Above picture.  Romario Valentine holds his painting of a Critically Endangered Tristan Albatross, that are at risk to mice on Gough Island

Eleven year-old Romario Valentine, from Durban, South Africa, is described as a young eco-warrior, who is “renowned globally for his beach clean ups, tree planting, avian art and other conservation projects”.  In September he received the BirdLife South Africa Owlet Award for 2022 (click here for his citation).  Now Romario’s mother, Delsha Moodley, has created a Seabirds Christmas Gift campaign via BackaBuddy on his behalf to support the Mouse-Free Marion Project.

Romario proudly holds his 2022 Owlet Award sculpture and accompanying certificate received at a BirdLife South Africa function in September

She writes of her son:  “This year for Christmas, he would like to help with the conservation efforts of seabirds, such as albatrosses, petrels and penguins, which all play a vital role in the marine ecosystem.” She explains that Romario has been an active environmentalist since the age of six.  He is the author of Protect our Planet – Take Action with Romario,  a fun science academic book published in September 2022 that addresses climate change and environmental challenges, including guidance on how anyone can become an ‘Earth Guardian’.

Mark Anderson, CEO of BirdLife South Africa writes to MFM News: “We are very appreciative of Romario’s fundraising work!  He is an amazing advocate for the preservation of our planet, and a role-model for the youth.”

Within only five days since its opening, Romario’s fundraising appeal has already received well over a third of its R 10 000 target.  He says of his campaign “With your help, you can be part of this legacy, to restore the beautiful seabirds and other biodiversity on Marion Island.  When we take care of nature, we take care of ourselves.”  The Mouse-Free Marion Project is in full agreement!

His BackaBuddy fundraiser will be open until the end of the Xmas period, so there is still time for you to contribute by clicking here!

Read more about Romario and his conservation work here.


John Cooper, News Correspondent, Mouse-Free Marion Project, 01 December 2022



The Mouse-Free Marion Project is a registered non-profit company (No. 2020/922433/08) in South Africa, established to eradicate the invasive albatross-killing mice on Marion Island in the Southern Ocean.  The project was initiated by BirdLife South Africa and the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment.  Upon successful completion, the project will restore the critical breeding habitat of over two million seabirds, many globally threatened, and improve the island’s resilience to a warming climate.  For more information or to support the project please visit mousefreemarion.org.