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The Arthur's Pass kea conservation project.

  • A final thank you for Arthur's Pass kea conservation

      30 March 2018
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    We have achieved most of our major goals for kea conservation at Arthur's Pass! This has been possible thanks to you wonderful folks who donated to our kea conservation/ citizen science project on givealittle over the past year and a half.

    Over the past year we have built a very large shelter packed with information all about kea (aka the "Kea Kiosk") in the heart of Arthur's Pass village, kea country. This is visited by sometimes hundreds of people per day!

    We have also achieved some great advocacy and educational work too. Thousands of people have already been involved in looking for kea, recording sightings onto the online database, helping educate others why we should never feed kea, understanding the extent of the lead poisoning issues in the area and making good progress towards removing some of the sources of this lead from the environment, and much more.

    We've banded more than 50 kea over the past year, received 1300 sightings within the first 7 months of launching the online kea sightings database, received hundreds of photos of banded kea and there's been great interest and uptake from people in sponsoring kea (and naming them), further contributing funding towards this project.

    We have learned so much already through creating this citizen science initiative. By encouraging so many people to record their kea sightings, particularly of banded birds, we have been able to document just how many "new" kea are showing up in the main Arthur's Pass area, which ones stay around and which disperse elsewhere, receive sightings of older kea (some of which were banded more than ten years ago), determine how old some wild kea are, track individuals who are sick or injured, take them to the vet for treatment and upon release the more people looking, the more likely it is that these kea are spotted again. For example, two of the five kea taken to the amazing team at the South Island Wildlife Hospital in Christchurch last year for treatment of lead poisoning were recently spotted, clarifying that they're still alive and okay. Having a portion of this population with unique leg bands on is very useful for learning about kea ecology and behaviour, especially where there are so many people out there looking and recording. We have managed to distribute brochures and sightings forms to dozens of back country huts and sightings are coming in from all over the South Island.

    The logical next step for us is to have some kea banded in other key areas where kea and humans interact (e.g. Milford road, Fiordland). People form a real connection with the animals when they read up about individual kea with profiles on the sightings database website and love seeing how many times a bird that they enjoy following is recorded on the map.

    We've done numerous talks to schools, tramping clubs and other clubs and organisations and encouraged so many people to get out there and have a go looking for, and recording kea. We've received excellent feedback and listen to the suggestions people send us with ideas to make this project even better.

    We truly appreciate and value your support and hope that you will get out there looking for kea (and all other nature too!)

    Nga mihi nui,

    The Arthur's Pass Kea Sightings team

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  • Vote for Kea as Bird of the Year

      10 October 2017
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    We are doing a big push for kea as bird of the year. We are currently in the lead but votes don't close until the 24th October and anything can happen.

    The extra publicity gained from winning would be an awesome boost for kea and our kea project.

    Please vote at

    Encouraging friends and family to vote and sharing George and Harry's post on the Kea Conservation Trust Facebook Page would also be great

    Thank you so much.

    Arthur's Pass Kea Team

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  • Extending Givealittle Page for Arthur's Pass Kea Conservation Project

      26 September 2017

    The Givealittle page for the Arthur's Pass kea project was due to close on the 1st October 2017. We have decided to extend the page another 6 months as we are hoping to get more exposure of the project through the media in the next couple of months.

    Though the Kea Kiosk has been built, website developed and brochures and posters printed, more funds are required to extend the project into other areas of the South Island where kea interact with people such as Mt Cook, Franz Josef and Homer Tunnel (Milford Road).

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  • now live

      5 September 2017
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    The online sightings database has now been live for a few weeks. If you haven't already seen it please check it out at and start entering in new and old sightings of kea.

    We have just printed brochures and posters for the project. If you can help us distribute these to huts or people who could be interested in reporting sightings please email us your address.

    This week we gave our first educational talk this year to Chisnallwood Intermediate which went very well. They are now looking into raising $500 so they can sponsor and name their own kea. Already Cotswold School have sponsored a kea.

    Talks are available to other suitable Christchurch schools.

    We now have a newsletter that we email out 2 or 3 times a year which outlines the progress we are making on this project and what is happening with the kea in our study. If you would like to be on our newsletter email list please join up at

    Unfortunately in the last few months we have had 5 kea from the area run over and another 3 electrocuted at one of the ski fields. DOC is currently working with NZTA to get slow down for kea signs in place. They are also working with Orion to change the power pole where the kea are getting electrocuted. In all cases it is the young juveniles that are getting into trouble.

    Our future plans are now to extend the banding programme to other areas in the South Island where kea are interacting frequently with people (Franz Josef, Mt Cook and Homer Tunnel). We also hope to build some smaller displays for these locations.

    The photo shows a group of ten kea at Arthur's Pass township just over a week ago. Most of these are now banded.

    Thanks again for everyones support.


    The Arthur's Pass Kea Team

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  • Kea Information Shelter Officially Opened

      3 July 2017
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    We had great turn out for the opening of the Kea Information Shelter with over 60 people attending, despite the wet weather. The shelter was officially opened by Cr Bob Mugford from the Selwyn District Council. Speeches were given in the DOC Visitors Centre followed by mulled wine and fruit cake. We then enjoyed a great BBQ and drinks at one of the local DOC houses.

    A big thank you to all the sponsors and everyone that has been involved in the project and to all those who braved the weather and turned up to our opening.

    The online sighting database will be up and running in 2 weeks. In the meantime you can have a quick sneak preview at


    The Arthur's Pass Kea Team

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  • Kea Information Shelter opening 1st July

      7 June 2017
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    Everyone is invited to attend the opening of the Arthur’s Pass kea information shelter and citizen science project. We will celebrate kea – our precious iconic bird – by having a local mid-winter gathering! This has been a community project initiated by the Arthur’s Pass Kea Team in partnership with DOC, Kea Conservation Trust, the Arthur’s Pass Wildlife Trust with huge time and effort from many volunteers and sponsors.

    Date: Saturday 1st July – 3pm

    Official opening at 3pm at the kea shelter opposite the DOC visitor centre, Arthur’s Pass village. Tea and cake will be provided afterwards at the Community Centre (end of School Road) with a BYO barbeque and drinks to follow.

    There will be an opportunity to try out the new online sightings database for the first time so you can enter in all your kea sightings.

    Please RSVP by 27 June to

    Let’s make this event something to remember and really celebrate our most charismatic local bird!

    Please circulate this widely and invite as many people as you like. See you there!

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  • Kiosk Construction Under Way 09 Apr 2017

      9 April 2017
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    Information Kiosk Action

    DoC have given permission for use of the land between the camping ground and the public toilets for the construction of the kiosk. Jamie Ward has kindly volunteered his time to construct the shelter and Placemakers has donated the required materials.

    CCC consent has been given and construction is under way now with the hope that it will all be ready before the konvention at the end of April.

    The first draft of the interpretation panel content is done with TimeZoneOne helping out with the aesthetics.

    Kea Database

    George Moon has completed a large amount of the database work, but there is still much to be done. TimeZoneOne have helped out with creating a consistent look-and-feel to the website so it matches well with our information boards.

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  • Vote Kea as Bird of the Year

      27 October 2016
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    Thanks everyone for their generous donations to the Arthur's Pass Kea Conservation Project. Together with Martina and Andrew we recently banded 8 kea at Arthur's Pass township and Death's corner. We are now considering two locations for the building of the kea interpretation shelter in Arthur's Pass township. One is next to the main toilets in the camping ground/picnic area, the other opposite the main cafe next to the Sanctuary.

    At the moment we are coming second to the kokako in the voting for Bird of the Year. We are 90 votes behind with only 3 days to go. If you haven't already voted please vote for kea at

    Please get all your friends family and colleagues to also vote by spreading the word through your facebook pages and other social media. The publicity of winning this competition will greatly help to get the message out there that kea are in trouble and need help.

    Thank you.

    Mark and Laura

    Photo: Hohoro (white O on orange), sub adult male, named and sponsored by The Christchurch Gondola

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    • 28/10/2016 by Bridge

      Yee ha our newest Christchurch Gondola recruit!!! Nice work Mark and Laura :)