Diana Dobson, Aviary Manager of the Marlborough Falcon Conservation Trust, has been awarded the Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for services to wildlife conservation in the Queen’s Birthday Honour List. Lake Chalice Wines have been a proud sponsor of the MFCT for a number of years now and are delighted to hear this news.

About the kārearea:

The kārearea is New Zealand’s only endemic bird of prey. Once prolific to the Marlborough region, today they are rarely seen due to introduced pests, persecution, electrocution and development, leading to a decline in numbers of the species.

About the Marlborough Falcon Conservation Trust:

The MFCT works incredibly hard to rescue, rehabilitate and increase the population numbers of New Zealand’s last remaining endemic bird of prey in the greater Marlborough area, but they also service the entire South Island. Since the beginning of their operation in 2008, the MFCT has released 68 falcon chicks. “That’s one percent of New Zealand’s falcon population in the wild.” says Diana. 

About Diana Dobson

Diana has been Aviary Manager of Marlborough Falcon Trust since 2011 where she plays the lead role in the rehabilitation of sick and injured kārearea (New Zealand Falcon). 

Diana and her trained advocacy falcon, Fern, regularly visit schools to educate and spread awareness for the conservation of our country’s only endemic bird of prey. “The trust has created a lot of awareness” says Diana who is very optimistic about the birds’ future.

Diana’s passion for birds has been clear since childhood. Unlike her three sisters who participated in dance, music, and ballet, young Diana could often be found learning about and helping birds. “I wasn’t very academically bright, but I was bright when it came to birds!” Diana says.

Kārearea are not her only passion though, Diana is called on to use her skills and knowledge to help many other New Zealand native birds, going so far to care for them even while attending her own daughter’s wedding! “A shag, an owl, a kingfisher, a hawk and an waxeye. They all came to the wedding with me!” she says “I just can’t say no.” 

Lake Chalice and the MFCT:

To help prevent further damage to such a magnificent native bird, Lake Chalice Wines work closely with the Marlborough Falcon Conservation Trust on the kārearea release program to repopulate our native falcon back into the Marlborough wilderness. We work to release falcons on our Eyrie Vineyard, from the breeding and rehabilitation programmes.

Lake Chalice Wines is proud to hear that Diana’s contributions and dedication is being recognised through this very well-deserved award.