The story of New Zealand's fauna is a sorry one. The mega fauna was quickly wiped out by the Maoris who found caches meat on the hop upon their arrival in New Zealand. Much of what was not rendered extinct by them followed suit with the arrival of the Pākehā (white man). Now, a wiser populace and government are doing their best to save the remaining unique fauna(mainly birds)from extinction.
What made matters critical to the survival of native birds, including the several varieties of flightless birds such as the kiwi, was the "wise" introduction of stoats, porcupines,possums and cats (becoming feral) which prey on the eggs and the young of birds which nest in thickets or grass. Before the Europeans brought their predators, the gentle animals of N.Z. had no need to nest high and some had lost the ability to fly.
I include the saga of the kea, borrowed from Wikipedia:
The Kea (/ˈkiː.ə/; Māori: [kɛ.a]; Nestor notabilis) is a large species of parrot (superfamily Strigopoidea) found in forested and alpine regions of the South Island of New Zealand. About 48 cm (19 in) long, it is mostly olive-green with a brilliant orange under its wings and has a large, narrow, curved, grey-brown upper beak. The Kea is the world's only alpine parrot.
Its omnivorous diet includes carrion, but consists mainly of roots, leaves, berries, nectar, and insects. Now uncommon, the Kea was once killed for bounty due to concerns by the sheep-farming community that it attacked livestock, especially sheep. It received full protection only in 1986.
Together with local councils and runholders, the New Zealand government paid a bounty for Kea bills because the bird preyed upon livestock, mainly sheep It was intended that hunters would kill Kea only on the farms and council areas that paid the bounty, but some hunted them in national parks and in Westland, where they were officially protected. More than 150,000 were killed in the hundred years before 1970, when the bounty was lifted. In the 1970s, the Kea received partial protection after a census counted only 5,000 birds. The government agreed to investigate any reports of problem birds and have them removed from the land. It was not until 1986 that it was given full protection under the Wildlife Act 1953.
The Kea's notorious urge to explore and manipulate makes this bird a pest for residents and an attraction for tourists. Called "the clown of the mountains", it will investigate backpacks, boots, or even cars, often causing damage or flying off with smaller items. Kea have been kept as pets before being protected, but rarely, since they were difficult to capture and destructive when in captivity.
People commonly encounter wild Kea at South Island ski areas. The Kea are attracted by the prospect of food scraps. Their curiosity leads them to peck and carry away unguarded items of clothing or to pry apart rubber parts of cars — to the entertainment and annoyance of human observers.
The photo was taken at Arthur's Pass where we stopped to have lunch at a picnic spot. On the door of a nearby cafe a sign warned customers that food stolen by the kea will not be replaced.
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dekanski (3626) 2014-05-25 2:24
Lepo Klaudio što si nam ispričao priču o ovim retkim papagajima! Ako su ti i ukrali nešto od hrane nadam se da ti nije žao! Ja bih naručio i jednu porciju za njih!
Royaldevon (30745) 2014-05-25 7:10
I find notes like this soul wrenching. We have so much responsibility to preserve and maintain the flora and fauna of the Earth!
The last sentence of your notes lifted my spirits again! :-)
This is a delightful shot of the birds, neatly angled to fit snuggly into the frame. The details of their plumage is excellent.
Have a good day,
rychem (24548) 2014-05-25 8:46
You have written an interesting and sad note, that's right, we should protect many species, I am lucky to hear singing birds and see them flying at my window, very nice shot
COSTANTINO (56763) 2014-05-31 6:06
Hello my dear friend
its a lovely capture perfectly executed
with those two birds together
lucky moment for a photographer
and right timing but the most
important are your useful notes
about the story of New Zealands
fauna thanks for sharing all them
have a nice time
jmdias (56593) 2014-07-26 2:46
interesting note about this animal. it looks like a rebel breaking human rules and paid the price for this.
nice image , we can appreciate the beauty of the bird and its details. TFS.