Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 

Kea Crowned Bird of the Year

Kea Crowned Bird of the Year

The kea has been crowned New Zealand’s Bird of the Year after two weeks of heated campaigning.

These large, green mountain parrots are known for their curiosity and intelligence. Once numbering in the hundreds of thousands, they are now classified as Nationally Endangered with just 3,000 - 7,000 birds remaining.

Like many of New Zealand’s native birds, kea are vulnerable to predation by introduced mammalian predators. Stoats and cats are known to kill adult females and chicks on the nest, while rats and possums hassle them in the nest and eat their eggs.

The kea’s intelligence and inquisitive nature can also get them into trouble. When frequenting populated areas they are known to get hit by cars or stuck in man-made objects. They can also get sick from human food, which is sometimes fed to them by people.

Lead poisoning is also causing problems for some populations of kea, as they lick and chew the lead nails and flashings on older houses and huts.

Kea could also be impacted by climate change as warming temperatures may limit their habitat range in New Zealand’s alpine environments.

The kea’s successful campaign to win Bird of the Year was lead by a team of researchers and kea enthusiasts from across New Zealand. It was supported by the Kea Conservation Trust.

“We literally went out to every single person we knew and asked them to vote kea. We lobbied hard to get votes up on the first day, which I think made a big difference.” says Team Kea co-campaigner Laura Young.

The competition did not come without surprises for Team Kea, who were literally on the “campaign trail” while monitoring kea in Kahurangi National Park, with no reception.

“One day we climbed to the top of Mt Patriarch to get reception and check in on the campaign. We saw that the Green Party had made an official announcement in support of the kererū, so we used what little phone battery we had left to hit back at them with a retaliation video.”

“We’re proud to say we ran a peaceful campaign compared to many other birds. There were no attack politics from Team Kea, we just did our own thing and went at it hard.”

Team Kea hope the Bird of the Year title will raise awareness for kea and all of New Zealand’s birds, many of which are threatened with extinction.

“Everyone needs to see how vulnerable kea are in the wild. We often hear of them hanging out in car parks, being cheeky and stealing things, but don’t realise they are in decline. You can’t not love them.”

Bird of the Year is one of Forest & Bird’s most popular annual events. It aims to raise awareness for New Zealand’s unique native birds and the threats they face by asking people to vote for their favourite species.

This year was the competition’s most popular yet. It attracted over 50,000 votes, up from 20,000 in 2016. Bird of the Year also attracted worldwide coverage, with the competition being featured by BBC, The Guardian, and Buzzfeed.

The competition has also raised over $10,000 in donations to help Forest & Bird continue its work to protect and restore New Zealand’s wildlife and wild places.

The kererū came in second with 4,572 votes, followed by the kākāpō with 2,554 votes.

This is the first time the kea has won Bird of the Year title. It came second to the kōkako in 2016.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis Review: From Free Press to Fancy Dress - Spielberg's The Post

Stephen Spielberg's The Post is an opportune newsroom drama in which a corrupt Republican president wages war against the "liberal media," as its plucky proprietor risks economic and legal ruin to bring the Pentagon Papers to public light. Its true protagonist is publisher Katharine Graham, a stringently diplomatic businesswoman, reluctantly compelled to take an overtly political stance in the interests of democracy and freedom of the press. More>>



Howard Davis Review: The Black Dog of Empire - Joe Wright's Darkest Hour'

On the eve of England's contorted efforts to negotiate its ignominious retreat from Europe and the chaotic spectacle of the Tory party ratifying its undignified departure from a union originally designed to prevent another World War, there has been a renewed appetite for movies about 1940. More>>



Howard Davis Review: Anger Begets Anger - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

For fans of what Ricky Gervais termed "number movies" (Seven Samurai, The Magnificent Seven, Ocean's 11, Se7en), Martin McDonagh's latest offering will be a welcome addition to the roster. The Irish playwright turned screenwriter and director has produced another quirky and darkly comic tragedy that evolves around the futility of anger and grief, retribution and revenge. More>>

Howard Davis: Sexting in George Dawe's Genevieve - Part I

Te Papa's permanent collection includes an enormous oil painting by the English artist George Dawe called Genevieve (from by a poem by S.T. Coleridge entitled 'Love') that was prominently featured in the 2013 exhibition Angels & Aristocrats. Compare the massive immensity of the bard's gorgeously gilded harp with the stubby metallic handle of the Dark Knight's falchion, both suggestively positioned at crotch-level. Dawe's enormous canvas invokes a whole history of blushing that pivots around a direct connection to sexual arousal. More>>

ALSO:

Ethnomusicology: Malian ‘Desert Blues’ Revolutionaries To Storm WOMAD

Malian band Tinariwen (playing WOMAD NZ in March 2018) are a true musical revolutionaries in every sense. Active since 1982, these nomadic Tuareg or ‘Kel Tamashek’ (speakers of Tamashek) electric guitar legends revolutionised a traditional style to give birth to a new genre often called ‘desert blues’. They also have a history rooted deeply in revolution and fighting for the rights of their nomadic Tamashek speaking culture and people. More>>

Gordon Campbell: Best New Music Of 2017

Any ‘best of list’ has to be an exercise in wishful thinking, given the splintering of everyone’s listening habits... But maybe… it could be time for the re-discovery of the lost art of listening to an entire album, all the way through. Just putting that idea out there. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland