Home / Articles / The world outdoors

Kea moved to the mountains to avoid people

Kea may have moved to the mountains to get away from people. Photo: Bernard Spragg NZ/Wikimedia

A wrap of the biggest stories and best writing about the outdoors from New Zealand and around the world.

Kea may have moved to the mountains to avoid people, The Guardian reports 

Although considered to be the world’s only alpine parrot, DNA sequencing and fossil records have shown the species was once found in other parts of Zealand.

This theory about the birds is yet to be proven, though researchers have speculated human settlement may have been the primary factor for relocation.

“What distinguishes the alpine habitat from the New Zealand lower-lying open habitats? [There] are usually heavily anthropogenic influences, agriculture going on and so on,” University of Otago associate professor Michael Knapp said.

Another consideration about kea is that its adaptable nature may help it to survive climate change.

“Physiologically, there is nothing to stop the kea from surviving at lower altitudes. It’s a generalist. It will survive from sea level to alpine,” he said.

Helicopter landings ruled out for Paparoa National Park

A High Court decision has banned commercial helicopters from landing in Paparoa National Park for recreational purposes.

Forest and Bird and the FMC took DOC to court after the department sought to grant commercial pilots the right to land in the park.  

The proposal was approved as part of the Paparoa National Park management plan, Stuff reports, but received backlash from conservation groups.

FMC president Jan Finlayson said the decision sets a precedent for DOC.

“Basically it tells DOC, ‘don’t try this again’ and it affirms what was patently obvious in the statutes: the Paparoa National Park is to be free of the racket of choppers, with rare exceptions,” she said.

China bans ultra races and extreme sports 

Following last month’s tragic ultramarathon which saw 21 ultrarunners die in extreme weather conditions, the Chinese government has announced an indefinite ban on ultra races and extreme sports.

Ultra runners the world over are worried for the future of the sport in China, Outside Online reports.
“I am so sad for the athletes and their families and the race organisers who won’t be able to compete in this way,” ultrarunner Mike Wardian said.

It remains unclear which sports will fall under the extreme sports umbrella.

Read the full story here.

]Kākāpō predicted to breed this summer.

This summer is predicted to be a good one for the critically endangered kākāpō.

The flightless parrot only breeds when rimu trees mast (bear a significant amount of fruit), which typically occurs every two to four years.

The last breeding season was in early 2019, when 73 chicks were successfully hatched, RNZ reports. 

Kākāpō Recovery Group’s Ngāi Tahu representative Tane Davis said signs are looking promising for 2022.

“Ngāi Tahu Whānui take great interest in participating and supporting the recovery of kākāpō by sharing their matauranga Māori knowledge, and managing the Mauri Ora Kākāpō Trust on behalf of Kākāpō Recovery,” he said.