Wildlife & Wild Places

Winter in the Subantarctic: A Short Film

In 2013 the National Geographic Society Committee for Research and Exploration funded our expedition to Subantarctic Antipodes Island. Winter in the Subantarctic is a short film (2015) recorded on that expedition which details the history of Antipodes Island and the challenges scientists must overcome working in such a remote environment. The film also details the research undertaken by the team of scientists during the expedition, in preparation for the eradication of mice and restoration of the island.

On their revamped webpage the New Zealand Department of Conservation has also just published the results of the scientific studies in to the terrestrial ecology of Antipodes Island which were undertaken on the expedition. These include studies of mouse population biology and bait uptake and of potential impacts on non-target species.

Antipodes Island was also the site of one of the first Natural History New Zealand documentaries – The Island of Strange Noises (1980). The Natural History New Zealand film unit went on to produce many more Wild South documentaries in New Zealand which garnered national and international awards, back in a time when video recording equipment was not nearly as light and portable as it is today. Winter in the Subantarctic was filmed by myself using a Canon 500D DSLR on a tripod with a Rode microphone to cope with the ever-present roaring forties and furious fifties winds. In one blooper the tripod blows over mid-scene and I lunge to recover it cursing under my breath.

Enjoy the short documentary and check out the Million Dollar Mouse website for ongoing updates on the Antipodes Island mouse eradication.

View Photos From the 2013 Winter Expedition

View Photos From the 2011 Summer Expedition

Read All Posts by James Russell

Conservation biologist Dr. James Russell works throughout the world on remote islands and other sites to provide conservation solutions by applying a combination of scientific methods. Follow James on National Geographic voices for regular updates on his own work or other exciting developments in island conservation.

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