Specimen of the extinct huia bird (Heteralocha acutirostris).
"He huia tangata tahi."
"There is but one person synonymous with the huia, the chief."
Huia - extinctionThe huia (Heteralocha acutirostris) has long had iconic significance in New Zealand because of its beauty. The white-tipped tail feathers were a revered taonga (treasure) for Māori at the time of European arrival. Because the female huia had a downward pointing beak that was much larger than that of the male, pairs of huia were often killed and preserved in glass cases. Huia were easy to catch. There was a rapid decline in their numbers in the late 19th century, probably because of a combination of bush clearance, predation and hunting. Legislation to stop the birds being hunted was passed in 1892, but it was too late to avoid their extinction, which happened in the early 20th century.
'Extinctions - Smaller birds, reptiles, frogs, fish, plants', URL: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/13671/huia, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), (published 24-September-2007)
Source: 'Ngā manu – birds - Symbols of status', URL: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/nga-manu-birds, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), (updated 17-February-2015)
He tohu rangatiraE ai ki te Māori ko ētahi manu ka tohu ki te rangatiratanga. Ko ngā huruhuru o ētahi manu hei whakarākai i te māhunga o te ariki, o te rangatira. Kākahungia ai te rangatira ki ngā kākahu ka whatua i ngā huruhuru o ngā manu ātaahua rawa atu. Huia Nō te tīmatanga o te rau tau atu i 1900 ka mate ā-moa tēnei manu ātaahua te huia. He pango ōna kura, he tea te pito. Koinei ngā tohu ka mau i te tātai ariki. Karangatia ai ngā kōtore e 12 o te huia he mareko, whakamau ai e te rangatira ēnei hei rākai mō tōna māhunga i mua i te kuhu atu ki te pakanga. Whakanōhia ai ngā kura o tēnei manu ki roto i tōna waka huia. He motuhenga ngā ngutu o te tama, he piko ō te karawa. Anei te pūrākau whakamārama: ka taka ki tētahi rā, ka hura e tētahi rangatira te karawa huia kua mau i roto i tētahi māhanga. Ka hūtia e te rangatira rā ngā kōtore huia e rua, kātahi ka karakiatia e ia taua manu kia taea ai tana hoki ki te huhuti anō i ōna huruhuru. Tērā te wā ka haere ake te manu rā, kua puhirua katoa ōna huruhuru nā te noho ki runga kōhanga. Nā tana kaha riri ki tēnei, ka takahiria e te rangatira rā ngā ngutu o te karawa huia kia roa kia tarea ai e ia te whakatika tōna hikumārō ki te taha.
Source: 'Ngā manu - He tohu rangatira', URL: http://www.teara.govt.nz/mi/nga-manu, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), (updated 17-February-2015)
Source: 'Natural environment - Fauna', URL: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/2687/hunted-to-extinction, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), (undated)
Source: 'Te ao tūroa - Ngā kararehe, ngā manu', URL: http://www.teara.govt.nz/mi/photograph/2687/mate-a-moa, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), (undated)
Conservation comment: What became of the huia? — he pitopito kōrero nā Mike Dickison i tuhi.
Huia, the sacred bird — an article that investigates the importance and extinction of the huia.
NZ Birds - Huia — ko tēnei te pae tukutuku o NZ Birds.
Sound archives - the huia — eye witness descriptions and a re-creation of the bird's call.
The Call of the Huia — the story of the Huia is a cautionary tale. A documentary narrated by Dame Anne Salmond.
The far-famed huia believed to be extinct — a 1926 newspaper article reports that it is generally believed that the huia is now extinct.
The huia — the story of the huia weaves the strands of biology, history, conservation, arts and culture.
The iconic huia — information about the huia from New Zealand Birds Online.
Who killed the huia? — sadly you'll never get to see a live huia - they mysteriously died out, a hundred years ago. But how?