The GAC is really pleased to support the NZ Tahr Foundation and Kea Conservation Trust in developing the Tahr Ballot Kea Sightings Project. The project has been designed so that hunters in the tahr ballot can contribute to recording sightings and conserving kea.
The tahr ballot area is critical to NZ’s kea population. By recording kea sightings and individually banded kea we can gain a better understanding of how far and where the birds move, how many new birds are recruited into the population each year and how we can help conserve them.
Each hunting party in the tahr ballot receives the kea sightings pamphlet along with the NZ Tahr Foundation’s tahr returns and information booklet in their ballot pack at the helipad before being flown in. They are requested to record their kea sightings in the pamphlet and submit it along with their tahr returns in dedicated box at the hanger following their flight out.
If hunters or other backcountry users encounter kea we would strongly encourage them to record those encounters at the Kea Database, which is a citizen science initiative from the Kea Sightings Project.