Prior to the arrival of Europeans, hihi were found throughout the North Island of New Zealand and certainly on the larger offshore islands including Great Barrier, Hauturu (Little Barrier) and Kapiti. It has been noted that by 1873 hihi were rare in the north of this range but still relatively common in the south. By the 1880’s hihi had become extinct everywhere except Hauturu (Little Barrier) Island (3800 Ha). The reasons for this decline are not well understood but likely include habitat destruction and modification, predation from introduced mammalian predators and possibly pathogens and disease.
Map by John Ewen