Were bowerbirds part of the New Zealand fauna? Academic Article uri icon


  • Bowerbirds (Ptilonorhynchidae) have previously been considered to be confined to the Australo-Papuan continental plate. We provide molecular evidence that the extinct New Zealand Piopio Turnagra capensis is, in fact, a bowerbird. Such a finding is surprising on biogeographical grounds. However, recent molecular evidence on the relationships of the New Zealand moas and kiwis with the Australo-Papuan flightless birds suggests the need for a reassessment of current views on the origins of New Zealand's fauna.

publication date

  • April 30, 1996