Carol Sawyer recently drew attention to a letter to the editor by scientist Dr Jo Pollard that expresses concern over the Kea Conservation Trust’s plans.
LETTER, OTAGO DAILY TIMES, 16 October, 2018
I read your article on the activities of the Kea Conservation Trust (ODT 10/10/18) with despair. Paying no heed to the recent deaths of two pet kea that were blood sampled by DoC, this volunteer group is continuing with its blood sampling of wild kea. The group is also planning more interference with kea nests, despite high rates of abandonment and failure of nests which they have monitored previously. Normally, a female kea spends years building her nest then can use it for life. Even a preschool child knows that disturbing a bird’s nest is likely to cause abandonment and attract predators. Scientific literature backs this up. Research has also shown that stoats and possums are not normally a threat to kea nests, but other kea and falcons are and are likely to be attracted by monitoring. Science and common sense indicate that kea would be much better off left alone.
Dr Jo Pollard (BSc (Hons), PhD)”