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Science. 2000 Mar 24;287(5461):2250-4.

Rapid extinction of the moas (Aves: Dinornithiformes): model, test, and implications.

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  • 1Palaecol Research, 167 Springs Road, Hornby, Christchurch 8004, New Zealand.


A Leslie matrix population model supported by carbon-14 dating of early occupation layers lacking moa remains suggests that human hunting and habitat destruction drove the 11 species of moa to extinction less than 100 years after Polynesian settlement of New Zealand. The rapid extinction contrasts with models that envisage several centuries of exploitation.

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