Tag Archives: Pitt Island

Nestor chathamensis Wood, Mitchell, Scofield & Tennyson

Chatham Islands Kaka (Nestor chathamensis)

The family Nestoridae is endemic to the New Zealand faunal region and contains the Kaka (Nestor meridionalis Gmelin), the Kea (Nestor notabilis Gould) as well as the Kakapo (Strigops habroptila Gray); it formerly contained at least two additional species, including this one from the Chatham Islands.


The species is known from abundant subfossil remains, which, by the way, were known since about the end of the 19th century, but had been originally assigned to the Kea. In the 1950s the remains were studied again and subsequently assigned to the New Zealand Kaka. Only in 1999 the Chatham Islands form was recognized as a distinct species, differing from both the New Zealand Kaka and the Kea. The species was finally described in 2014.


The Chatham Islands Kaka was most closely related to the New Zeland Kaka, but was in fact a rather terrestrial species, very much like the Kea, it was on the way of becoming flightless and very likely was very tame and thus fel victim to the hunting of the first human settlers on the Chatham Islands.



[1] J. R. Wood; K. J. Mitchell; R. P. Scofield; A. J. D. Tennyson; A. E. Fidler, J. M. Wilmshurst; B. Llamas; A. Cooper: An extinct nestorid parrot (Aves, Psittaciformes, Nestoridae) from the Chatham Islands, New Zealand. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 172: 185–199. 2014

edited: 16.02.2020

Thotmus halli Broun

Hall’s Thotmus Weevil (Thotmus halli)

Hall’s Thotmus Weevil was described in 1911; it was apparently endemic to Pitt Island, the second largest island of the Chatham Islands, east of New Zealand’s main islands; it is still only known from the type.

The species reached a length of 1,3 cm, it is believed to have been an inhabitant of the sea shores, it was, however, never recorded since its description and might well be extinct.


Photo: Landcare Research New Zealand Ltd

(under creative commons license (4.0))


edited: 23.04.2022