The Great Kererū Count is NZ’s biggest citizen science project to help gather information on the abundance and distribution of the New Zealand pigeon — also known as kererū, kūkū or kūkupa.
Everyone in New Zealand can get involved with the Great Kererū Count, whether you see any kererū or not, sharing your observations will help build up a clearer picture of where the kererū live, how many there are and what they are feeding on.
Why get involved? Kererū are protected birds and endemic to New Zealand. Kererū numbers today are much lower than the flocks reported from 50-100 years ago. Despite this, they do not have formal threatened status. This means that the Great Kererū Count is the only centralised data gathered to monitor the overall national trends of this significant bird.
The humble kererū is one of New Zealand’s most valuable assets when it comes to native forests. Long before humans came to New Zealand, kererū have been undertaking the largest plant restoration project the country has ever seen. Kererū are the only bird left in New Zealand that are able to swallow and disperse the seeds from the largest native trees such as tawa, taraire, pūriri and matai. Kererū can live for 21+ years and are essential for native bush regeneration. Their disappearance would be a disaster for our native forests.
The Great Kererū Count runs once a year. The next count will run from 18-27 September 2020. You can submit your observations via the project website or the iNaturalist App for Android or iOS. You can find all the details on how to use the app here.