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 with us will help build up a clearer picture of where the kererū live, how many there are and what they are feeding on.
The humble kererū is one of New Zealand’s most valuable assets when it comes to our native forests. Long before humans came to this country, 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 our 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.
In a single day Kererū can fly up to
So keep an eye on the sky
The Great Kererū Count was set up to help us get a better understanding of kererū numbers and distribution across New Zealand. The Great Kererū Count is an annual citizen science project and the more people who participate, the better the understanding we will get of how kererū are doing across the country. The 8 years of the GKC have proven the level of interest and love New Zealanders hold for kererū, in turn, showing how culturally and ecologically significant kererū are to us all.
2021 was the eighth and final year of the Great Kererū Count. The data will help Aotearoa understand how best to keep kererū safe for future generations. Everyone in New Zealand can get involved with the Great Kererū Count, whether you see any kererū or not, sharing observations will help build up a clearer picture of where the kererū live, how many kererū there are or aren’t, what they are feeding on and most importantly how best to protect them.
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. Kererū play a crucial role in dispersing the large fruits of our native trees such as tawa, taraire and matai and many more. No other mainland bird is large enough to fulfil this function, making the species essential for forest regeneration. Protecting kererū helps protect our native ecosystems.
In the 8 years of the Great Kererū Count, New Zealand citizen scientists have contributed to a total of 64,036 observations and 144,472 kererū counted which is helping create a statistically significant database to understand and secure the future of these birds.
2021 The Final Count Down!
The Great Kererū Count