The Kea (Nestor notabilis), also known as mountain parrot, is a ravishing endangered bird. What makes Kea standout from other birds is the fact that it’s the world’s only alpine parrot. In addition, Kea’s demonstrate an intelligent behaviour and abilities.
Abilities demonstrating high intelligence include keas opening tap water, solving a number of puzzles, preparing and using tools. In a study conducted by graduates at Canterbury University, keas scored higher than gibbons, which are part of the primate family. Keas are believed to live in the South Island of New Zealand.
Their diet consists of roots, berries, and the flesh of dead animals. In the past, it was thought that keas were responsible for attacking the livestock; that resulted in their killing by the sheep-farming community who believed that keas were a risk. It’s believed that up to 150,000 keas were killed as result of the notion that they were attacking livestock.
Keas received full protection under the wildlife act in 1986. Between 1999-2009, the population of keas saw a dramatic decline; the decline has been attributed to the predation of keas eggs and chicks. Kea’s are also very curious in nature. This curiosity has its upsides and downsides. For example, keas curiosity has enabled them to adapt to their environment.
However, their curiosity Is also responsible for their decline. A study from Massey University examined the blood of 15 dead keas. The study concluded that 9 out of the 15 keas had a lead blood level capable of causing death.
Another research conducted by Victoria University concluded exposure to lead paint or nails can kill keas, and the curious nature of keas make them susceptible to lead poisoning because they are more likely to nibble at building.Including this bird in the next awareness campaign is a must to ensure their survival. Keas are a very unique creatures which we cannot risk losing. The general public must be enlightened and aware of the risk this bird is facing. Hence, including this bird in the next awareness campaign is essential to secure their future. It’s also worth nothing that the general public is still contributing to the decline of keas by feeding them, setting up traps, hunting them, using lead in building.
Which only implies the lack of awareness the general public has regarding this unique, fabulous bird. The first step that needs to be taken is including it (the kea) in the next awareness campaign. Implementing new laws to regulate the use of 1080 poison, prevent hunting keas, and use an alternative to lead in buildings is vital to their survival. Keas are such beautiful birds that entrance people; they won bird of the year in 2017.
It would be really sorrowful to see them disappear from the face of earth, permanently.Overall, keas are intelligent creatures that are threated to disappear from the face of earth. The general public lacks the awareness regarding keas. Hence, including them in the next awareness campaign is the only way to promote awareness to the general public, which in turn will stop the public from harming the keas in anyway, intentionally such as hunting, or unintentionally such as 1080 poisoning and lead poisoning. We must act now to preserve them, or we will be responsible for the extinction of the only mountain parrot on earth.