A new fossil species of shearwater Puffinus from the late Quaternary of the South Island, New Zealand, and notes on the biogeography and evolution of the Puffinus gavia superspecies

R. N. Holdaway, T. H. Worthy

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33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A new, extinct species of Puffinus (Aves: Pro- cellariidae) is described from fossil bones found in caves in the west and north-west of South Island, New Zealand. The new species is smaller in all dimensions than either Puffinus gavia or P. huttoni, with which it forms a natural group. It is known from deposits dating from at least 20 000 years b.p. to others less than 600 years old. The distribution as present­ly known includes the west and north of the South Island, New Zealand, from Takaka Hill (41°S) in north-west Nel­son, to near Punakaiki, at 42°S. The three taxa had allopatric breeding distributions. This is the first extinct procellariid to be described from New Zealand. As with other avian taxa that survived to the present millenium, it was probably ex­terminated by the Kiore Rattus exulans, which was intro­duced by Polynesians less than 1000 years ago.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-215
Number of pages15
JournalEmu
Volume94
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

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