This special book-format issue of Birds New Zealand's journal Notornis is devoted to the birds of the Auckland Islands Maukahuka/Motu Maha, the largest and biologically most diverse island group in the New Zealand subantarctic region. Its 19 chapters, written by leading ornithologists, cover a wide range of topics, including the history of ornithological discovery, biogeography, the impacts of introduced mammals and people, prehistoric bird communities based on bone assemblages, and population, ecological and genetic studies of several of the endemic or otherwise notable birds of the island group including Auckland Island snipe, white-headed petrel, and several albatross species.
Dr Colin Miskelly is an ornithologist with broad interests, including conservation ecology, biogeography, and the history of science. Employed as a curator of vertebrates at Te Papa since 2010, Colin previously worked for the New Zealand Department of Conservation as a scientist and manager. His research on snipe and seabirds first took him to the subantarctic region in 1982, and has led to an ongoing interest in these remote islands and their spectacular wildlife.
Dr Craig Symes has a broad ornithological interest, with a focus, until recently, on Afrotropical birds. As an Associate Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, much of his research focused on bird communities, bird movements and migrations, bird diets and community ecology, parrot biology and conservation, urban bird communities, and birdplant mutualisms focused on pollination in the genus Aloe. He is currently a science teacher in Rotorua, New Zealand.