Kevin Parker

Curriculum Vitae of Kevin Parker

I am a conservation biologist with expertise and passion for reintroduction biology (the translocation of animals and plants), ecological restoration, conservation management and conservation research.

My interest began at an early age through watching television documentaries about the New Zealand Wildlife Service. Their heroic work using translocations save birds from extinction were especially influential on a boy with an innate fascination with animals. 

I have subsequently worked as a park ranger, zoo keeper, conservation manager and scientist. This has included extensive field work in remote locations in New Zealand, Antarctica, Israel, U.S.A, the Torres Straight Islands and the Solomon Islands. 

I am a competent and experienced field ecologist and have led multiple teams of up to 20 people on research and conservation management trips, typically in remote locations.

My primary goal as a conservation biologist is to be useful and to bring about meaningful change through my work, whether that is in the field or at the desk.


2011 Doctor of Philosophy, Ecology, Massey University, New Zealand
Thesis title: The impacts of translocation on the cultural evolution of song in the North Island
saddleback or tieke (Philesturnus rufusater)

2002 Master of Science, Ecology, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Thesis title: Ecology and management of the North Island fernbird (Bowdleria punctata vealaea)

1995 Bachelor of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, Lincoln University, New Zealand


2000-to present, Conservation Scientist, Parker Conservation

My primary role is planning, leading and researching avian translocations and small population management. This involves extensive consultation and collaboration with the New Zealand Department of Conservation, regional authorities, Iwi, community based conservation groups and research institutions during the planning and approval process and then leading translocations and associated research projects.

This typically involves organising all translocation logistics, assembling and managing translocation teams and overseeing all aspects of the translocation process from capture through to post release monitoring, answering research questiosn and publishing results.

In addition to single species translocations I have managed multi-species translocations from multiple source locations. I am also directly involved in research projects funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand (Marsden Fund) and the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (Endeavour Fund and the National Science Challenge) and write management and monitoring plans and reports, conduct avian health screening, genetic modelling, avian and vegetation monitoring, pest control and environmental education.

2014-2017 Royal Society of New Zealand Research Fellow, Massey University (50% FTE)

I was awarded a Marsden Fast Start research grant from the Royal Society of New Zealand to work on a project entitled “It takes all types: behavioural variation and the survival of New Zealand birds in human dominated landscapes”. This is based on several island and mainland populations of North Island robins and includes several reintroduction based questions.  

2011-2013 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Massey University

I planned and conducted behavioural experiments on two remote islands and conducted three
experimental translocations of North Island saddlebacks to examine the impacts of divergent
behaviour and genetics. I also supervised two graduate students and lectured in ecology and
conservation to undergraduate and graduate students.

2004-2010 Ecology field trip leader and guest lecturer, Massey University

Leading and teaching undergraduate and graduate students in ecology and conservation biology.

2000-2004 Ecology demonstrator, University of Auckland

Leading and teaching undergraduate and graduate students in ecology and conservation biology.

2003 Internship, Klamath Bird Observatory and the U.S. Forest Service, U.S.A.

Operating constant effort mist-netting stations and conducting data analyses.

2003 Bird banding volunteer, International Birding and Research Centre, Eilat, Israel

Operating mist nets, Helgoland and walk in bird traps.

2002 Field assistant, Ross Island, Antarctica, University of Auckland

Capturing, banding, weighing and measuring Adelie (Pygoscelis adeliae) penguins along with conducting field observations.

1997-2000 Park Ranger, Auckland Regional Council

Park maintenance, bylaw enforcement, interpretation, pest control, biodiversity monitoring,

1997-1999 Zoo Keeper (part time), Auckland City Council

Captive husbandry of threatened and endangered New Zealand birds and reptiles.

1996 Back country hut warden, New Zealand Department of Conservation.

Visitor services, basic hut and track maintenance.


1997-2018 The Ornithological Society of New Zealand (Book reviews editor 2007-2012)
2000-2018 The Ecological Society of New Zealand
2003-2018 IUCN Reintroduction Specialist Group

2017-2018 New Zealand Department of Conservation Kokako Specialist Group
2009-2018 New Zealand Department of Conservation Hihi Recovery Group
2009-2018 Motuora Restoration Trust (scientific advisor)
2011-2018 Hauturu Supporters Trust (scientific advisor)


2001-present (reprints available on request)

Scientific papers

  • Parker, K.A., Lovegrove, T.G., Chambers, R., Harmer, A. 2016. A guide for banding North Island robin (Petroica longipes) nestlings. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 43: 307-310.
  • Richardson, K., Ewen, J.G., Brekke, P., Doerr, L.R., Parker, K.A., Armstrong, D.P. 2016. Behaviour during handling predicts male natal dispersal distances in an establishing reintroduced hihi (Notiomystis cincta) population. Animal Conservation 20: 135-143.
  • Parker, K.A., Ludwig, K., King, T.M., Brunton, D.H., Scofield, R.P., Jamieson, I.G. 2014. Differences in vocalisations, morphology and mtDNA support species status for New Zealand saddleback Philesturnus spp. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 41: 79-94.
  • Morrison, S.A., Parker, K.A., Collins, P.W., Funk, W.C., Sillett, T.S. 2014. Reintroduction of historically extirpated taxa on the California Channel Islands. Western North American Naturalist 7:531-542.
  • Hill, S.D., Ji, W., Parker, K.A., Amoit, C., Wells, S.J. 2013. A comparison of vocalisations between mainland tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae novaeseelandiae) and Chatham Island tui (P. n. chathamensis). New Zealand Journal of Ecology 37: 214-223.
  • Parker, K.A.  2013.  Avian translocations to and from Tiritiri Matangi 1974-2011. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 37: 282-287.
  • Adams, N.J., Parker, K.A., Cockrem, J.F., Brunton, D.H., Candy, E.J. 2013.  Inter-island differences in corticosterone responses of North Island Saddlebacks (Philesturnus rufusater) in New Zealand do not suggest selective effects of translocation.  Emu 113: 45-51.
  • Parker, K.A.  2013.  Restoring Richard Henry’s dream: the evolution of translocation in New Zealand conservation. Notornis 60: 1-2.
  • Parker, K.A., Ewen, J.G., Seddon, P.J., Armstrong, D.P.  2013. Post-release monitoring of bird translocations: why is it important and how do we do it?  Notornis 60: 85-92.
  • Smuts-Kennedy, C., Parker, K.A.  2013.  Reconstructing Biodiversity on Maungatautari.  Notornis 60: 93-106.
  • Parker, K.A., Anderson, M.J., Jenkins, P.F., Brunton, D.H.  2012.  The effects of translocation-induced isolation and fragmentation on the cultural evolution of bird song.  Ecology Letters 15: 778-785 (Cover article).     
  • Parker, G.C., Rexer-Huber, K., Parker, K.A., Ryan, P.G., Techow, N.M.S.M., Cuthbert, R.J.  2012.  Morphometric and genetic sexing in the Gough Moorhen Gallinula comeriBird Study/Ringing and Migration 27: 20-25.
  • Ewen, J.G., Armstrong, D.P., Empson, R., Jack, S., Makan, T., McInnes, K., Parker, K.A., Richardson, K., Alley, M.  2012.   Parasite management in translocations: lessons from an endangered New Zealand bird.  Oryx 46: 446-456.
  • Adams,N.J., Farnworth, M.J., Rickett, J., Parker, K.A., Cockrem, J.F.  2011.  Behavioural and corticosterone responses to capture and confinement of wild blackbirds (Turdus merula).  Applied Animal Behaviour Science 134: 246-255.
  • Neate, H., Dowding, J.E., Parker, K.A., Hauber, M.E.  2011.  Breeding success of northern New Zealand dotterels (Charadrius obscurus aquilonius) following mammal eradication on Motuihe Island, New Zealand. Notornis 58: 17-21.
  • Ewen, J.G., Parker K.A., Richardson, K., Armstrong, D., Smuts-Kennedy, C.  2011.   Translocation of hihi Notiomystis cincta to Maungatautari, a New Zealand mainland reserve protected by a predator-exclusion fence.  Conservation Evidence 8: 58-65
  • Parker, K.A., Hauber, M.E., Brunton, D.H.  2010.  Contemporary cultural evolution of a conspecific recognition signal following serial translocations.  Evolution 64: 2431-2441.
  • Parker, K.A., Seabrook-Davison, M., Ewen, J.G.  2010.  Opportunities for non-native ecological replacements in ecosystem restoration.  Restoration Ecology 18: 269-273.
  • Adams, N.J., Parker, K.A., Cockrem, J.F., Brunton, D.H., Candy, E.J.  2010.  Corticosterone responses and post release survival in translocated North Island saddlebacks (Philesturnus rufusater) in New Zealand.  Emu 110: 296-301.
  • Sutherland, W.J., Armstrong, D., Butchart, S.H.M., Earnhardt, J.M., Ewen, J., Jamieson, I., Jones, C.G., Lee, R., Newbery, P., Nichols, J.D., Parker, K.A., Sarrazin, F., Seddon, P.J., Shah, N., Tatayah, V.  2010.  Standards for documenting and monitoring bird reintroduction projects.  Conservation Letters 3: 229-235.
  • Igic, B., Leuschner, N., Parker, K.A., Ismar, S.M.H., Gill, B.J., Lovegrove, T.G., Millar, C.D., Hauber, M.E.  2010.  Size Dimorphism and avian-perceived sexual dichromatism in a New Zealand Endemic bird, the whitehead Mohoua albicillaJournal of Morphology 271: 697-704. 
  • Parker, K.A. (editor).  2009.  Abstracts of papers presented at the Ornithological Society of New Zealand AGM and conference, 30 May 2009, Orewa, New Zealand.  Notornis 56: 102-107.
  • Seabrook-Davison, M.N.H., Parker, K.A., Brunton, D.H.  2009.  Observation of an attack on a mature song thrush (Turdus philomelos) by a black-backed gull (Larus dominicanus).  Notornis 55: 219.
  • Parker, K.A. 2008.  Translocations: providing outcomes for wildlife, resource managers, scientists and the human community.  Restoration Ecology 16: 204-209.
  • Parker, K.A., Laurence, J.  2008 Translocation of North Island saddleback Philesturnus rufusater from Tiritiri Matangi Island to Motuihe Island, New Zealand.  Conservation Evidence 5: 47-50.
  • Ewen, J.G., Armstrong, D., Parker, K., Seddon, P. 2008.  Avian reintroduction biology: current issues for science and management.  Avian Biology 1: 19-42. 
  • Rayner, M.J., Parker, K.A., Imber, M.J., 2008.  Population census of Cook’s petrel Pterodroma cookii breeding on Codfish Island (New Zealand) and the global conservation status of the species.  Bird Conservation International 18: 211-218.
  • Parker, K.A. 2007.  Opportunistic scavenging or active predation of a blackbird (Turdus merula) by an Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen)?  Notornis 54: 42.
  • Parker, K.A.; Brunton, D.H.; Jakob-Hoff, R. 2006.  Avian translocations and wildlife disease; implications for New Zealand conservation.  Pacific Conservation Biology 12: 155-162 (Cover article).
  • Parker, K.A.; Hughes, B.; Thorogood, R.; Griffiths, R. 2004.  Homing over 56 km by a North Island tomtit (Petroica macrocephala toitoti).  Notornis 51: 238-239. 
  • Parker, K.A.; Brunton, D.H. 2004.  Predation of banded rail (Rallus phillippensis) nests in a saltmarsh habitat.  Notornis 51: 240-241.
  • Parker, K.A. 2004.  An aggressive interaction between a North Island fernbird (Bowdleria punctata vealeae) and a spotless crake (Porzana tabuensis).  Notornis 51: 241.
  • Parker, K. 2001.  New Zealand Dotterel catches fish.  Notornis 48: 16

 Books, book chapters and published reports

  • Parker K.A., Fastier D., Joustra T., Booth M., Dryden S., Jenkinson T., Lark M., Smuts-Kennedy C., Smith E. In press. Best practice techniques for the translocation of kākā (Nestor meridionalis). New Zealand Department of Conservation.
  • Parker K.A., Lovegrove, T.G., McClellend, P. In press. Best practice techniques for the translocation of tīeke (Philesturnus spp.). New Zealand Department of Conservation.
  • Ewen, J.G., Armstrong, D.P., McInnes, K., Parker, K.A., Richardson, K.M., Walker, L.K., Makan, T.D., McCready, M. Hihi Best Practice Guide. New Zealand Department of Conservation.
  • Parker, K.A., Adams, L., Baling, M., Kemp, L., Kuchling, G., Lloyd, B., Parsons, S., Ruffell, J., Stringer, I., Watts, C., Dickens, M.J. (2015). Practical guidelines for planning and implementing fauna translocations. Pp 255-272 in Armstrong, D.P., Hayward, M.W., Moro, D., Seddon, P.J. (Editors) Advances in reintroduction biology of Australian and New Zealand fauna. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
  • Richardson, K., Doerr, V., Ebrahimi, M., Lovegrove, T.G., Parker, K.A. (2015) Considering dispersal in reintroduction and restoration planning. Pp 59-72 in Armstrong, D.P., Hayward, M.W., Moro, D., Seddon, P.J. (Editors) Advances in reintroduction biology of Australian and New Zealand fauna. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
  • Powlesland, R., Parker, K. (2013) Best practise techniques for the translocation of whiteheads (popokatea, Mohoua albicilla). New Zealand Department of Conservation.
  • Collen, R., Armstrong, D., Cromarty, P., Empson, R., Jamieson, I., McArthur, N., Parker, K., Parlato, E., Powlesland, R., Ward-Smith, T. (2013) Best practise techniques for the translocation of North Island robins (Petroica longipes), South Island robins (P. australis) and Stewart Island robins (P. rakiura). New Zealand Department of Conservation.
  • Ewen, J.G., Renwick, R., Adams, L., Armstrong, D.P., Parker, K.A. 2013. 1980-2012: 32 years of re-introduction efforts of the hihi (stitchbird) in New Zealand. In Global Re-introduction Perspectives : 2013 (Soorae, P.S., editor). IUCN/SSC Re-introduction Specialist Group and Evironmental Agency, Abu Dhabi.
  • Ewen, J.G., Armstrong, D.P., Parker, K.A., Seddon, P.J. (Editors).  2012.  Reintroduction Biology: integrating science and management.  Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, U.K. 
  • Parker, K.A., Dickens, M.J., Clarke, R.H., Lovegrove, T.G. 2012.  The theory and practise of catching, holding, moving and releasing animals.  In: Reintroduction biology: integrating science and management (Ewen, J.G., Armstrong, D.P., Parker, K.A. & Seddon, P.J. Editors). Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK.
  • Parker, K.A., Adams, L. 2018. Structured Decision Making for Planning Translocations of Yellow-crowned kakariki. Report to the Pukaha Mount Bruce Board.
  • Parker, K.A. 2018. Options for Ecological Restoration on Rakino Island. Report to the Rakino Island community.
  • Parker, K.A. 2018. Taranaki Mounga Translocation Strategy. Report to Taranaki Mounga and the Department of Conservation.
  • Parker, K.A. 2018. Bushy Park Translocation Plan. Report to the Bushy Park Trust.
  • Parker, K.A. 2017. Aorangi Translocation Plan. Report to the Aorangi Restoration Trust.
  • Parker, K.A. 2016. Pukaha Mount Bruce Reintroduction Plan 2016. Report to the Pukaha Mount Bruce Board.
  • Parker, K.A., Parker, G.C., Barr, B.P. 2015. Bream Head Reintroduction Plan. Report to the Bream Head Conservation Trust.
  • Parker K.A., Ewen J.G. 2014. Structured decision making workshop summary: Rakitu Weka Translocation Planning. Report to the Department of Conservation.
  • Parker, K.A. 2015. Mataia Reintroduction Plan. Report to the managers of the Mataia Restoration Project.
  • Parker, K.A. 2014. Pukenui Forest Reintroduction Plan. Report to the Pukenui/Western Hills Forest Charitable Trust.
  • Parker, K.A. 2014. Translocation options for the Wairakei Golf Course. Report to the management of the Wairakei Golf Course.
  • Parker, K.A. 2013. Management of bird populations on Tiritiri Matangi 2011-2021: Management Plan for Tiritiri Matangi. Internal report to the Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi Inc.
  • Parker, K.A. 2013. A restoration plan for the Tamahunga Forest 2014-2018. Prepared for the Tamahunga Trappers Incorporated.
  • Parker, K.A.  2010.  A report on a North Island fernbird (Bowdleria punctata vealeae) survey on Traherne Island 28-29 September 2010.  Internal Report to the New Zealand Transit Authority.
  • Parker, K.A., 2008.  Avian translocation options for the Rotokare Scenic Reserve.  Internal Report to the Rotokare Scenic Reserve, Taranaki, New Zealand.
  • Rayner, M.J., Parker, K.A. 2007.  Cook’s petrel population survey, Codfish Island 2007.  Internal report to the Department of Conservation, New Zealand.
  • Lovegrove, T., Parker, K., Nieuwland, A. 2007.  Disease surveillance of North Island robins on Tiritiri Matangi Island and at Wenderholm, Waiwera and Puhoi, 2006-2007.  Internal report from the Auckland Regional Council to the Department of Conservation, New Zealand.
  • Parker, K.A. 2007.  Report on a wetland bird survey, Awhitu Regional Park, June 2007.  Internal report to Southern Parks, Auckland Regional Council, New Zealand.
  • Parker, K.A., 2006.  A report on post release monitoring of a translocated population of saddleback or tieke (Philesturnus carunculatus rufusater) on Motuihe Island August 2005 - August 2006.  Internal report to the Motuihe Restoration Project, Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Parker, K.; Thorogood, R. 2004.  Interim report on the presence and distribution of fernbird (Bowdleria punctata vealeae) within the motorway designation, RAP21, Orewa.  Internal report for the Northern Gateway Alliance, Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Parker, K. 2004.  Report on a North Island fernbird (Bowdleria punctata vealeae) survey, Tawharanui Regional Park, July 2004. Internal report to the Heritage Department, Auckland Regional Council, New Zealand.
  • Parker, K.  2003.  Report on a wetland bird survey, Awhitu Regional Park, January 2003.  Internal report for the Heritage Department, Auckland Regional Council, New Zealand.
  • Parker, K. 2003.  Report on a whitehead or popokatea (Mohoua albicilla) survey on Tiritiri Matangi Island, January 2003. Internal report to the Heritage Department, Auckland Regional Council, New Zealand.
  • Parker, K.A.; Ralph, C.J.; Miller, S.L.;Herrera, P, 2003.  A preliminary investigation into avian monitoring data collected as part of the Trinity River Restoration Program, 1990 and 2002.  Internal report for the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Redwood Sciences Laboratory, 1700 Bayview Drive, Arcata, California 95521, USA.
  • Parker, K. 2002.  A short investigation into causes of winter mortality amongst a translocated population of hihi (Notiomystis cincta) on Tiritiri Matangi.  Internal report for the Department of Conservation, New Zealand.