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Huia, Extinct, Illustration

Huia, Extinct, Illustration

C027/5192

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SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

The huia (Heteralocha acutirostris) was the largest species of New Zealand wattlebird, endemic to the North Island of New Zealand. Its extinction in the early 20th century had two primary causes. The first was rampant overhunting to procure huia skins for mounted specimens, which were in worldwide demand by museums and wealthy private collectors. Huia were also hunted to obtain their long, striking tail feathers for locally fashionable hat decorations. The second major cause of extinction was the widespread deforestation of the lowlands of the North Island by European settlers to create pasture for agriculture. Illustration by James Coutts Crawford, 1880.

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