Posted by Ridgeline Marketing

Thank you for helping us raise $5,000 towards Kea Conservation Trust

Without you, this donation would not be possible.

With your support, we’ve donated $5,000 from sales of our Kea jacket to the Kea Conservation Trust! To celebrate, we’ve written a few words on why these unique birds need protecting and why Ridgeline supports New Zealand conservation efforts.

 

Spectacular birds

Kea (Nestor notabilis) are New Zealand’s native mountain parrots - but they are now an endangered species. These beautiful birds live in the Southern Alps and were named by Māori for the sound of their call: kee-aa! Intelligent, curious and sociable, kea are well adapted to their harsh habitat and evolved in isolation over millions of years as alpine seed distributors, keeping their entire alpine area flourishing with native flora. They also keep  their environment clean and regulated by scavenging Himalayan thar carcasses and eating larvae living inside mountain daisies that would otherwise predate on the flowers.

Fun fact: Kea are considered taonga (treasure) to Māori. They were the kaitiaki (guardians) of the mountains for the Waitaha Māori during their search for Pounamu (greenstone).

But there are fewer than 7,000 kea left in the wild, and they are still exposed to a range of challenges that threaten to further reduce their numbers. Kea are currently a “Threatened - Nationally Endangered” species: the second-highest NZ threat level. Sadly, most threats to kea are from humans, including:

  • Overhunting (kea were heavily hunted to near extinction last century after a government bounty was introduced in the late 1870s)
  • Introduced predators (e.g. stoats)
  • Illicit wildlife trade
  • Accidents with human objects (e.g. cars, snow groomers, power poles)
  • Lead poisoning (e.g. from lead fixtures on old huts and mines in the backcountry)
  • Pest control devices (e.g. poison baits, traps).

Why Ridgeline supports NZ conservation

We love our country, so we love seeing its native flora and fauna thrive. One of the reasons we love hunting and fishing is because it keeps us close to nature and promotes a more sustainable way of consumption. We don’t want to see New Zealand’s unique species die out - especially the kea: the world’s only mountain parrot species!

Fun fact: The kea’s species name (Nestor notabilis) comes from the name of a wise counsellor to the Greeks during the Trojan War (Nestor), plus the Latin word for “worthy of note” (notabilis).

That’s why we have chosen to donate to the Kea Conservation Trust (KCT), which works to preserve and protect kea both in their natural, wild habitats and in captivity. KCT is developing Threat Mitigation Projects to minimise the impact of the nine identified threats to wild kea populations. They also work to ensure the captive kea population (just over 60 birds) is appropriately housed and managed, since kea require high levels of novelty and complexity in their environments. These birds might one day be needed as an “insurance population” that preserves important genetics for reintroduction to boost wild populations that have catastrophically declined.

If you want to help conserve the kea, you can report any kea sightings or sponsor a kea, Check out other ways to help here.