Nga Manu, the birds of Waipoua, are a unique collection of species that have filled many of the roles occupied by mammals elsewhere in the world. With only one land based mammal in the forest, roles occupied by animals such as rats and other rodents are taken by birds. In the case of Waipoua it was in part taken by the flightless Kakapo in an environment where parrots were ubiquitous, the kaka who dominated the upper canopy, and kakariki who could be found feeding on fallen seeds on the forest floor in huge numbers.
Both are now rare in Waipoua, and many others such as the amazing Moa and Haast Eagle, both the largest birds of their type ever, are now extinct. Without support and protection from environment loss and predation, many more go the way of these two once great birds, and with them so the forest itself will suffer.