We report the first prehistoric bird bones from the isolated limestone island of Niue, South Pacific. Discovered in a cave known as Anakuli, the bones are Holocene in age but lack cultural association. They represent three extinct species: a night-heron (Nycticorax kalavikai), a new species known thus far only from Niue but closely related to an extinct undescribed species from Tonga; the 'Niuafo'ou' Megapode (Megapodius pritchardii), known historically only from Niuafo'ou (Tonga) but recorded from prehistoric sites elsewhere in Tonga; and Gallirallus huiatua, a new species of flightless rail presumably endemic to Niue and distinct from extinct, flightless congeneric species from island groups immediately east (Cook Islands) and west (Tonga) of Niue. The first two species are in accord with the overall biogeographic affinity of the extant avifauna of Niue, which is West Polynesian rather than East Polynesian.
|Number of pages||22|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2000|