In the mid 1970s the Chatham Island black robin was the world's rarest bird. With only two females left, the ante for a conservation rescue story would be hard to up. Enter saviour Don Merton and his Wildlife Service team. Their pioneering efforts included abseiling the precious birds down cliff faces, and left-field libido spurs for the talismanic 'Eve' of her species: Old Blue. This classic Wild South edition united three award-winning films that were foundational for the Natural History Unit (now NHNZ): Seven Black Robins, The Robin's Return, and Black Robin.
This is an incredible conservation success story filled with adventure and high drama.
The 1989 documentary follows the efforts of a Don Merton-led NZ Wildlife Service team to save the world's (then) rarest bird, the Chatham Island ...
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Television, 1980 (Full Length)
One of the three original docos on which this film is based
Television, 1990 (Full Length)
David Bellamy pays tribute to Don Merton
Television, 1993 (Full Length)
An award-winning bird doco directed by Rod Morris
Television, 1983 (Full Length)
Another dramatic rare bird story from Rod Morris
Television, 2001 (Full Length)
Another award-winning natural history story directed by Rod Morris
Film, 2009 (Excerpts)
Another dramatic conservation story
Short Film, 1950 (Full Length)
A doco on the rediscovery of the takahē
Television, 2007 (Full Length)
A doco on the people who live on bird sanctuary Kapiti Island
Television, 1980 (Full Length Episode)
A doco on the Indigenous people of the Chathams
Television, 1968 (Full Length Episode)
Skills used in the robin's rescue were pioneered here
Peter Hayden has one of the best known faces and voices in New Zealand, having presented and voiced hundreds of nature documentaries on television. His many documentary series include the hugely successful Wild...
1988 New Zealand Listener Film and Television Awards
Best Documentary - Wild South (for Black Robin)
1983 Feltex Awards
Best Documentary - Wild South (for The Robins’ Return)