South Island Kaka

Kākā / Nestor meridionalis

Kākā are large parrots that are mainly limited to a few forest strongholds in the central North and South Islands.

Kākā, listed as nationally vulnerable under the New Zealand Threat Classification System, are large parrots belonging to the nestorinae family, a group that includes kea.

There are two sub-species; the North Island kākā (N m. septentrionalis), and the South Island kākā. Both sub-species have brown/green feathers with brilliant flashes of orange and scarlet under their wings. The South Island kākā is more vivid and larger in size.

When Europeans first arrived in New Zealand, they found kākā in abundance through out the forests of both islands, but by 1930 the birds were only localised to a few areas.

A small population are sometimes found near Routeburn Falls Hut and around Lake Sylvan.