Decline in distribution of the takahe Porphyrio (= Notornis) mantelli: a re-examination

Antony J. Beauchamp, Trevor H. Worthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


In 1984, Mills et al. proposed that the takahe, Porphyrio (Notornis) mantelli (Owen) 1848, an endemic flightless rail of New Zealand was adapted only to alpine grassland, and its decline to its present restricted range is due to the post-glacial reduction in the extent of high-nutrient alpine grasslands. Re-examination of the subfossil evidence suggests that man was responsible for restricting the distribution oftakahe during the last 1000 years. The sites and associated biota where takahe bones have been found show that takahe formerly occupied lowland forests; these data do not support the hypothesis of a preference for alpine sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-118
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Royal Society of New Zealand
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • ChionocWoa
  • Conservation
  • Extinction
  • Hunting
  • Mantelli
  • Maori
  • New Zealand
  • Notornis
  • Palaeoenvironment
  • Pleistocene
  • Stratigraphy
  • Subjossils
  • Takahe


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