This page will look at the relationships between people and kea in our South Island alpine areas, and the ways in which communities and individuals are working together to ensure this unique New Zealand parrots future survival!
Photo credit: Laura Young
Kea have faced an unusual and extended history of persecution in New Zealand. Anecdotally, it may well be one of the worst cases of legal avecide of an endemic species globally. Unfortunately, in many areas, they are still considered a nuisance and have met with an untimely end as a result (even though they are fully protected).
On the flip side, attitudes are changing with more and more people recognising the unique intelligence and character of kea.
For more information on past and present issues impacting on kea, please visit our Human - Kea Conflict page.
There are a number of human communities which have developed in wilderness areas throughout the Southern Alps. Many of these areas are also home to kea.
Kea are also within all the South Island National Parks and as such are often visited by trampers, hunters, tourists, tourism operators and skiers. Tourist numbers are extremely high seasonally in many of these areas which may contribute to conflict.
With over 900,000 people visiting the Fiordland wilderness areas alone (Statistics NZ, 2007), the potential for conflict in certain areas can be high.