Kea making comeback

PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
The endangered kea is making a flying return to The Remarkables skifield.

Seven of the world’s only alpine parrot have been spotted returning to their native environment at the skifield over the past 12 months, thanks to a two-year predator control and habitat management programme by The Remarkables staff and the local Kea Conservation Trust.

Kea are rarely seen in the Queenstown Lakes district and numbers have been spiralling downward for many years.

NZSki’s Michel LePage (right)  is with one of the male kea tagged as part of a monitoring scheme aimed at bringing the species back from the brink of extinction. 

Teams have tagged five of the seven birds.

Coinciding with Conservation Week and celebrating the success, NZSki has officially named one of the male birds Tahae (below), which means ‘‘thief’’ in te reo Maori, and is a nod to the bird’s tendency to steal people’s belongings.

Amy McLoughlin, of Alexandra, won NZSki’s naming competition at The Remarkables last week.

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