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

Activities To Help Kea

You can help kea out by getting your friends, families, schools and communities involved in these 6 fun activities which aim to raise awareness of kea and help kea both in the wild and in zoos. We would love to hear what activities you chose to do so make sure you send in your videos, photos, artwork and stories so that we can share them on our website pages.
Conservation Video
Action Group
Kea Puzzle

Make a kea conservation video


Make a short video (up to 5 minutes long) telling others about how great kea are, the keas issues and what your audience can do to help kea out.


Your video will help people understand more about kea, why they should be protected and will also inspire them to take at least one action to help kea in the wild


It's not hard to make a video but you need to be prepared. Heres some tips from the experts:

What Equipment Do You Need?

Video camera
microphone (may be built into your camera)
a storyline (the plan for your video – how it will be set out and who will do what)
a script (what you will say or write).

Who Will Be Involved?

Yourself, any friends, classmates – any adults to help out ( your parents or grandparents, an older brother or sister, your teacher, scout leader etc), any people you wish to interview.

What Style Is My Video?

Will your video storyline be narrated or text, will it take the form of an interview, news item, a soap opera, drama or documentary etc (watch some different types of programme on tv to help you make your decision).

What Are Your Aims?

What is it that you want your video to do? Do you want it to show others everything about kea and their lives in the wild (what they look like, how they live together, and where they live), or do you want to tell others about a particular issue impacting on kea (kea getting hit by cars, don’t feed kea, kea getting into trouble with sheep, possums and stoats hurting kea). You could also tell people how clever kea are and why people love them!

What questions will you ask and who will you ask?

Questions are great way to get people thinking. Will you ask your viewers questions (and then help them to answer the questions) or will you ask the people you are interviewing (you can do both!). Write a list of questions that you would like to ask (eg. How can you tell the difference between a kea and a kaka? How can you tell kea are clever? Where do kea find lead and does it hurt them? What is a bounty and why did kea have one? etc).

What key messages do you want to get across?

Kea need your help to survive;
People can help kea by taking lead out of their houses and huts;
Kea are fun and clever;
People shouldn't hurt kea etc

What Will You Get Your Viewers To Do To Help Kea?

Tell others about how great kea are;
Help support the Kea Conservation Trusts work;
Make the keas environment safe; do one of the 6 activities on this webpage!
And remember – have fun and be creative!

Set Up Your Own Kea Conservation Action Group


Take action to protect kea from the 3 P’s:


To help protect kea and raise awareness of what is hurting kea in particular areas


If you live in areas where kea are: find a parent/teacher who is happy to help and identify one of the following 3 P’s hurting kea (predation, people, poisons):

Predation – e.g possums
Q. are there possums or stoats in your area? 
(How would you find out? What can be done to manage them? Is the method used to control pests safe for kea? What are the issues for kea if you don’t control possums and stoats?)

Design A Kea Puzzle


Design a puzzle that is challenging for kea


Kea are very clever and living in captivity can be very boring if they don't have enough fun stuff to do. Imagine living in a bare room with no books or toys for your whole life/ Designing a kea puzzle that interests kea will challenge them and challenge you!


Find out what other puzzles have been made for kea. Think about what sort of tools kea have (brain, beak and feet) to help them work out your puzzle. Think about what materials your puzzle could be made out (must be indestructible!).


Kea have very strong beaks, so no glass or brittle plastic bits
All materials used must be safe for kea (no nasty chemicals, small parts that may be swallowed or anything breakable)
Q. Think about how and what many childrens toys are made of – would you let your little brother or sister play with it?
Make it interesting for kea.
Q. What things do you like to look at, smell, touch and taste?
They love to investigate and open things and love different textures and things they can move or that make a sound!
Q. What challenges do kea have in the wild? What would they normally find in their environment and what do they do with it (and why)?


Make up a dummy model of your puzzle (doesn't have to be life size or with materials that are kea proof) and write about how it works and what it aims to do. How is it interesting for kea?
Kea Art
Captive Kea
Conservation Brochure

Create Kea Art


Draw, paint or make a sculpture about kea (kea themselves, their environment or issues threatening them).


To help other people understand kea and the threats they face.


Be creative and use any medium you like! Talk to your art teacher or any creative parents who can lend a hand.


Make up a dummy model of your puzzle (doesn't have to be life size or with materials that are kea proof) and write about how it works and what it aims to do. How is it interesting for kea?A beautiful finished piece of art which tells a story about kea.

Check out what the kids at Aoraki Mt Cook school have been creating in this video!

Look After Captive Kea

Kea in New Zealand zoos must now be kept in excellent conditions. To check that they are being held properly, kea enclosures are now audited (checked) by Department of Conservation. A check sheet is used to make sure that the keas captive home and husbandry (their care) is up to standard and kea are healthy and behaving normally.


Are kea in your local zoo being held in good conditions?


Kea are smart and need an interesting place to live to keep happy and healthy.


Print off the easy to use kea audit tick sheet when you next visit a zoo which has kea so you can check that they are being looked after well!


A kea audit is completed and your comments written onto the sheet afterwards.

Design Your Own Kea Conservation Brochure


Design and make a double sided brochure or poster on kea conservation. This could be for handing out to your friends and family or for a design to be put up at a kea enclosure at your local zoo!


The only way that we can really make a difference in the way people think about kea is to tell them all about kea and their issues. You can choose to make a brochure on threats to kea (the 3P’s), ways to minimise conflict with people or a brochure to teach others all about our special alpine parrot. The topics are endless!


Find out all you can about kea while thinking about what you would like to put into the brochure (facts about kea, issues they face, what people can do, where to go if people want to find out more etc);
design the art work on your brochure making sure it is aimed at your ‘audience’ (are you making this for other children (if so what age group?) or adults?);
find lots of pictures on the website to put into your brochure.
Remember, sometimes less is more!


A lovely brochure or poster about kea with clear and directed messages.


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