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

About Kea

A National Kaitiaki and Taonga

Kea are a unique and endangered parrot (psittacine) species endemic to the Southern Alps of New Zealand. They are one of three parrot species which evolved in isolation over millions of years, playing an important role as alpine seed distributors and ‘cleaners’ and are highly valued as one of the most intelligent bird species in the world.

To ensure that kea are optimally managed and protected it is necessary to understand the species natural habitat, lifecycle and behaviour in the wild, their interactions with people and the range of threats impacting on them. Additionally, understanding best practice management of kea in captivity is also necessary to ensure the captive population provides positive education and encounter opportunities to inspire new generations to care for kea in the wild.

Kea facts

Kea are New Zealand's mountain parrot species in the world and now number fewer than fewer than 7,000 (Kemp et al, 2020).
Facts about Kea

Kea lifecycle

The life-cycle of the Kea can be divided up into 4 general periods; incubation to fledging (0-4 months)...
Kea Lifestyle

Threats to Kea

Nine threats, actual and potential, to the wild Kea population are currently identified. These may be...
Threats to Kea

Captive Kea

As an intelligent parrot, kea are an easy species to hold badly and a difficult species to hold well.
Captive Kea

Threatened Listing Status

Kea are listed as Threatened -  Nationally Endangered; the second-highest threat level in New Zealand, and on the IUCN Redlist - Endangered, Population trend decreasing.
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