Few people outside of New Zealand are aware of the existence of the kea – a species of alpine parrots that are even more endangered than kiwis. These inquisitive birds usually nest in cavities in the ground, which makes them vulnerable to a wide range of predators.

In response to their dwindling numbers, a passionate conservationist, Corey Mosen, and his well-trained canine have dedicated their lives to the conservation of the playful parrots. Ajax, a border collie, is the only dog who works for kea conservation in New Zealand (and therefore, the world). He uses his keen sense of smell to find the birds by sniffing out their droppings, something he’s been trained to do since he was a puppy.

Mosen travels through remote, challenging parts of the stunning New Zealand countryside, tracking the endangered birds, accompanied by Ajax. “He walks around the forest all day with me, he hops in helicopters, he comes on boats, he’s been caving. He comes everywhere with me,” says Mosen, in the video (above), with the hope that the duo can make people aware of how special and important the birds are.