Kea Conservation


We are proud to be helping the Kea. Every adult kea t-shirt donate $5 to the Kea Conservation Trust. 

Kea Conservation

Here is a summary from the Kea Conservation trust on the work they do to protect the 'clown of the mountains'

The Kea Conservation Trust (KCT) was set up as a charitable organisation in 2006 to assist in conservation of the world’s only alpine parrot, the Kea (Nestor notabilis) in their natural habitat and to increase the welfare and advocacy potential of Kea held in captive facilities within New Zealand.

 Kea are a unique and endangered parrot endemic to the Southern Alps of New Zealand. They are highly adaptive and considered by scientists worldwide to be one of the most intelligent bird species in the world. They are certainly one of the most charismatic and interactive of our endemics, their reputation as the ‘clown of the mountains’ known far and wide. Unfortunately the inquisitive nature of kea was also to be it’s downfall with many people considering kea to be a nuisance in high country areas. This saw the introduction of a government bounty which resulted in over 150,000 birds being culled as late as the 1970’s (Temple, 1978). 

Kea Conservation

Now listed as nationally endangered, and with population numbers estimated at less than 5,000, the status of the wild kea population remains unclear, however on-going population studies undertaken by the Kea Conservation Trust in collaboration with Department of Conservation shows a species under threat and in some areas in significant decline (by as much as 80% in Nelson Lakes – a population which in the late 1990’s was considered stable).

The Kea Conservation Trust not only conducts research into the status of the wild population, but also looks to identify and mitigate threats across the species range, whilst increasing public awareness of these issues and the importance of protecting kea. This work is funded by and carried out in collaboration with a range of community and professional stakeholders throughout New Zealand and overseas.

Kea Conservation

Threats to kea are numerous and include predation by introduced predators, poisoning from human toxins (pest control systems and lead products), on-going human persecution due to conflict situations and unintentional injury and death from physical means (pest trapping systems and road kill).

Working together to find ways in which to mimimise or remove these threats and increasing understanding of the curious keas unique needs and attributes and their key role in the fragile alpine ecosystem, is vital if we are to ensure their future survival."

Support the Kea Conservation trust and buy a Kea Tumbleweed Tee. 

Please visit the Kea Conservation Trust's website to find out more about this beautiful and cheeky bird.