INDEPENDENT NEWS

Endangered Wildlife Maori Perspective On Maori TV

Published: Mon 22 Nov 2004 05:20 PM
The Maori Perspective On Endangered Wildlife To Screen On Maori Television
Leave New Zealand and travel over the inhospitable ocean for 700km towards Antarctica. With only the Royal Albatross to keep company, push south beyond the Roaring 40’s into the Screaming 50’s and reach one of the most remote places on Earth – Campbell Island. Travel to the wild south with New Zealand Maori naturalist Ramari Stewart this week on A WHALE OUT MY WINDOW, screening on Maori Television on Thursday November 25 at 8.30 PM.

The wildlife of this remote sub-Antarctic island is captured through the eyes of Stewart, whose understanding of the endangered southern right whales, yellow-eyed penguins, royal albatrosses, sea lions and elephant seals is unprecedented.
Stewart first arrived in 1983 when she first glimpsed the miraculous sight of Southern Right Whales frolic in Northwest Bay and consequently acknowledged the sighting as a turning point in her life: “This is the only place I know where I can see a whale out my window, and it has never let me down.”
A qualified intensive care nurse, Stewart draws on her English-Maori heritage to understand the hostile environment and the endangered and rare animals that choose to make Campbell Island their base: “It’s my English mother that really taught me how to care for animals and understand their needs. But, it’s from my Maori father that I learned how the species are connected and their part in the natural environment.” She adds that while a scientist will specialise in one particular species or subject, a naturalist takes the perspective of the environment as a whole.
Through the intensive collection and study of various species on the island, Stewart has quietly forged an understanding of how human interaction can upset the balance within Campbell Island’s eco-system.
For example, she has discovered that deep sea fisherman will take to aggressive sea lions with crow bars or fishing ploughs and she herself is helpless in nurturing seal pups whose mothers have disappeared at sea.
The documentary has been produced by Dunedin-based production unit Natural History New Zealand, which prides itself on venturing into the most remote areas on the planet to bring to viewers rare images of the remarkable phenomena of the natural world. The production company has produced over 60 hours of innovative programming that are seen by millions of viewers in over 200 countries through partnerships with a myriad of international television channels.
Tune in to Maori Television on Thursday November 25 at 8.30 PM to catch a world class wildlife documentary on A WHALE OUT MY WINDOW.

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