Once Extinct---Now Alive
Lord Howe Island, Australia (credit: Chris Holly)
Animation can tell complex stories in a far more compelling manner than would be expected. The Australian documentary, Sticky, presents a narrative of hope on the recovery of a creature once thought extinct.
The Aussie filmmakers used cutting edge animation and music to present the colonization of Lord Howe Island, its unique wildlife, and how everything was impacted when an invasive species arrived. Rats were un-intentionally released on the remote island and an endemic species of 'stick insects', or tree lobster, was quickly eliminated along with ground nesting birds and other species. The large insect, or phasmid, disappeared across the entire island from predation by the multiplying rodents. By chance, a tiny population was rediscovered on an isolated rocky outcrop near the main island. Insects were collected and became the basis for a captive breeding program. Sticky is the improbably story about the recovery of a virtually lost creature, told with clever animation, that offers hope for other endangered species. It only requires being mindful to accomplish what might seem impossible. The award-winning, documentary had its world premiere at MountainFilm in Colorado. WHB