It’s easy to become overwhelmed when faced with the depleted state of our world. Our project tells a wonderfully positive Australian (and Victorian) conservation success story, which we believe will inspire and energise viewers as well as create an icon of hope.
“Sticky” is a 10 minute animated documentary focussing on the astonishing of the Lord Howe Island stick insect, or phasmid.
These insects evolved on Lord Howe Island and exist nowhere else. They are shiny, black, flightless and huge - islanders used to call them tree lobsters. In 1918 a supply ship ran aground off the island, and rats came ashore. They quickly munched their way through the entire stick insect population and within a few years the insects were thought to be extinct. Then in the 60s a group of climbers found an exoskeleton (shedding) from one of the insects in the most remote, inhospitable place you can imagine. . . Ball’s Pyramid is the tallest sea stack in the world, as high as a skyscraper, as thin as a blade, rising almost vertically from the sea 25km off Lord Howe Island. It looks exactly like a super-villain’s secret island. Seepage from rainwater supports just one patch of melaleuca on Ball’s Pyramid, and under this one bush in 2001 a team of scientists found a population of LHI phasmids, just 24 individuals. Nobody knows how they got there.
But that’s just the start of the story. In 2003, 4 individuals were removed from the pyramid for captive breeding at Melbourne Zoo, where a dedicated team brought them back from the very brink of extinction despite nothing at all being known about the insect’s life and habits. We are in contact with the key people in the story, and are working closely with them to craft a film which will broadcast, as far and as loud as we can, a message of hope.
We think this film is the very definition of awesome. We want to get it to as wide an audience as we can. We would love it if you would support us.
Funded by Maldon (Inactive) (March 2013)