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kea - Nestor notabilis | by Steve Attwood
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kea - Nestor notabilis

The kea is the only alpine parrot in the world and is found only in New Zealand. It's conservation status is nationally endangered, the bird is declining for reasons which are not fully understood though the role of introduced mammalian predators such as rats and stoats is undoubtedly a significant factor. Extremely intelligent birds with an insatiable curiosity, a trait that leads to higher survivability in the challenging alpine environment. They investigate everything with their fiercely hooked bills which, unfortunately, causes them to come into conflict with humans as keas can quickly destroy man-made objects and are notorious for pulling rubber and other fittings off parked motor vehicles in the alpine areas where they live, as well as raiding tramper's packs or village rubbish bins. This destructive curiosity is mitigated if kea are not fed or given access to waste human food. The time they need to gather food naturally leaves little time for destructive play.

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Taken on March 31, 2014