Story: Human effects on the environment

Forest before human arrival

This is an artist’s impression of mixed conifer–broadleaf forest in the Ōpārara valley near Karamea a few thousand years ago, before humans arrived. Bird life is abundant, with moa, kākāpō, kiwi and weka on the ground, as well as geckos and frogs. Some of the bird species shown are now extinct, but their fossilised bones have been found in caves.

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Canterbury University Press
Reference: Kerry-Jayne Wilson, Flight of the huia: ecology and conservation of New Zealand’s frogs, reptiles, birds and mammals. Christchurch: Canterbury University Press, 2004, plate 2
Artwork by Pauline Morse

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How to cite this page:

Janet Wilmshurst, 'Human effects on the environment - Early human impact', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 9 August 2022)

Story by Janet Wilmshurst, published 24 Sep 2007