FaunaFocus

Kea

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Introduced mammalian predators, such as stoats, cats, and possums, have spread into most of the kea's range and caused episodic, high mortality events, but invasive control toxins cause lead-poisoning in kea.

Kea

Kea

Kea perceive visual, tactile, auditory, and chemical stimuli and communicate with a wide array of vocalizations and by posturing and fluffing their head feathers into facial expressions.

Kea

Kea

Kea hatchlings are altricial and fledge after 13 weeks before dispersing from their natal ranges after another 5-6 weeks.

Kea

Kea

Kea have gained a reputation for attacking sheep and infecting them with a fatal, blood-poisoning bacteria and deforesting pastures, causing farmers to kill them.

Kea

Kea

Kea have been observed breeding at all times of the year, except late autumn, but their main reproductive period lasts from July-January.

Kea

Kea

Kea are highly intelligent birds and can learn complicated tasks from observing others.

Kea

Kea

Kea lay clutches of 2-4 eggs, mainly in terrestrial crevices within the forest, and incubate their eggs for 3-4 weeks.

Kea

Kea

Kea have non-linear dominance hierarchies and dominant individuals can force subordinates to cooperate in tasks for their own benefit.

Kea

Kea

Although Kea are protected within New Zealand by laws that prohibit their capture, mistreatment, and export, parrot-smuggling is a lucrative business and kea are captured for the black market pet trade.

Kea

Kea

Male kea take on the responsibility of feeding the female while she nests, as well as the young until they disperse from their natal range.

Kea

Kea

The kea population has declined 50-80% over the last 3 generations, or 36 years, largely due to persecution, and continues to decline rapidly.

Kea

Kea

As opportunistic, generalist omnivorous foragers, kea are primary, secondary, and higher-level consumers and only compete with the kaka for food resources.

Kea

Kea

After a female kea initiates copulation by inviting play or being submissive, the male will feed her a regurgitated meal before mounting.

Kea

Kea

The kea's diet varies by season as it feeds on plants during flowering seasons and relies on trash heaps, flesh, and bone marrow in the winter when foods are scarce.

Kea

Kea

Kea have decurved upper bills, or culmens, and females have shorter, less curved culmens.

Kea

Kea

Kea have a polygynous mating system in which males fight for dominance to become part of the 10% that is allowed to breed in certain years.

Kea

Kea

Kea are diurnal and call and forage in the morning, roost in the middle of the day, and forage again before sleeping in the trees.

Kea

Kea

Kea are colorful birds with bronze olive-green bodies, dull blue primaries, red-orange coverts, and a dull red lower back.

Kea

Kea

Due to a life in an extreme alpine environment, kea are encouraged to opportunistically and inquisitively explore their surroundings and will commonly investigate and destroy human belongings.

Kea

Kea

Kea are opportunistic, generalist, omnivorous foraging parrots that rely on the leaves, buds, and nuts of southern beeches as an important part of their diet.

Kea

Kea

Kea are alpine parrots and inhabit temperate and subtropical/tropical moist lowland forests, shrubland, grassland, and even artificial terrestrial habitats, such as pastureland and urban areas.

Kea

Kea

The kea was described by ornithologist, John Gould, in 1856 and is named after its loud, in-flight "keee-aa" call.

Kea

Kea

Kea are endemic to the mountains of South Island, New Zealand and range from Kahurangi to Fiordland, including the Kaikoura Ranges.

Kea

Kea

Kea are highly social birds that live in family groups of 30-40 and exhibit a variety of social behaviors, such as intricate play.

Kea

Kea

Kea are crow-sized parrots, about 48 cm. long, that display sexual dimorphism as males weigh 20% more and are 5% longer than females and have 12-14% longer bills.

Kea

Kea

Kea are currently "Endangered" and declining rapidly due to predation by introduced mammals and a variety of anthropogenic threats.

Koala

Koalas were nearly exterminated in the early 20th century because they were extensively hunted for their warm, thick fur and their environments were destroyed by fires caused by humans.

Koala

At high population densities, koalas can defoliate preferred tree species, causing tree death and subsequent koala population crash and making the species difficult to manage.

Koala

Climate change is expected to lead to an increased rate of koala population reduction over the next 20-30 years, and the impacts of other threats will magnify over this period.

Koala

The koala's population size has declined about 30% over the last 18-24 years due to climate change and a severe decline in inland regions most exposed to recent drought.

Koala

Koalas are currently threatened by habitat fragmentation and modification, bushfires, and disease, but their main threat is habitat destruction.

Koala

The koala is evaluated as "Vulnerable" on the IUCN Red List due to its projected rate of decline as a result of climate change, habitat destruction, and disease.

Koala

Young koalas weigh less than 0.5 g. when born and live in the mother's pouch for 5-7 months feeding on milk and predigested leaves.