We describe the seminal characteristics of the kea parrot (Nestor notabilis), an endangered species endemic to the South Island of New Zealand. Semen was collected in the full breeding season from 6 birds in the collection of an amateur aviculturist. The manual massage technique was used. A total of 25 ejaculates was collected and evaluated for volume, degree of contamination, and spermatozoa concentration; motility and kinetic parameters were assessed on diluted samples (modified Tyrode's Albumin Lactate Pyruvate, pH 8.2, temperature 37.5°C) with a computer-aided sperm analyzer. Four ejaculates were not analyzed because of an excessively high degree of contamination. Semen color ranged from transparent or turbid yellow to whitish. The geometric mean of spermatozoa number/ejaculate was 765.9 ± 2084.7 × 106. Total and progressive motility were 71.7% ± 20.0% and 59.8% ± 22.0%, respectively. Great variability was observed both among birds and among different ejaculates of the same subject. The seminal characteristics of kea are worth further investigation, with the aim of relating semen quality to fertility and defining a minimum inseminating dose for breeding purposes. A deeper knowledge of male reproductive biology also can increase the success of breeding programs and enable the use of the kea as a model species for other more threatened species, such as the kaka (Nestor meridionalis) and the kakapo (Strigops habroptila).
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