There have been no more reported kea deaths at an Aoraki-Mt Cook substation since February.
The Department of Conservation (DOC) reported then that five kea and a native falcon had been electrocuted over a period of two weeks on Alpine Energy’s Unwin Hut Substation at the entrance to Aoraki-Mount Cook National Park.
Kea repellent prevent further electrocutions
Kea are a nationally endangered species, although it is unknown exactly how many remain. DOC programme manager biodiversity Dean Nelson said repellent had been spread around the area in an effort to prevent further electrocutions and this appeared to have worked. The repellent makes birds feel sick after it is ingested and that association deters them from returning to the same location. Mr Nelson said he was unsure whether the repellent had been responsible for the lack of further electrocutions or whether the juvenile group of kea that had been around had moved on naturally.
The Auckland-based Kea Conservation Trust plans to trial the repellent at skifields in the region.