“Without Don Merton, the Kakapo, the Chatham Island Black Robin and other unique native New Zealand birds would probably have become extinct,”

“Without Don Merton, the Kakapo, the Chatham Island Black Robin and other unique native New Zealand birds would probably have become extinct,”

“Without Don Merton, the Kakapo, the Chatham Island Black Robin and other unique native New Zealand birds would probably have become extinct,”

“Without Don Merton, the Kakapo, the Chatham Island Black Robin and other unique native New Zealand birds would probably have become extinct,”

Black Robins - In 1980 there were only five of these birds left, with only one fertile female. That’s this little lady , Old Blue. Anyway, so this guy named Don Merton stepped in when everyone else threw in the towel, and he was like, “Well let’s try something.” And they tried something, and it worked. Now there’s a population of a couple of hundred of them, and since they live exclusively on these tiny islands off New Zealand, that’s a fairly decent population.

Black Robins - In 1980 there were only five of these birds left, with only one fertile female. That’s this little lady , Old Blue. Anyway, so this guy named Don Merton stepped in when everyone else threw in the towel, and he was like, “Well let’s try something.” And they tried something, and it worked. Now there’s a population of a couple of hundred of them, and since they live exclusively on these tiny islands off New Zealand, that’s a fairly decent population.

Kakapo. Adult male in wing-waving display while walking backwards. Sinbad Gully, Fiordland National Park, 1975-2. Image © Department of Conservation (image ref: 10028252) by Don Merton, Department of Conservation Courtesy of Department of Conservation

Kakapo. Adult male in wing-waving display while walking backwards. Sinbad Gully, Fiordland National Park, 1975-2. Image © Department of Conservation (image ref: 10028252) by Don Merton, Department of Conservation Courtesy of Department of Conservation

“Who you lookin’ at?” Chatham Island black robin. Photo: Don Merton #nzbirds

“Who you lookin’ at?” Chatham Island black robin. Photo: Don Merton #nzbirds

Comprehensive and compact, this Princeton Pocket Guide by longtime resident Julian Fitter and Don Merton at New Zealand's Department of Conservation features 600 color photographs. With range maps, descriptions and excellent introductory chapters on conservation efforts and key national parks for bird watching.

Comprehensive and compact, this Princeton Pocket Guide by longtime resident Julian Fitter and Don Merton at New Zealand's Department of Conservation features 600 color photographs. With range maps, descriptions and excellent introductory chapters on conservation efforts and key national parks for bird watching.

Kakapo, photo by Don Merton, Via Jane Goodall (K-3)

Kakapo, photo by Don Merton, Via Jane Goodall (K-3)

Don Merton

Don Merton

Chatham Island black robin. Photo: Don Merton.

Chatham Island black robin. Photo: Don Merton.

Don Merton, one of the scientists sent down with Brian Bell to help with the translocations, described the wok capturing the saddlebacks and moving them “a breeze”. 36 saddlebacks were moved to two rat-free islands, and survived. Today the species is present on a number of islands, and has even made it back to the mainland at the Orokonui Sanctuary near Dunedin

Don Merton, one of the scientists sent down with Brian Bell to help with the translocations, described the wok capturing the saddlebacks and moving them “a breeze”. 36 saddlebacks were moved to two rat-free islands, and survived. Today the species is present on a number of islands, and has even made it back to the mainland at the Orokonui Sanctuary near Dunedin

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