Kea on a rock
Image: Kerry Weston | DOC

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


DOC and Manawhenua ki Mohua are appealing for information about the shooting dead of two kea in Golden Bay.

Date:  17 December 2021

The kea were handed in by members of the public who found them near Ligar Bay on Saturday 6 November. It is thought they may have died four or five days before.

A Massey University pathologist carried out post-mortems on the kea and found they had been shot.

Anyone with information about the kea shooting and who may have shot the birds is asked to contact the Department of Conservation (DOC) 24-hour number 0800 DOC HOT/0800 36 24 68.

DOC Golden Bay Operations Manager Dave Winterburn says kea are legally protected and DOC views the killing or harming of kea very seriously.

“Deliberately shooting and killing kea is unacceptable. We ask anyone with information about the shooting of the kea or who may have done it to contact us.

“Kea are an endangered species. Their population is estimated at 3000–7000. In areas where predators aren’t controlled, their numbers are declining.

“Killing kea goes against the hard work being done by people in our community carrying out predator trapping and other measures to protect native species, including these intelligent and inquisitive parrots.”

The offence of hunting or killing absolutely protected wildlife carries a maximum penalty of up to two years’ imprisonment or a fine of up to $100,000, or both.

One of the dead kea was wearing bands on its legs to identify it as part of kea monitoring in Golden Bay by the Kea Conservation Trust and the Friends of Cobb. The kea had been banded as a juvenile male in the Pohara area in July last year.

People are asked to report sightings of banded kea and other kea to a kea database to help build a picture of kea numbers in areas and kea movements.


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