"Leading Environmentalist Presents Special screening of Hotspots at Auckland Museum"
Auckland Museum
By Caleb Starrenburg
2 September 2008

Disappearing species and loss of habitat. Is it too late for our planet? Is it too late for New Zealand?

Not according to Dr Michael Tobias, leading environmentalist and writer-director of acclaimed documentary Hotspots – who will introduce a special screening of his film to audiences at Auckland Museum in September.

The film reveals how inspired conservation efforts are succeeding throughout the world. Hotspots refers to those areas of our planet populated by the largest number of unique plant, animal and insect species at risk of extinction.

Shot in multiple locations throughout New Zealand, United States, Peru, Brazil, Madagascar and Chile’s Easter Island, this epic conveys good reasons to be hopeful, while reminding us of the precious array of life on Earth, the very creation at stake in this generation.

The filming of Hotspots in New Zealand encompassed over 100 interviews with key scientists and conservationists battling on the frontline to save endangered species and habitat from Stewart Island to Auckland.

With 20-years of research and three years of filming, Hotspots showcases unique examples of plant and animal life, with several newly discovered species recorded for the very first time.

Hotspots will be screened at Auckland Museum’s Auditorium, Thursday 11 September, 7.30pm, as part of the Auckland Museum Conservation Week programme. Admission costs $40. Price includes refreshments as well as the chance to win door prizes and a $500 voucher from Untouched World.

As part of Conservation Week, Auckland Museum also presents:
Roll Up, Roll In, Roll Out Workshops: Setting Seeds
Sunday 7 September, 10.30am-2.30pm
Learning Centre, $2 per person or $5 per family

No need to book, just roll up, roll in and roll out any time between 10.30am and 2.30pm to support New Zealand’s fabulous flora and fauna. We invite young and old to join us to decorate and plant their own germination trays to take home and care for. Spend as little or as long as you like creating your own masterpiece!

RSNZ Charles Fleming Lecture: Science for Conservation
Wednesday 10 September, 7pm
Auditorium, $10

New Zealand was one of the last places to be settled by humans, and their associated cargo of invasive animals and plants is still having a dire impact. Active conservation and direct interventions are required to aid the recovery of threatened species. Professor Mick Clout, from the Centre for Biodiversity and Biosecurity, presents a talk on how ecological science is aiding the practical business of conservation.

Bookings phone (09) 306 7048 or email

Opportunities exist to interview Dr. Michael Tobias before he arrives in New Zealand for the screening.

President and CEO of the Dancing Star Foundation, Dr. Michael Tobias is a global ecologist, anthropologist, historian, explorer, author and filmmaker. Tobias obtained his Ph.D. in the Department of History of Consciousness from the University of California-Santa Cruz. He is the author of more than 35 books and numerous published research papers. In addition, Dr. Tobias has written, directed and produced over 100 films, mostly pertaining to environmental, cultural, social or scientific issues. Tobias' field research has taken him to some 80 countries. In 1996, Tobias received the "Courage of Conscience Award" for his commitment to nature and non-violence. In 2004 he was the recipient of the Parabola Focus Award for his long-standing body of work aimed at creating a better world. For more information click here.

For more information, images and interviews, please contact:

Caleb Starrenburg
Auckland Museum Publicist
Mobile 021 171 9161
Phone (09) 306 7059
For more information visit: The Hotspots Eco Documentary Film page.