Author(s): Kerry-Jane Wilson
New Zealand once had a most unusual vertebrate fauna. Once home to the mighty moa, it is the only place in the world where tuatara and Jurassic-style frogs and other bizarre creatures such as kiwi and kakapo still survive. As the last major land mass to be settled by people, New Zealand has suffered one of the most severe but perhaps best documented extinction cascades during the two thousand years since first human contact.
This book tells the story of New Zealand's birds, mammals, reptiles and frogs, from their Gondwanan origins to the arrival of the first rats, then people and their camp followers. The loss of now-extinct birds and the introduction of other species have changed ecological systems in this country for ever.
In the last fifty years New Zealand has become a world leader in the conservation of endangered species. Flight of the Huia reviews the way our attitudes to and management of conservation have changed during this time and concludes with a debate on future directions for conservation of this now much altered fauna.
The book is the first to present a history of faunal change in New Zealand and a review of the ecology and conservation of those animals. It will be invaluable for students of ecology and conservation, but has been written in a highly readable style for the non-specialist. It is an essential addition to the library of conservation professionals, ecologists and indeed anyone interested in natural history, whether or not they are New Zealanders. A finalist in the 2005 Montana New Zealand Book Awards
Shortlisted for Montana New Zealand Book Awards: Environment Category 2005.