Possums and stoats eat kea

 —  19/11/2010

Large numbers of kea nests have been failing in the wild but it is only now with the use of nest-cameras that we’ve been able to uncover what’s going on.

It’s only midway through the breeding season and of eleven kea nests under surveillance three have been devastated by stoats and possums, and six chicks have died.

We’ve caught possums killing adult kaka on camera before, but until now we were completely unaware they were invading kea nests.

It is upsetting to see the photos of a possum eating a nearly fledged kea and the video showing the prolonged death of chicks attacked by stoats. Even more distressing is how long it takes chicks to die during an attack.

One attack lasted two and a half hours with the stoat remaining in the nest hole and repeating its assault on the two dying chicks. One chick died at the end of the torment but the other lived for 40-hours with its injuries before disappearing.

The footage is unpleasant stuff to watch, but it shows what’s happening in places where predators are not controlled. We’ve posted it on YouTube so you can see for yourself exactly what’s going on inside kea nests.

For more information and pictures read the media release.

One response to Possums and stoats eat kea

    Soumya Subhra Guha 19/03/2013 at 10:57 pm

    Dear Ian

    I am with a children’s textbook publisher in India. I was wondering if we could use your wonderful picture of a kiwi in a book for 6-year-old children. We of course acknowledge all our sources and print the name of our contributors in the acknowledgement section of our book.