Weka

Conservation status
In some trouble

This cheeky character poops its body weight in a day. They are omnivorous, with about 30% of their diet made up of invertebrates and other animals, and the remainder of fruit. This allows them to assist with seed dispersal in the forest margins, particularly helping plants like the hinau, whose fallen fruit is eaten by the flightless birds.

Campaign Manager

Fiona Powell

After living with 102 weka on a little island I'm a huge fan, so I'm campaigning again to shine the spotlight on the cheeky, flightless weka. Sure, weka can break and enter, steal car keys or a roast dinner off the table, then poop when cornered but they can also take out rats and disperse native seeds.

Weka have it tough; they're voted off conservation islands for their bad behaviour yet they're vulnerable too, experiencing population booms and massive crashes. Their flightless counterparts (looking at you kakapo) hog the limelight while weka do the heavy lifting, entertaining our tourists as kiwi stunt doubles. We 'wekan' it's time to give the weka a break! #VoteWeka as your number one favourite bird.

Fiona Powell gazing at a weka by a house
Weka

Photo: media.newzealand.com