New Zealand’s charismatic kea (Nestor notabilis) - and 2017‘s Bird of the Year - has just been reclassified to “endangered” by global conservation group BirdLife International. The alpine parrot was upgraded from “vulnerable” to “endangered” in BirdLife International’s reassessment of the threat status of birds for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). With an estimated population of between 3000 and 7000, the kea, found in alpine and forested environments of the South Island, is classified as “threatened-nationally endangered” by the Department of Conservation (DoC).
The kea is a large species of parrot found in forested and alpine regions of the South Island of New Zealand. An omnivore, the kea feeds on more than 40 plant species, beetle larvae, other birds (including shearwater chicks), and mammals (including sheep and rabbits).
Sources: Otago Daily Times, 13 Dec 2017