Kea are the only alpine parrot in the world. They are found in forested and alpine areas of the South Island. Kea are known to eat cereal poison bait and poisoned animal carcasses. They are regularly killed in aerial poisoning operations.

Estimates of their current populations vary, but there are fears that there may now be fewer than 1000 individuals left.   If aerial operations continue across kea habitat at the current rates, they are expected to be extinct in the wild in less than 10 years. Research about kea can be found here.

The news item below highlights the issue. The kea found poisoned were a large percentage of radio-tagged birds, and represent a high mortality rate in some operations when calculated to include the wild, un-tagged populations.

The video below gives an introduction to kea and includes research which highlights their plight.