Dryococelus australis, known as the Lord Howe Island stick insect or tree lobster was thought to be extinct by 1920, but in 2001, a small population of the species was rediscovered. This fantastic animated documentary traces that rediscovery and the species and the attempts to bring it back from the brink of extinction.

Sticky was directed by Jilli Rose, made by Bespoke Animation, and is narrated by Nicholas Carlile, a scientist who currently works at the Office of Environment and Heritage in New South Wales, Australia. The Lord Howe Island stick insect went nearly extinct thanks to the introduction of rats to the island by European ships. Carlile was part of a group that discovered the insects in a Melaleuca howeana shrub on Ball's Pyramid, just southeast of Lord Howe Island.


The animation allows Rose to not only reenact Carlile's journey to Ball's Pyramid, it also allows her to haunt the entire movie with the specter of the extinct thylacine. While scientists are trying to someday reintroduce D. australis to the wild, the shadow of possible extinction still looms throughout the documentary. It's an important watch.

You can purchase DVDs from the Bespoke Animation store.

[via Sam Morrill on Vimeo]