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The Haast's eagle ( Harpagornis moorei ) is an extinct species of eagle that once lived in the South Island of New Zealand , commonly accepted to be the Pouakai of Maori legend. [1] The species was the largest eagle known to have existed. Its massive size is explained as an evolutionary response to the size of its prey, the flightless moa , the largest of which could weigh 230 kg (510 lb). [2] Haast's eagle became extinct around 1400, after the moa were hunted to extinction by the first Māori . [3]

Haast's eagle. Haast’s eagle (Harpagornis moorei). Image 2006-0010-1/37 from the series 'Extinct birds of New Zealand'. Masterton. Image © Purchased 2006. © Te Papa by Paul Martinson See Te Papa website: http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/objectdetails.aspx?irn=710939&term=haast%27s+eagle

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