Kea are now labelled as endangered after raids on their nests

What's Fresh 14/12/2017

The kea's status has officially changed to endangered after raids on their nests by introduced predators reduced their numbers to only a few thousand.

The mountain parrot, which was recently crowned the Forest & Bird conservation society's Bird of the Year, has been upgraded from vulnerable to endangered after an assessment by BirdLife International.

It is a wake-up call to take action, says Forest & Bird's chief conservation adviser, Kevin Hackwell.

"Every year, kea nests are destroyed by introduced predators like rats, stoats, possums, and feral cats," he said.

"Kea who don't regularly interact with people really benefit from large-scale aerial predator control."

Following a study that found that only 2 percent of kea nests were successful, aerial applications of biodegradable 1080 by Department of Conservation in 2015 resulted in nest success increasing to 27 percent.

However, kea eating the 1080 pellets, along with climate change limiting their habitat and being fed food by tourists is not helping the naughty but beloved parrot's chances of survival.

There are between 3000 and 7000 kea left in the wild.