Introduced stoats and possums are the key predators of kea and are present across the extent of the keas habitat. These predators impact on the survival of kea nestlings and the survival of adult females. Stoats can reduce nest survival to near zero in the stoat plague years that follow mast events. Episodes of high adult female mortality may also occur during stoat plagues.
Controlling predators through intensive pest control programmes is therefore vital for the keas future. Predator control methods include baiting (aerial or ground-based applications) and trapping but must be used with caution as kea have been impacted by both control methods.
View the video below of Department of Conservation workers monitoring kea nests in Westland (please note, some content may be disturbing)