Close up of moa skeleton at the North Otago Museum

Moa and other extinct birds

Moa were large, flightless birds that were unique to New Zealand. There were nine species of moa in New Zealand. All moa are now extinct. At least four species of moa once lived in the Waitaki region.

The North Otago Museum has a collection of bird bones from the Waitaki region. The Waitaki was home to other birds which are also extinct. These birds include Pouakai (Haast’s eagle), the Adzebill and Whēkau (Laughing Owl). These animals became extinct because of human impact.

There is even an extinct bird, the New Zealand musk duck, named after Dr de Lautour, the former Curator of the Oamaru Museum!