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