Avifaunal extinctions, vegetation change, and Polynesian impacts in prehistoric Hawai'i

Abstract

Pre-contact avifaunal extinctions in Hawai'i generally have been attributed to human predation andlor landscape alteration by colonizing Polynesians. However, until recently there have been insufficient data for evaluating most of the important variables involved in this issue. This situation has changed with recent archaeological, paleontological, and wetland coring research conducted on O'ahu's 'Ewa Plain, a hot, dry emerged limestone reef characterized by numerous sinkholes. The main evidence obtained from this research includes (1) wetland coring data that stratigraphically demonstrate forest decline before any burning, (2) radiocarbon dating of bones of rats and extinct birds that provides a time frame for their occurrence unavailable from stratified deposits, and (3) the radiocarbon-based history of human settlement of the 'Ewa

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{ATHENS2006AvifaunalEV, title={Avifaunal extinctions, vegetation change, and Polynesian impacts in prehistoric Hawai'i}, author={STEPHEN ATHENS and Heather Tuggle and David J. Welch}, year={2006} }