Nigel Babbage is a keen conservationist who returned home to New Zealand from New York in 2006 following a distinguished career in finance. Nigel embarked on multiple volunteer stints on off-shore predator free islands, primarily working with the endangered Kakapo. On remote Anchor Island, in Fiordland National Park, he first encountered and developed an affinity for the rare and threatened native bird the Mōhua. Late in 2007 he formed an investment company, Mōhua Investments Limited, which donates a portion of its profits towards native bird conservation in New Zealand. In 2010 he founded the Mōhua Charitable Trust along with Dr Graeme Elliott and Professor Ian Jamieson.
Graeme Elliott has been interested in natural history, particularly birds since he was a boy. He studied mohua in the Eglinton Valley in Fiordland for his PhD in the 1980s and has been working on these birds, on and off, ever since. Graeme undertook research on yellow-crowned parakeets and kea in the 1990s and since 1995 has worked as a scientist for the Department of Conservation, firstly on kakapo conservation and management, and since 2003 on finding ways to protect native forest birds from predators. When not chasing forest birds, Graeme studies wandering albatrosses on the Auckland and Antipodes Islands.
Hannah Edmonds first worked with mōhua in Mt Stokes in the Marlborough Sounds when she was a young thing back in 1998. She was a biodiversity ranger with the Department of Conservation in Fiordland from 2002-2018 where she was responsible for several mohua translocations and also worked with species such as kiwi, kakapo, saddleback, penguins, bats and lizards. These days Hannah works as the general manager for the trust and contracts to the Department of Conservation.
The trust was saddened by the 2015 passing of one of our founding trustees, Ian Jamieson.
Ian Jamieson was a Professor of Zoology at the University of Otago in Dunedin. His research interests were in the area of conservation biology and wildlife management. In addition to his active research program at the University of Otago, Ian was part of a group of biodiversity researchers that provided guidelines on sustaining genetic diversity for national recovery programs. He was also a long serving science adviser to a number of Department of Conservation recovery programs including the takahe and the kakapo.
Ian was a valued trustee and will be sadly missed.