Swedish and Otago scientists shed new light on demise of two extinct New Zealand songbirds

MA_I043747_TePapa_Huia-Heteralocha-acutirostris_full image

Image credit: Huia. Heteralocha acutirostris. From the series: Extinct Birds of New Zealand., 2005, Masterton, by Paul Martinson. Purchased 2006. © Te Papa. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Te Papa (2006-0010-1/11) South

They may not have been seen for the past 50 and 110 years, but an international study into their extinction has provided answers to how the world lost New Zealand’s South Island kōkako and huia.

Lead author Dr Nicolas Dussex, of the University of Otago and Swedish Museum of Natural History, says the team set out to investigate if it was external (habitat loss, mammalian predators) or internal (demography, genetic effects) factors which led to their extinction.

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