John Gould's documents of extinction
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It may be possible - and, indeed it is most likely - that flocks of Parakeets no longer fly over the houses and chase each other in the streets of Hobart Town and Adelaide, that no longer does the noble Bustard stalk over the flats of the Upper Hunter, nor the Emus feed and breed on the Liverpool plains, as they did at that time; and if this be so, surely the Australians should at once bestir themselves to render protection to these and many other native birds: otherwise very many of them, like the fine Parrot (Nestor productus) of Norfolk Island, will soon become extinct. John Gould, Handbook to The Birds of Australia, 1865. Preface, p.xxiv.
John Gould wrote many warnings about the potential extinction of Australian species. Ironically, his collectors were killing thousands of birds and mammals all over the world to send to him for identification and illustration.
According to Sue Taylor in her 2012 book, John Gould's Extinct and Endangered Birds of Australia, five birds illustrated by John Gould have since become extinct:
|Name||Scientific Name||First description||Date of last sighting|
|Norfolk Island Kaka||Nestor productus||Gould, 1836||1851|
|Lord Howe Thrush/Island Thrush (Lord Howe Island sub-species)||Turdus poliocephalus vinitinctus||Gould, 1855||1913|
|Robust White-eye||Zosterops strenous||Gould, 1855||1918|
|Paradise Parrot/Beautiful Parakeet||Psephotus pulcherrimus||Gould, 1845||1927|
|Norfolk Thrush/Island Thrush (Norfolk Island sub-species)||Turdus poliocephalus poliocephalus||Latham, 1801||1975|
Since the European colonisation of Australia, 21 species of birds and 27 species of mammals have been declared extinct.