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THE TAKAHE.

TO THE EDITOR. fia, — Under the heading «c A. rare bird " th •■> " Qunrdian " of Thursday cont*in« sn Jr.voroarglll telegram well worth the notice of ev^ry, person who take a an ictn;e?t m the' Daturtl history of this oouairy. Thi? telegram sta<©3 : "Daring 'ho lour of Hall's par*y on tae West Oo*st, they found trtoks recently made whioh are belloved to be thoeo ofv the Takahr, Notornis fyontdli... The"' foot printi of the bird measure eight (nohes f'om tip to tip." Oo!y three IMog examples of thfs bird have boen found ilnoe Now Z aland became a British col my. The fir&t was o&ogbi by some Maori sealers on Resolution Island, Dusky. Sound, about tbe year 1848. Its o»ptors kept It nVve for three or four d«ys f and then, osriog nought for science (of which,indeed, they had probably never heard) but much for a good dinner, cooked and ate It. Fortunately ' its akin " and ■oaae other uneatable parta fell into the possession of Mr Walter Man tell, who afterwards secured the akin of a second Bpaolmen, captured on Secretary Island, Thompson Sound, and also eaten by the Maorlea Both of these spsolmeos are now In the National History Museum at Kfcri^iogton. The third specimen was caught alive by noma rabblters near Like Te Aofto io 1879. Its skin and skeleton were seat to England for sale and were bought for the Dresden Museum. In 1885 the skeleton of a Takahe was also found on • station near Lake Te Anau and If now la the Danedln Museum. The importaano of the discovery of footp.-'nta Is that It proves that the bird, ahhoagh extremely rare, la not yet extinot. The Takahe (as the Maorles call it) m general appearance U like a gfgantlo s^emphen, although it differs m structure from the latter In scvbrtl Important respects It is one of those flightless blrda which f >rm the distinguishing feature of the- New Zealand avifauna, and If atlU surviving can hardly fail to beoome extinot before very Jong The country In the neighbourhood of the West Coast Sounds Is now swarmlo.« With rats, which are playing havoc with the eggs and young of ground-feeding birds, *hlle the ferrets, weasel*, »nd other Vermin whioh are being introduced as a connterpoiae to bnnnj will be formidable allies of the rat In this respect. However, I suppose the aocumu'atlon of the almighty dollar is a matter of more practical importance than the preservation of the rare and remaikabla birds of New Zealand.—l am, etc/," 0. W. Pdbkml, J^nuery 11th.'

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18890112.2.16.1

Bibliographic details

THE TAKAHE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2035, 12 January 1889

Word Count
425

THE TAKAHE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2035, 12 January 1889

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