Take t hat, extinction
Since humans first settled in New Zealand, we have lost one species of bat, at least 51 birds, three frogs, three lizards, one freshwater fish, four plant species and a number of invertebrates. Extinction comes from any number of causes, including predators, habitat loss, disease and hunting. But luckily, organisations like Forest and Bird are harnessing the power of social media to raise awareness and simultaneously amuse the nation through its competition for the( endangered) Bird of The Year. It’s arguably one of the most heated elections of the year, with campaigners canvassing citizens tirelessly, fraudulent votes prompting investigations and memes circulating on Twitter. Last year, a record 41,555 votes were counted for the competition and Forest and Bird communications manager Caitlin Carew says this modern tech helps bring attention to the plight of New Zealand’s endangered birds. “The rise of social media, hashtags and memes has helped campaign managers gain visibility and support in away that wasn’t so possible a decade ago, and their anti cs attract media interest which helps spread the competition further.” Why this matters: Although New Zealanders are now more environmentally conscious than ever, we’ re still at risk of losing national treasures like the Maui’s dolphin and Kakapo if we don’t come up with some creative ways of tackling this issue. Thankfully, technology offers up one way to help solve this problem.