Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research

Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research is a Crown Research Institute with a core purpose to drive innovation in the management of terrestrial biodiversity and land resources.

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The extinction of important animal resources such as the moa reverberated culturally for centuries after the birds’ extinction. John Megahan / Wikimedia Commons

Dead as the moa: oral traditions show that early Māori recognised extinction

Tracing extinctions that happened centuries ago is difficult. But in New Zealand, the last place to be settled some 750 years ago, ancestral Māori oral traditions retain clues about lost species.

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