List of New Zealand birds

From Academic Kids

As a land without terrestrial mammals of any kind, New Zealand was, until the arrival of the first humans, inhabited by an extraordinarily diverse range of specialised birds. The ecological niches occupied by mammals as different as cows and rodents, kangaroos and moles, were filled by reptiles, insects, or birds.

When humans arrived in New Zealand sometime between 800 and 1300, this unique and unusual ecology became endangered. Several species were hunted to extinction, most notably the moa and harpagornis. The most damage however was caused by the other animals that humans brought with them, particularly rats (the Polynesian Rat or kiore imported by Maori and the Brown Rat and Black Rat subsequently introduced by Europeans), but also dogs, cats, stoats, weasels, hedgehogs, and Australian possums. The flightless birds were in particular danger. Consequently many bird species became extinct, and others remain critically endangered. Several species are now confined only to offshore islands, or to fenced "mainland islands" from which predators have been eliminated. Consequently New Zealand is today a world leader in the techniques required to bring severely endangered species back from the brink of extinction.

The birds below are listed by their Maori name (where known) with English alternatives in brackets. In some cases (tui, kaka, weka, pukeko, moa, kiwi, kea, kokako, takahe) the Maori name is the common name. In other cases (fantail, albatross, Black-backed Gull, bellbird, Morepork, dotterel, wax-eye, oystercatcher) the English name is most commonly used.

The species and subspecies marked extinct became extinct subsequent to humans' arrival in New Zealand. About two thirds of the extinctions occurred after the arrival of Maori but before the arrival of Pakeha and the rest since Pakeha arrived.


Sorted (at least in part):

Contents

Struthioniformes

Sphenisciformes

Procellariiformes

Pelecaniformes

Ciconiiformes

Anseriformes

Gruiformes

Galliformes

Charadriiformes

Podicipediformes

Falconiformes

Strigiformes

  • Strigidae
    • Whekau (Laughing Owl), Sceloglaux albifacies - Extinct
    • Ruru (Morepork), Ninox novaeseelandiae

Caprimulgiformes

Cuculiformes

Psittaciformes

Columbiformes

Passeriformes

  • Pachycephalidae
    • Popokotea (Popokatea, Whitehead), Mohoua albicilla - endemic
    • Mohua (Yellowhead), Mohoua ochrocephala - endemic
    • Pipipi (Brown Creeper), Mohoua novaeseelandiae - endemic
  • Meliphagidae
    • Hihi (Stitchbird), Notiomystis cincta - endemic; threatened
    • Tui (Parson Bird), Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae - endemic
    • Red Wattlebird, Anthochaera carunculata - rare/accidental

For a comprehensive listing of families, see Australasian birds, which includes the birds of New Zealand, Australia, and the Southern Ocean.

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