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Lost Wonders: Vanished Creatures of Aotearoa

$25.00 NZD

Lost Wonders is the story of the lost wonders of New Zealand's natural history: the extinct species that are now gone forever. Lost Wonders also features some key species that are on the brink - critically endangered - and the efforts that are being made to save them for future generations.


Moa, piopio, huia, laughing owl, grayling, meriki, Hutton's rail, Haast's eagle, Chatham Island bellbird, bush wren, adzebill, Chatham Islands fernbird, Eyles' harrier, greater short-tailed bat, Hawkins' rail, kawekaweau, koreke, Lyall's wren, moho, South Island snipe, whekau. These are just some of the lost wonders of Aotearoa. This book shares their stories.


Illustrated with line drawings by Phoebe Morris, this book tells true stories about our lost and threatened species and the people involved in their extinction and/or recovery. The tales of these fascinating creatures - birds, insects, reptiles and plants - are delivered in an captivating and accessible style, drawing on research and first-hand accounts and delving into the social climate in New Zealand at the time when the extinctions occurred. Perfect for confident readers aged 8-12.


Featured species include those that are long gone, such as New Zealand's dinosaurs; those that disappeared following the human habitation of New Zealand, including the moa, piopio, huia, laughing owl and native fish the grayling; those that were lost and found, such as the takahe, taiko, the flowering vine Tecomanthe speciosa and the weevils of Canterbury; and those at risk of extinction: among them the kakapo, Maui dolphin, kauri and whitebait.


  • Written by Sarah Ell
  • Illustrated by Phoebe Morris
  • 304 pages
  • Paperback book
  • ISBN: 9781988547442
  • Recommended for confident readers aged 8-12


Sarah Ell was born and raised on Auckland's North Shore in a conservation-minded family, and has always had a close relationship with nature and the outdoors. Sarah trained as a newspaper journalist before working in magazines and book publishing, and has a Bachelor of Arts in New Zealand history from Massey University and a Master of Creative Writing from the University of Auckland. She is the author of 10 books, several of them for young people, including Sirocco, the Rock Star Kakapo (2012).