Hunting pressure, habitat destruction, and introduced predators led to moa extinction by A.D. 1650 according to the previously held serial overkill model. In the currently accepted rapid blitzkrieg model, all the moas were gone by A.D. 1450, over 300 years before the first Europeans landed in New Zealand with Captain Cook in 1769. However a number of moa sighting claims have been made since 1769 and the author offers for consideration a staggered survival model in which moas lingered on until a later date in some remote, isolated areas. The available circumstantial evidence for a few moas remaining after 1769 is presented including reports suggesting survival in circa 1810 by Kawana Paipai, 1845 by Burr Osborn, 1863 by Patrick Caples, circa 1825-1875 by HJ Cuttance, and 1878 by Sir George Grey.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
The author, Bruce Spittle, MB ChB (with distinction) DPM (Otago), FRANZCP, lives in Dunedin, New Zealand.Review:
Review by Chris Blake. Once in a while, I get my hands on a book which makes me think why on earth don t more people write like this ? Most cryptozoological books are, basically, rubbish. Yes, there are a number of great books out there, but an awful lot just rehash previously covered stories, or dive into the paranormal and sensationalism to increase sales. This book is about as far removed as one can get from these works of tripe. Split across three volumes, Moa Sightings is a real behemoth which, due to its high price tag, will not sell many copies. But anyone with a great interest in moas or New Zealand s cryptozoology should sell a portion of the family silver and buy the whole set. In five words, the three books are incredible. Hardback with full colour printing throughout, the books are very high quality indeed. The front cover, I feel, looks a little basic, but that really does not matter. Upon opening the book, you are greeted to a wonderful range of maps (there are probably hundreds of maps between the three volumes), portraits and biographies of most of the witnesses, drawings of skeletons and huge numbers of photographs of the areas in which the sightings occurred. This is a book which draws you into New Zealand. The maps and photographs help you picture the areas vividly in your mind; whilst the long and detailed discussions of each sighting help you assess the circumstances in which the sighting event occurred. The analysis of the Freaney photograph for instance is 283 pages long. That is enough for a book alone on the photograph. Though the analysis is generally very thorough, and the photographs clear, I would have liked to have seen more photo measurement analysis, perhaps comparing the measurements and angles to a deer. This is a slight weak link in the book, and because of this it does not change my opinion that the photograph shows a young red deer, but in reality, this is pretty much the only negative point (and it did really make me consider my initial opinion). If Mr. Spittle published his analysis of the Freaney photograph as a separate, much smaller and more affordable book, I think he would do the world of cryptozoology a huge favour. This book then is exactly how cryptozoology should be done. Has is changed my opinion on the Freaney photograph? No. Has it changed my opinion that there are no large (4ft tall+) species of moa still alive? No, I remain sure that they are extinct. Has it changed my opinion that there are no small species of moa still alive? Sort of I suppose; I think there is a high chance they lived until the 1800 s, but I don t think there are any left alive. To finish this review then, I am going to quote Mr. Spittle on why he formed Paua Press Limited in 2007: Just as a paua [Haliotis, a species of New Zealand abalone] appears dull and nondescript on the outside but is of compelling interest when the surface dross is taken away, I am hopeful that the books my press publishes will have, at their centre, something of substance for the reader. He is absolutely correct, this is an incredible book, On The Track... for moa enthusiasts. For God s sake ask for it as a birthday present... MB. --A review by Max Blake, 5 February 2011, at Nature Blog Network, The Centre for Fortean Zoology. Available on the maxzoo blogspot.
Review by Karl Shuker. MOA FOR YOUR MONEY - REVIEWING THE BEST BOOK ON THE CRYPTOZOOLOGY OF NEW ZEALAND'S AVIAN GIANTS Paua Press Dunedin, 2010; ISBN 978-0-473-15356-4 (Vol. 1), 978-0-473-15357-1 (Vol. 2), 978-0-473-15358-8 (Vol. 3); £101.97 for the 3-volume set. Hb with dustjacket, 415 pp (Vol. 1), 422 pp (Vol. 2), 416 pp (Vol. 3), colour and b/w illus., colour maps, footnote refs, index. With such terms used so frequently yet all-too-often so undeservedly nowadays, it is rare indeed today for a book to warrant being referred to as 'the standard work' or 'the definitive treatment'. Both of these superlatives, and many others of a similar nature too, however, are fully-justified when considering Bruce Spittle's monumental three-volume treatise on putative sightings of living moas if only because I simply cannot conceive how anyone could ever produce a more comprehensive account of this subject. The giant, and not-so-giant, moas constituted a diverse family of flightless birds unique to New Zealand, but according to mainstream scientific belief most if not all of the eleven currently-recognised species had become extinct at least 300 years prior to the landing here of the first Europeans with Captain Cook in 1769. And even if a few stragglers had somehow lingered on in remote localities up to and even for a time beyond this initial European influx, these had still died out long ago or had they? In his vast, exhaustively-researched trilogy of tomes, Spittle painstakingly documents and assesses every known eyewitness report alluding to possible moa survival since the early 1400s, devoting an entire chapter to each such report, and including 151 reports in total. Each chapter follows the same format a headline giving the eyewitness, the year, and the location of the alleged sighting, which is then followed by an introduction, a detailed account of the sighting, and a thorough discussion. Each report is also accompanied by one or more full-page colour maps of the location, plus various relevant colour or b/w illustrations, including many previously obscure images that were new to me. The same, exceedingly detailed index is included at the back of all three volumes, which is very handy. The degree of scholarship evident in the sightings' discussions is breathtaking Spittle gives the impression of having consulted everyone ever involved in and everything ever written on the subject of moas (and if he hasn't, it clearly isn't from want of trying!) - and his examination of each sighting is both incisive and commendably objective. Nowhere is this more apparent than when Spittle surveys the two most famous (and contentious) putative moa sightings of all - one (Sighting Report #22) by Alice MacKenzie at Martins Bay in 1880, to which he devotes 98 pages; and the other (Sighting Report #151) by Paddy Freaney and two companions in 1993 within Craigieburn Forest Park, to which he devotes no fewer than 283 pages (taking up most of Volume 3, in fact), and which include several detailed maps and even full-colour reconstructions based upon the enigmatic, famously-fuzzy photo snapped by Freaney. In each case, Spittle produces a review so meticulous and fascinating that it would stand alone very well as an entire book in its own right. Every report is also liberally annotated with footnotes supplying key references (there is no collective bibliography perhaps this work's only failing in my view) and additional information where required. --Review by Karl Shuker, Dec 2, 2011. Review by Karl Shuker of: Moa Sightings (Volumes 1-3) by Bruce Spittle., December 2, 2011. From Karl Shuker blogspot.
Review by Karl Shuker continued: I dare not even begin to guess how long it took Spittle to produce his magnum opus, which Moa Sightings assuredly is, but when preparing any work as extensive as this, errors of typography and of fact are inevitable, however earnestly one seeks to eradicate all such gremlins from the final version, and I did spot certain instances of this in Moa Sightings. Needless to say, I do not wish to overshadow or diminish the magnificent overall contribution to the field of moa study and beyond that this work has made, so two such examples of errors, one from each of the above-noted categories, will suffice here. In all three volumes, the outer edge of each page contains three figures the top one indicates the volume number, the middle one the chapter number, and the bottom one the page number within that chapter (this is also repeated in expanded version at the bottom of each page). Unfortunately, however, in Volume 2, Chapter 35 is incorrectly labelled as being in Volume 1. Ditto for Chapter 137 in Volume 3. These could easily be rectified in future reprints. As for factual blips: I noticed on p. 189 of Chapter 151, dealing with the Freaney sighting case, that Spittle claimed a letter by him sent to the British magazine Fortean Times updating that case was never published. In fact it was twice! It first appeared on p. 54 of the Letters section in FT No. 98 (May 1997), and then it was summarised by me on p. 16 of my Alien Zoo column in FT No. 221 (April 2007). Never mind. Such slips as these pale into insignificance against the greater backdrop of a truly extraordinary publication that is unquestionably one of the finest additions to the canon of cryptozoological literature in modern times. The price might seem steep, and may limit the numbers sold, especially to private individuals, but I do feel that it is fully justified with respect to what it purchases. As a final thought, I just hope that there isn't someone else out there still working away on their own in-depth coverage of reputed sightings and encounters of living moas because, now that Spittle's Moa Sightings is in print, I'm afraid you're too late! A shortened version of this review of mine appears in Fortean Times, No. 283 (January 2012 --Review by Karl Shuker, Dec 2, 2011. Review by Karl Shuker of: Moa Sightings (Volumes 1-3) by Bruce Spittle., December 2, 2011. From Karl Shuker blogspot.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Paua Press, Dunedin, 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. Volume One only of three volumes. Pictorial papered boards, with dust wrappers. Page dimensions: 240 x 169mm. Numerous colour and b&w illustrations. Contents of this volume: What this book is about; Anon; John Boultbee; Burr Osborn; Paatu; John Watts-Russell; Patrick Caples; Arthur Thomson; Anon (Party of natives that spoke to George Grey); Kawana Paipai; James Cameron; Robert and Elizabeth Murrell; Robert Aitkin; Mr McDonald; Charles Port; J Turnbull Thomson; Anon (cousin of Nathaniel Bates); Anon (writer of letter to Geoffrey Orbell); Wattie Norman; Jules Berg; Cap. Alabaster; Alice MacKenzie; Daniel MacKenzie; Malcolm and Hugh MacKenzie; Robert Clark; George Pauley; Two Americans; Ebenezer Jessop and Thomas Cropp; Lieutenant Impey, Capt. Dashwood, and Captain Mitchell; Anonymous Prospectors. "It is a tantalizing possbility: that in some remote and inaccesible area of New Zealand moa had survived human depredation, living on into the nineteenth and perhaps even the twentieth century." - from the foreword by Dennis Dutton. "[A] number of moa sighting claims have been made since 1769 and the author offers for consideration a staggered survival model in which moas lingered on until a later date in some remote, isolated areas." ; 4to. Bookseller Inventory # 10380
Book Description Paua Press Limited, 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0473153564
Book Description Paua Press Limited, 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. 1st edition. 448 pages. 9.60x7.00x1.30 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 0473153564