Story: Natural environment

Hunted to extinction (1st of 3)

Hunted to extinction

Before the arrival of Europeans, the huia (Heteralocha acutirostris) was already a rare bird, confined to the mountain ranges of the lower North Island. Its blue-black plumage was similar to the tūī’s, but the white-banded tail feathers were unique among endemic birds and were prized by Māori. A European craze for huia feathers led to increased hunting, and by the 1920s this beautiful bird was extinct. Hunting hastened the demise of a species that was already declining as a result of habitat loss and predation by rats, cats and stoats.

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Natural environment - Fauna', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 30 September 2023)

Story by Carl Walrond