strategic Plan are in the final stages of editing and, along with the Strategic Plan for Kea Conservation, will be circulated to stakeholders in the coming months. The three main aims are to ensure that:
1. Demographic factors driving population size and trends are understood. 2. Threats to the population are identified, and quantified. Threat management tools are devised, tested and evaluated. 3. Public perception and awareness of kea is positively increased.
Once these are finalised the Key Strategic Plans, based on each of the three aims, will be developed. It is planned that these will be available for stakeholders in the New Year: 1. A population monitoring plan is designed and implemented; 2. a national threat management plan is designed and implementation commenced and; 3. a community engagement plan is designed, implemented and evaluated Development of these documents has only been possible with funding from the 5 South Island DOC Conservancies. Thank you!!
The Story of Bucket - Stunning artwork for kea conservation
Stunning kea artwork by artist/veterinarian Pat Latas is now available to purchase through our website with all profits going to kea conservation.
THE STORY OF BUCKET This drawing of Bucket was based on a photograph taken by a friend of Pats while Bucket was still alive. It appears that Bucket died after swallowing pink fiberglass batts. Used deliberately as a method of killing kea, it highlights that intolerance for kea is still rife throughout the keas range.
Prints are high quality, printed on either A4 or A3 archival paper, and are great present for kea fans! • A4 - $55 +p/p • A3 - $65 + p/p
Thanks to Pat for again supporting kea
Donations (August/September) - Thank you!
We would like to thank the following individuals and groups who have donated funds to support our work over the past two months.
A total of $20,630.70 was donated. THANK YOU! Your support is very much appreciated.
R A Officer and V Kuhlmann Monthly Donation
TB Free NZ (21 Peaks in 21 Days sponsor)
Gleniti Kea Scouts
NZ Lottery Grants Board
Our funders are our life blood - enabling us to conduct important research to find out the status of kea in different areas across their range, to identify the threats facing these populations, to develop threat mitigation measures and to increase awareness of this unique mountain parrot and the issues it faces.
If you would like to become a kea conservation supporter, please contact us at
Kea in the News
A number of magazine and newspaper articles were generated over the past 2 months as a result of organisations and individuals committed to kea conservation. The full articles can be viewed on our Kea in the News page.
2013-2014 Summer Survey - Kiwi Saddle and Kaikoura Mountains
Funded by NZ Lottery Grants Board
The Summer survey at Kiwi Saddle in Kahurangi National Park was completed in January and on-going monitoring of these birds will continue throughout this years nesting season (July - December) thanks to new funding of this project by the NZ Lottery Grants Board. In addition to this, Lottery's funding will also support surveying of a new site in the Kaikoura Mountains which borders on the Huttons Shearwater colony.
Our site coordinator for both sites, Corey Mosen, has already visited Kaikoura to check out access requirements and will be taking in an experienced team in January 2014. This is a brand new location which we are very excited to start work in; very little is known about the status of the eastern most population of kea and this funding will provide a vital opportunity to begin research into this extremely rugged area. For more information on our past kea population surveys, visit our Summer Surveys webpage.
2013 Membership - (1st April 2013 - 31st March 2014)
The Kea Conservation Trust is a registered charitable trust dedicated to kea conservation. But we cant help kea on our own - it is only with support from our members and funders that we can help this species. Joining the Kea Conservation Trust will help us to:
Initiate important research projects to help kea (please visit our Kea Projects page for details)
Develop education and advocacy material
Raise awareness and mitigate issues impacting on the species
Cover our running costs
Gain additional funds to continue our work.
If you would like to become a KCT member for 2013 period please contact our membership secretary Kay Davidson at
WHAT OUR MEMBERS RECEIVE:
Our adult members will receive a hardcopy of our stunning 28 page magazine - Nestor notabilis (and our heartfelt thanks!)
Our young members - KEA EXPLORERS - will each receive a members pack which includes the following:
our Kids for Kea Conservation DVD - with loads of fun videos and activities (so you can learn about and tell others about kea!)
and a Clever Kiwi 1B5 exercise book featuring the Magnificent Kea which you can use at school
a Kea Explorers code of conduct
If you would like to renew your membership or join up as a new member for the 2013- 2014 period, please visit our Support Us - Join Now page. If you are unsure as to your status, you may visit our Support Us - Members page to check or contact us via the contact details in the Menu.
Receive our bi-monthly email updates FREE! Click here to sign up.
The Kea Conservation Trust bi-monthly updates are sent out free to everyone interested in kea. Our updates are loaded with kea information, research, sightings and photos and are sent out on the 1st of every second month (February, April, June, August, October and December each year).
Members are also available to view all past updates (loaded onto our members only pages on this website).
Check out our great promotional video produced by Roland Kahurangi. This short video highlights issues facing kea and showcases some of the work that we do here at the KCT in collaboration with the Department of Conservation, university researchers, zoos and local communities. With beautiful footage of kea flying in the mountains and fascinating video of researchers working with birds, this is a must see!
Kids Kea Conservation DVD
This will be completed at the end of the year and will be posted onto our websites Kea for Kids page in the New Year. Thanks to everyone who has been involved with this wonderful project. In the meantime we have some great clips from the new video that have been loaded onto this page - so please check them out!
We urgently need funding to continue our work with kea in 2013. If you or your organisation can help out with vital funding for the following projects, please contact us at the Trust (refer to the contact details in the menu to your left):
Funding needed for 2013:
Nest Monitoring of new study site - Otira
Trialling of surface repellents to prevent kea deaths in baiting and trapping systems - thank you to Auckland Zoo Conservation Funding for supporting this project.
2013 Nest monitoring at our survey sites - Nelson Lakes, Hawdon Valley (Arthurs Pass), Kiwi Saddle (Kahurangi NP) and Borland (Fiordland)
Nest Protection Project - funds for pest control (traps and field personnel) - part funded by 21 Peaks in 21 Days
Continued satellite tracking of kea - Adopt a satellite kea!
Operational support - we need to support operational positions within the trust to ensure we achieve our aims.
2013 Summer Survey - Kiwi Saddle and the Kaikoura Mountains
Public information and road signage for Arthurs Pass
Other items on our wish list:
Access database – to better manage our supporters, volunteers and kea sightings lists
4 wheel drive vehicle – to support our South Island based personnel during field and project work
Funds for operational expenses – to support a managerial position
For more information on each of these projects (on a regional or local community level) please contact us. Information on each project will be posted on our Kea Research Projects page soon.
The Kea Conservation Trust cannot achieve its conservation aims without the generous contribution of our sponsors and private donors.
Generous support from our sponsors has allowed us to begin an extensive research project to estimate numbers of kea remaining in the wild, prevent kea deaths through ingestion of human made toxins and to increase empathy and dialogue on the species.
However there are currently many more unanswered questions to serious issues which impact directly on kea survival and health.
If you can help out with funding to continue these conservation efforts , please contact us for a detailed prospectus.
We would like to thank our 2008 -2012 research sponsors and partners T-GEAR Trust, The NZ Lottery Board and Department of Conservation. We would also like to thank our donors; Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund, CMaG ARAZPA, Keystone Trust, Hubbards Foods Ltd, Wellington Zoo Conservation Fund, Hamilton Zoo Conservation Fund, Canterbury Community Trust and all other individual donors and supporters.
(For a full list of our sponsors and supporters, please visit our Support Us pages in the menu).
Department of conservation and the Kea Conservation Trust are monitoring several populations of kea throughout the South Island. Your kea sightings can therefore provide invaluable information on where kea are, and if banding information is also supplied, where individual birds are.
We have 4 kea which have been fitted with satellite transmitters:
#68 - status active (since January 2012)
Chicken Little (#72) - status - not active (January 2009 - 2012)
Raglan Ranger (#73) - status - not active (January 2009 - October 2009)
Leppard (#70) - status - not active (September 2010 - 2012)
The batteries on Chicken Little and leppards transmitters have most likely run out.
Raglan Ranger on the other hand only transmitted information for 9mths. This means that his transmitter has malfunctioned, dropped off and been buried or the bird has died and is in an area where the transmitter cannot access a satellite passing overhead.
We are keen to hear of any sightings of these 3 kea and in particular Raglan Ranger:
Raglan Ranger (73)
His last known coordinates (October 2009) are near Conors Creek Hut - Mt Chittenden, (Lat -41.99377 Long 172.84841) and his bands are as follows:
Metal (Right Leg): 27-103420
Colour bands (Left Leg): Yellow/Pink
For details of our other satellite kea, please visit ourKea Research Projects - Satellite Tracking page.
Photo: Chicken Little (72) with his new satellite at Bushline Hut, Robert Ridge 2009. Photo credit: Corey Mosen