Story: Conservation – a history

Extinct birds

Extinct birds

These 1996 postage stamps are the closest people will get to seeing New Zealand’s extinct birds. About 60 birds have become extinct since human settlement. Māori hunted the larger birds for food, and many had disappeared within 100 to 200 years. The arrival of Europeans, who introduced predators such as rats and mustelids (ferrets, stoats and weasels), ultimately led to the demise of species such as the huia, piopio and laughing owl.

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New Zealand Post
Reference: 1996 Extinct Birds stamp issue
Artwork by Geoffrey Cox

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How to cite this page:

Simon Nathan, 'Conservation – a history - The need for conservation', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 May 2022)

Story by Simon Nathan, published 24 Sep 2007, updated 1 Aug 2015