Inspiring communities to protect kea, New Zealand's unique mountain parrot

Kea Conservation

Preserving a National Treasure

Named by Māori for the sound of its call, the kea (Nestor notabilis) is endemic to the Southern Alps of New Zealand. These sociable and highly intelligent birds are well adapted to their harsh environment. 

Unfortunately, the traits that kea developed for survival, their curiosity and intelligence, have resulted in them being exposed to a range of threats and challenges which have dramatically reduced their numbers. With fewer than 7,000 individuals remaining in the wild, kea are now listed as Threatened -  Nationally Endangered; the second-highest threat level in New Zealand.

Our mission is to change that.

Kea, unique & intelligent

Kea are a unique and endangered parrot (psittacine) species endemic to the Southern Alps of New Zealand. Kea are highly adaptive and are considered by scientists to be one of the most intelligent bird species in the world. 
find out about kea

How you can help

The Kea Conservation Trust works to preserve and protect these unique birds, both in their natural habitat in the wild and in captivity. In order to make our vision of a sustainable future for kea populations a reality, we need your support.
help kea now

Kea Resources

If there’s anything at all you want to know about kea, you’ll probably find it in our Resources section. Research manuals and papers are free to download. 
Kea Publications


If you have seen a kea (dead or alive) please tell us.
report a kea sighting

Did you know that kea get lead poisoning?

Kea need your help

Lead is present as paint, flashings and nail heads in many buildings that were built prior to the 1990’s and until it is removed from the South Island, Kea will continue to test for lead and to die of lead poisoning at an alarming rate.
Find out more

Having trouble with 'curious' kea?

If you have had a challenge with a curious kea please tell us about it.
report a kea conflict

National Kaitiaki and Taonga

Kea are considered taonga (treasure) to Maori. They were considered kaitiaki (guardians) of the mountains for the Waitaha Maori during their search for Pounamu (greenstone). Maori gave the name kea, describing the sound of its call. Its species name Nestor is from Greek mythology. Nestor was said to be a wise old counselor to the Greeks at Troy. Notabilis (latin), means, ‘that worthy of note’.


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