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Fiordland Kea Sightings Project

Supported by the Fiordland Wapiti Foundation (FWF) and Paradise Valley Springs.

The Fiordland Wapiti Foundation (FWF) is supporting kea conservation by encouraging their members, to return sightings (and zero sightings) of kea during the month long Wapiti ballot each year. A total of 450 hunters head out each March - April, in some of Fiordland's most remote wilderness areas covering over 200,000 hectares of backcountry mountains and valleys.

The information collected will help us ascertain where kea are (and aren't), what the make up of kea in the area is (juveniles versus adults), provide possible re-sightings of banded birds and help us make decisions on where to focus our conservation efforts in the future.

Thank you to the FWF for their support and Paradise Valley Springs for connecting our organisations with local hunters and development of the reporting cards.

To log your own kea sightings, South Island-wide, please visit the Kea Database.

2016 Results

During this first kea sightings effort, we received over 200 days worth of presence/absence data.

2021 Results

A total of 230 kea recordings (kea sighted (single and multiple birds) or heard), were received this year throughout the Wapiti ballot blocks. Roy Sloan, President of the FWF commented that the process of gathering the data was very straight forward for the Foundation as Wapiti hunters were "really invested in the project". " It's really cool to be involved with these amazing birds and although it can be particularly hard to make a difference with these alpine parrots, it’s really encouraging that people are finally collaborating to find out more about kea in these really remote areas."

Other species recorded by FWF hunters included rock wren, kaka, whio, karearea, kiwi, takahe and weka.

Map 1. Kea seen or heard (credit Neil Mitchell Ecobureau2 Ltd)

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