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A Mercy Mission
It's March 2010 and some extremely excited Chalkydigits crew have made their way to the deep south of New Zealand for a Very Important Mission. Thanks to the awesome support shown by our stockists and fans, who either sold or purchased our cute South Island Robin badges, we have collected enough funds to pay for the capture and translocation of a bunch of robins back to where they once were. After stoats invaded the island and decimated the population of robins about a hundred years ago, these cheeky little birdies are about to come home to Chalky Island! After rounding up a capable crew of conservationists (thanks DoC!), and a spot of bird-catching from a pest-free island in the Fiords, we made a mercy mission dash down the coast bearing our special cargo: boxes of vulnerable birdies. With us, we had Jeni Pelvin of Dunedin, the lucky winner of our Chalky Island competition (read Jeni's diary here), and Guy Frederick, an intrepid photographer who was to visually document our trip so we could show you all the good work upon our return.
This was a momentous occasion for the South Island Robin – and us – we were thrilled beyond belief that we got to make a meaningful impact on our precious environment – and get out of the office to experience one of our most wild places!
Background of Chalky Island
This remote native bird sanctuary lies off the coast of Fiordland where some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable and endangered birds enjoy a safe harbour from dangerous predators. In 1990, Chalky Island became the first ever island of its size to be successfully cleared of predators and since then has remained free of invaders of the pesky and dangerous kind. It is now the ideal sanctuary for vulnerable and endangered native species like the South Island Robin, Little Spotted Kiwi, Mohua, Saddleback and Kakariki.
New Zealand’s South Island Robin numbers have been diminishing for a while now due to introduced predators on the mainland and we really wanted to help give this cheeky little bird a fighting chance. Now these little cuties are back where they belong, home safe and sound, and we are free to dream up other exciting conservation projects you can all be a part of!