- Not Exactly Rocket Science
In Saving A Species, You Might Accidentally Doom It
The black robin is an endearing ball of beaked fluff, found only in the Chatham Islands off the eastern coast of New Zealand. By 1980, there were just five of them left.
They lived in a rocky outcrop about the size of a few city blocks. The precipitous cliffs kept them safe from the cats, stoats and rats that sailors had brought to the islands. But the high winds were too much for these small birds, and most of the survivors had died. With a single breeding pair left—Old Blue and Old Yellow—their future looked bleak.
Don Merton and a team of conservationists mounted a heroic effort to save them. They relocated the tiny population to larger islands and managed their