ISLE OF HEDGEHOG
Britons are overwhelmingly in favour of drastic action, including freeing up UK islands to create predator-free safe havens for endangered species, in order to protect vulnerable wildlife
The UK could follow in the footsteps of New Zealand, a conservation champion, that has taken drastic action to save its vulnerable national icon, the kiwi, by implementing a predator-free islands scheme
- To raise awareness of the conservation scheme native New Zealand cider, Old Mout, is joining forces with wildlife enthusiast, Michaela Strachan, and charity, Kiwis For kiwi, in a bid to save the vulnerable bird in a short documentary film called ‘The Forgotten World’:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJiDC7TgcfI
- Old Mout Cider is hoping to make the people of Britain fall in love with the kiwi and inspire them to save this incredible animal by signing up to its mission. And for everyone who signs up to save the kiwi, 20p will be donated to Kiwis for kiwi https://www.oldmoutcider.co.uk/help-save-the-kiwi
A new comprehensive study by The Mammal Society, which reveals that a fifth of Britain’s wild mammals ‘at high risk of extinction1, reaffirms that urgent action must be taken sooner rather that later otherwise Britain stands to lose its precious species. But now, a ground-breaking idea from the southern hemisphere may offer a lifeline.
Ever heard of the Isle of Hedgehog? Or how about the Island of Red Squirrel or Mouse-Eared Bat? Maybe not, but if 82% of Britons2 get their way, a vision inspired by a conservation project in New Zealand may result in the British Isles becoming predator-free safe havens for endangered animals in order to preserve iconic national creatures.
This aligns with a new initiative by New Zealand’s Department of Conservation is protecting its national icon, the kiwi bird, by creating predator-free islands where the birds can roam free without being harmed by animals that hunt them, Old Mout commissioned a survey on British attitudes on wildlife conservation. The research of 1,000 Britons found that over 82% would be in favour of similar drastic action to help save its vulnerable or endangered creatures in Britain, including relinquishing land to create safety haven, sanctuaries or even go as far as the introduction of predator islands to preserve the likes of hedgehogs and red squirrels.
Similarly to New Zealand’s iconic kiwi that has declined by 99% over the past 50 years and could go extinct in the next 50, the nocturnal and solitary hedgehog’s numbers have dwindled to 522,0001. While despite living in the UK for an estimated 10,000 years, the grey squirrel’s population has declined to 140,0003.
What’s more urgent is, despite the kiwi evolving over the past 50 million years, New Zealand’s indigenous bird could soon go the way of its prehistoric ancestor, its dinosaur cousin, without the introduction of predator free islands.
The kiwi’s best chance of survival now lies in the hands of the charity Kiwis for kiwi who are undertaking a remarkable feat – creating predator free islands. But they need support and New Zealand-born, Old Mout Cider, is once again inspiring Brits to help save this vulnerable bird – plus for everyone who signs up to the mission at https://www.oldmoutcider.co.uk/help-save-the-kiwi 20p will be donated to the cause.
To highlight the important work being done, Old Mout teamed up with wildlife-expert Michaela Strachan, and charity, Kiwis for Kiwi, to create a short documentary film called The Forgotten World. The short film follows Michaela traveling to New Zealand’s Kapiti Island – an isolated sanctuary for the nation’s most endangered birds – which mirrors the prehistoric conditions of the time that the kiwi’s ancestors, the dinosaur, roamed the land.
While in the remote and wild Forgotten World, Michaela witnesses first-hand, the positive results of the predator-free island initiative, with a kiwi population thriving in the absence of predators, which were once brought to the country by man. As a result of these predator-free islands, the kiwi survival rate has increased from 1 in 20, to 14 in 20 on these islands.
The thought-provoking three-minute documentary film follows Michaela’s journey – both day and night – and gives an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at an extraordinary project to restore the forest and freshwater ecosystem as closely as possible to their pre-human state. She joins a Kiwis for kiwi ranger as they trek through the exotic terrain, seeking out wild kiwi in burrows and discovering positive signs of a recently hatched kiwi egg.
Michaela Strachan said: “It’s staggering to think that a bird that has been around for 50 million years could go extinct in the next 50. We need to do everything we can to save as many species as possible. In New Zealand, conservationists are working tirelessly to protect the kiwi from predators that have seen its population plummet. We are a small world and must take threats to species extremely seriously before it’s too late.
“I hope this documentary film helps people understand just how precious the kiwi’s history is, and more importantly how its future is hanging in the balance. Let’s not be the generation that says goodbye to species, but be the generation who rallies together to look after our environment. So join Old Mout’s mission, and together, we can save the kiwi.”
Old Mout’s Emma Sherwood-Smith said: “As New Zealanders, our epic landscapes and great wildlife inspire our adventurous spirit. If we are to enjoy it in the long run we desperately need to look after it. Yet, the kiwi, the symbol of our country, is in great peril. The work to create predator-free islands has become a beacon of hope for the people of New Zealand, and we want to spread the word to help save this vulnerable bird from the brink of extinction.
“Our Kiwi roots mean this little bird is close to our hearts which is why we’re making the plight of the kiwi famous to people in Britain – a nation of animal lovers. We hope people will fall in love with these captivating, clever and charming little birds. No one wants to see a species go extinct and we hope our documentary film will have a halo effect to get everyone who enjoys our cider in Britain to think a little more about the impact they have on their own environment while supporting our mission.”