The role of Polynesians in the extinction of the avifauna of the Hawaiian islands

Author: Olson, Storrs L.
James, Helen F.
Title: The role of Polynesians in the extinction of the avifauna of the Hawaiian islands
Periodical: Quaternary extinctions: a prehistoric revolution
Year: 1984
Pages: p.768-780
Subject: Birds extinction
Extinct birds
Birds fossil
Summary: Since a large number of native land birds of the Hawaiian archipelago became extinct or very rare in the period since the European discovery of the Hawaiian islands, it has been assumed that the degradation of the Hawaiian environment began within a few years following the arrival of Capt. Cook. However, it is felt that direct predation for food might have been responsible for the demise of some of the birds such as the flightless geese and ibises. It is also felt that ground-nesting or burrowing species such as seabirds also had no defense against the introduction of mammals such as dogs, pigs, and rats that were brought to the Hawaiian islands by the Polynesians. This document describes the fossil sites on the islands of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui, and Hawaii. A description and list of the extinct birds, the causes for extinction, as well as the implication for island ecosystems elsewhere is also included in this document.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10088/6555
Database: Monographs

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