Kererū are protected birds and endemic to New Zealand. Kererū numbers today are much lower than the flocks reported from 50-100 years ago. Kererū are known as the gardeners-of-the-skies and play a crucial role in dispersing seeds of large native trees like tawa, taraire and matai. They are the only bird left in New Zealand that can distribute these large seeds and help keep native forests growing. Information and data collected from this nation-wide citizen science project will be used to better protect kererū and to help save our native forests.

Each year the number of people participating in the Great Kererū Count has been steadily increasing. This long-term dataset will have significant value in helping understand the importance of conservation activities like restoration, trapping, and aerial 1080 operations in helping kererū numbers increase

The main threat to kererū is predation by introduced mammalian predators, particularly feral cats, possums, stoats and rats. These threats are even more serious for kererū during nesting season, as unlike many of our other native birds, kererū only lay one egg per nest. Other threats include collisions with man-made objects such as fast-moving vehicles, overhead power and telephone wires, fences and windows, and most alarmingly, illegal hunting of kererū.

Project Objectives

  • Connect with people throughout New Zealand to encourage participation and contribution to a meaningful citizen science project.
  • Gather data on kererū over a specified period.
  • Help participants understand the scientific contribution they are making.
  • Drive public awareness on the importance of kererū for New Zealand’s indigenous forests.
  • Encourage behavioural changes around the protection and understanding of kererū.
  • Motivate participants to do more to help protect kererū.
  • Raise profiles of partners and supporters as key advocates around the conservation of kererū.

Project Partners

The Great Kererū Count is part of the Urban Wildlife Trust


Great Kererū Count

NZ’s biggest citizen

science project

The Great Kererū Count is all about community participation through citizen science. Citizen science is the collection and analysis of data relating to the natural world by members of the general public, typically as part of a collaborative project with professional scientists.

The Great Kererū Count aims to build an understanding of the abundance and distribution of kereru throughout New Zealand through citizen science