Story: South Canterbury region

Cheeky kea

Cheeky kea

Kea are large parrots that live in the South Island high country, sometimes venturing down to valley floors. Their call is a ringing ‘keee-aa’. Playful and inquisitive, they can be destructive around skifields and campsites, vandalising or stealing unattended items. In the past kea gained an undeserved reputation as sheep killers and many were shot. Since 1986 they have been fully protected by law.

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Photograph by Carl Walrond

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How to cite this page:

John Wilson, 'South Canterbury region - Climate, vegetation and wildlife', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 January 2022)

Story by John Wilson, updated 1 Feb 2017