11 Dec 2012

Film-maker wanted for conservation expedition to South Pacific paradise

By BirdLife Pacific
Conservationists in the South Pacific are looking for an adventurous and talented film-maker to document an expedition to one of the remotest islands on the planet. “We’re searching for somebody with the full package of skills from story-boarding, to filming and editing, and who is willing to be part of a month-long expedition to an extremely remote Pacific atoll”, said Don Stewart – BirdLife Director for the Pacific Partnership. BirdLife International and their Partner Te Ipukarea Society are looking for somebody to film their expedition to eradicate rats from Suwarrow Atoll in the Cook Islands. Suwarrow atoll is an uninhabited wildlife sanctuary and one of the most important seabird breeding sites in the South Pacific Ocean.
Aerial view of Suwarrow Atoll. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Over 100,000 seabirds are found on the atoll, which is located 930 km north-west of Rarotonga - the Cook Islands main island. The lagoon in the centre of Suwarrow is home to many sharks, turtles and manta rays. A true Pacific paradise. However, the wildlife is under threat following an invasion of rats which could decimate the seabird population by eating their eggs and chicks, and spread across the circular chain of 22 Islets. “Left unchecked the rats put at risk globally important seabird populations found at the site”, said Ian Karika – Suwarrow Project Manager for Te Ipukarea Society. In a bid to save Suwarrow, conservationists are finalising their plans to visit the site in April next year, and to completely eradicate the rats. The operation will last for around a month and may involve traveling to and from the site using a traditional Pacific catamaran or Vaka.
The Cook Islands Vaka ‘Te Au o Tonga’ that may be used to get the expedition team to and from Suwarrow. Credit: Cook Islands Voyaging Society.

Today they announced a global search for a talented and adventurous film-maker to join the team and produce a short video about the project. The film will be used to inform and inspire people, and feature at the BirdLife World Congress in Ottawa in June 2013. “We’re looking for somebody to join us on this exciting expedition to a piece of Pacific paradise and produce an inspirational film showcasing our island restoration work to a global audience”, concluded Don Stewart. If you are interested and wish to apply, please email a brief description of (i) your suitability for the role, (ii) why you’d like to join the team, and (iii) a link to view an short example of your work online to: nick DOT askew AT birdlife DOT org.  The closing date for applications is 14th January 2013. A contribution toward costs will be provided to the successful candidate.