The mode and tempo of extinctions and extirpations after the first contact phase of human settlements is a widely debated topic. As the last major landmass to be settled by humans, New Zealand offers a unique lens through which to study interactions of people and biota. By analyzing ancient DNA from more than 5,000 nondiagnostic and fragmented bones from 38 subfossil assemblages, we describe species and patterns that have been missed by morphological approaches.