Monday, November 29, 2010

EVENT REMINDER: Last Chance to Save the Rhino

From Save The Rhino...
Last Chance to Save the Rhino
Wednesday 12 January 2011, 7.30pm
The Royal Geographical Society, London, SW7 2AR

Kindly sponsored by Abercrombie & Kent

Join Save the Rhino Patron and BBC Zoologist Mark Carwardine for an entertaining and thought-provoking rhino evening.

Mark will describe some of his most memorable encounters with rhinos in Africa and Asia – from stalking the last surviving northern white rhinos in war-torn Zaire, nearly 25 years ago, to his most recent trip to photograph Sumatran rhinos in Indonesia. He will reveal what went on behind the scenes while filming a Last Chance to See Special called Rhino Rescue, with Stephen Fry, and will talk frankly about his hopes and fears for some of the most endearing and endangered mammals on Earth.

Tickets cost £15 and are now on sale.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The Unnatural History of the Kakapo - Now Available in North America (NTSC format)

Scott Mouat's terrific documentary The Unnatural History of the Kakapo is now available to buy in NTSC format DVD at The World Parrot Trust eStore.

As previously reported, the Region 0 PAL versions are available online at ELWIN Productions DVD store.

The production's website has photos and information on the slew of awards that the film has either won or been nominated for.

Here is the trailer for the film, followed by another re-post of my short review. I was fortunate enough to see an advance copy back in January, and it truly is a splendid piece of work, and thoroughly deserving of all the plaudits it has received.

Four years in the making, the film covers the history of the Kakapo from before humans arrived in New Zealand through to the present day. It then details the conservation efforts that have brought the bird back from near extinction to the 122 birds we have today.

The conservation story begins with Richard Treacy Henry's ultimately doomed attempt to transplant Kakapo to Resolution Island in the late 1800's to keep them safe from stoats and weasels. The story then continues with Don Merton's rescue program of the early 1970's which led to the Kakapo being installed on Codfish Island. Don features in the film as he and a small team return to Fiordland to see if there is any chance any lone Kakapos are still out there.

Finally, the story moves to the present day, with Dr. Ron Moorhouse and the rest of the Kakapo Recovery Programme team, learning how to gently extract sperm from males and artificially inseminate the females in order to coax the genetic diversity of the population in the right direction - a project we now know to have been a success - see Kakapo Artificial Insemination a 2009 Success .

Sometimes heartwarming, sometimes deeply tragic, Scott's film is a wonderful record of the dedication shown by a team of passionate conservationists, who are all doing their bit to save the world's favourite fat, green, flightless parrot.

You can learn more at the production's website, and become a fan of the project at their Facebook Page : The Unnatural History of the Kakapo.