Kea Kites - Can a kite help to save an endangered species?

by David Patterson
(New Zealand )

Kea Kite Set

Kea Kite Set

Kea Kite Set
Kea Kite in Flight
Kea (Nestor notabilis)

Yesterday the Kea Conservation Trust launched a kite to help raise awareness about Kea, an endangered parrot in New Zealand.

The handmade kite set comes with an image of a Kea for kids to colour in with felt tip pens. Build and go fly. The kite designed by Rainbow Flight, Nelson, is designed to capture the attention of kids and get them thinking about this endangered species and the importance of wildlife conservation in a fun and meaningful way.

So can a kite save a species?

So far feedback has shown that the kites provide a bridge to connect kids to kea, they take pride in their kites, learning the kea's plumage to colour in the kites. It gets them playing outside providing a constructive activity which hopefully will spark an interest in the natural world.

In the first 24 hours of launching our crowd sourcing campaign for Kea Kites we raised over a US$1000. As a result of this and the feedback we have had to date we believe the kites could play a significant role in helping to protect the Kea.

You can find the project here: http://igg.me/at/keakites

We have produced 200 first edition Kea Kites for this campaign - each comes with its own unique identification number.

Thanks for your interest! Please share the campaign and let’s see if a kite can save a species!

Comments for Kea Kites - Can a kite help to save an endangered species?

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Kea kite
by: Tina

I there. I messaged a week or so ago wondering if you still have kea kites available. My class bird is the kea and I thought it would be quite cool to hang from the ceiling in our class. How much are they? Cheers, Tina.

(T.P.: I have no connection with the Kea kites, since the Kea project was promoted by a site visitor. However, they did leave a contact URL - http://igg.me/at/keakites. You could try that.)

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This printable e-book takes you step-by-step through making a 119cm (4 ft) wide Parachute kite. It's not quite that wide in the air since the canopy takes on a distinct curved shape when inflated. This 14-cell kite performs best in moderate to fresh wind speeds. That's 20 to 38kph or 13 to 24mph. In gentle winds, this kite will hang in the air at fairly low line angles. In fresh winds, it pulls firmly for it's size, so small kids should only fly it while supervised!

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For the greatest chance of success, I make recommendations regarding the materials. For example, the type/weight of plastic, type/width of tape and line type/strength. Close enough should nearly always be good enough, since the design is well-tested and should be tolerant of small differences from my original.

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Testimonials
(unedited)

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Wind Speeds


Light air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2    

Gentle breeze
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3    

Moderate breeze
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4    

Fresh breeze
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5    

Strong breeze
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7