Celebrating 10 years of loving our endangered stick insects…
The Melbourne Zoo Invertebrate team began a breeding program in 2003 to help save the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect from extinction. A scientific team had miraculously rediscovered this species in 2001 clinging to an exposed rocky outcrop off Lord Howe Island known as ‘Balls Pyramid’. On Valentines day 2003 two pairs were carefully collected from this perilous perch. One pair was sent to a private breeder in New South Wales and the other pair made the big trip down to Melbourne Zoo.
Our instructions were clear. We had one chance to try to establish a breeding program for this critically endangered species. With less than 30 individuals hanging on to a volcanic rock pyramid in the wild, and virtually no known information on them, it was a huge challenge to keep Adam and Eve (as we dubbed them) healthy and to encourage them to breed. Every step was carefully planned by the experienced Invertebrate team led by Patrick Honan.
Things were touch and go for a while but then we had our first hatching at Melbourne Zoo on 7th September 2003! Since then we have continued to breed the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect with great success!
Now in the 10th year of our commitment to saving this species we have passed some significant milestones:
- We recently hatched our 10th generation in captivity
- Over 10,000 stick insects have now successfully hatched at Melbourne Zoo
- The Lord Howe Island Stick Insect hatching video has surpassed 1,000,000 plays!
You can check out our latest video here:
Melbourne Zoo has gained global recognition for this captive breeding program. Their future seems secured at this point in captivity. You can find out more about them here. You can also see Lord Howe Island Stick Insects on display at Melbourne Zoo in the World of Bugs. While you’re there drop a coin or two into our donation box to help us continue this vital conservation program. With your support hopefully one day soon we’ll see this remarkable insect returned to it’s rightful home on Lord Howe island.
I will act now for the stick insects
ACT NOW FOR THE STICK INSECT
When David Attenborough visited Melbourne Zoo last year he only wanted to meet a Lord Howe Island Stick Insect and the keepers who saved it. How cool is that?
I watch David Attenborough’s shows
Oh really he only wanted to see a lord Howe Island Stick Insect WOW
Yea lea bye
I love David Attenborough’s shows as well