Funding has trust in a flap


A major funding boost for the Kea Conservation Trust will have spin-offs for projects in the Wakatipu.

The trust’s coffers have been boosted by $100,000 from the Department of Conservation.

Locally-based trust boss Tamsin Orr-Walker says they’re now looking at ways to best use the funding, designated over three years.

Money will be put towards projects in Queenstown, like kea monitoring, increasing awareness about the birds and removing lead from the birds and their communities.

Lead exposure’s a major issue for the endangered kea and can kill them.

“It’s likely that lead is a significant threat to kea in the Wakatipu area and so testing birds is one of our main aims over the next year,” Orr-Walker says.

The funding also allows the trust to look at longer-term projects, she says.

“The more local people we get on board over the coming years, the greater our understanding of the status of kea in the Wakatipu area and the better equipped we will be at reducing any threats and hopefully seeing more of our unique and endangered mountain parrot back in the area.”