While pest control is generally beneficial to kea populations, non-target risk exists when devices do not adequately exclude kea.
Kea have been recorded dead or injured from investigating Timms traps, DOC200 traps, Sentinel traps, Victor traps, Fenn traps, and Philproof bait stations. Tampering with poison bait bags and long life gel baits (various toxins) has been reported. Reports of cyanide paste smeared on rocks to kill possums above bush line is also of concern for kea.
If you are an individual or community group carrying out pest control in areas where kea are known to visit, please download our Safe Ground Pest Control manual and help keep kea safe.
This manual provides information on trap types and lures which are unsafe for kea and ways in which pest control devices may be made safer around kea. It also provides information on how to report kea interference and deaths as well as sharing any kea proofing methods that you have found useful.
It is important to note that kea are highly adaptive and inquisitive, so a trap which is not being interfered with on one occasion may be interfered with on another occasion, or at another location.
If you are experiencing issues with kea getting caught in traps or you suspect interference by kea, please contact us immediately for advice.
Ways to minimise risk to kea
- Reduce visual attractiveness – shiny, white or bright coloured objects are more interesting to kea. Painting pest control devices a dark colour will reduce their attractiveness.
- Novelty value – Do not arm traps for at least 1-2 weeks after they are first set up – kea are attracted to and are most likely to interact with novel objects.
- Do not use lures which provide a reward – once kea find a benefit to accessing a trap or bait station, they are likely to revisit, even if a reward (such as food or an object they can manipulate), is then removed.