Which birds are native and why that is important is not a simple as many think.

It's an argument Whanganui Regional Museum Curator of Natural History Dr Mike Dickison will make in a public lecture next week.

New Zealand distinguishes between native birds, which are legally protected and often under threat, and introduced birds, which have almost no legal protection and often hunted or eradicated.

But this distinction doesn't match with archaeological and fossil records.


Some of New Zealand's birds are self-introduced, some arrived after Polynesians but before Pākehā, and others have ancient roots.

"New Zealanders are constantly making the native/introduced distinction. But our intuition and what we've been taught is often wrong," Dr Dickison said.

"'Native good, foreign bad' is too simple a rule for managing our biodiversity."

This lecture will be held at the Davis Theatre, Watt Street, Whanganui on Thursday March 30 at 7pm. For all enquiries please phone 06 349 1110 or email riahk@wrm.org.nz.

The Museum will provide a thematic supper. Koha is appreciated.