In 1868 Professor Hutton and myself pointed out the desirability of having the Little Barrier Island proclaimed a reserve for the protection of the native birds, with which, at that time it abounded. After the lapse of a quarter of a century this has been partially effected. The Little Barrier Island in the north, and Resolution Island in the south, have been proclaimed reserves for the protection of native birds and plants; but the work of destruction is still being carried on. No serious attempt has been made to place on either island the birds or plants whose existence is most imperilled, although any of the endemic birds or plants of the North Island would find a suitable place of refuge on the Little Barrier, and those of the South on Resolution Island, which is specially adapted to the growth of alpine plants and the endemic species of the Antarctic islands. Owing to the variations from the typical form exhibited by the birds of the Snares, the Auckland Islands, Campbell Island, Antipodes Island, &c., they have attained a high commercial value, and are therefore, at this time, peculiarly exposed to the rapacity of collectors. It is possible to prevent their extinction by the immediate removal of representa-
tives of each species to Resolution Island if the work is taken in hand at once, and the island placed under the care of a skilful curator. If it be postponed for any length of time, who can say what may occur ? It would require a very short time indeed to destroy every land-bird on Antipodes Island, or on the Shares; and, now that attention has been drawn to their interest, their value, and to their limited power of flight, the danger has become urgent.
If this address should be instrumental in drawing attention to the danger and accelerating the adoption of protective measures it will not have been given in vain; but I venture to hope that it may be productive of still greater benefit in leading some of those present to investigate the phenomena of change and replacement which are now in progress, and in the results of which, we are so deeply interested, before the opportunity has passed away for ever.