Extinction WeekExtinction Week

Extinction Week, brought to you by Kiwibank

The world’s first fully-fenced urban ecosanctuary, Zealandia, opened its doors in our capital city almost two decades ago, and since then, its existence has helped see the city’s native bird population explode – and encouraged people to do their bit in their local ecosystem, with National Geographic calling the city an ‘ecological triumph’. We talked with its manager of conservation and research Dr Danielle Shanahan about how the park is changing people’s perception of conservation, while helping balance Wellington’s urban needs with its ecological needs.

Extinction Week, brought to you by Kiwibank

In a regular section called Can We Fix It? Idealog and Kiwibank will explore some of the world’s biggest – and, in some cases, most intractable – problems and then showcase some of the clever people trying to tackle them. Here's how New Zealand's 600 offshore islands are being used to help our endangered species.

Extinction Week, brought to you by Kiwibank

In a regular section called Can We Fix It? Idealog and Kiwibank will explore some of the world’s biggest – and, in some cases, most intractable – problems and then showcase some of the clever people trying to tackle them. Here's how several innovative New Zealand companies, such as Cacophony Project and Squawk Squad, are trying to get rid of pests.

Extinction Week, brought to you by Kiwibank

It was arguably the most heated election of 2017, with campaigners canvassing citizens tirelessly and debates around the watercooler reaching fever pitch. And it was not without its share of scandal, with fraudulent votes promoting an investigation to trace the IP address of the perpetrator. The political backstabbing and backdoor deals were all to elect one bird-brained candidate the winner: the kea.

Extinction Week, brought to you by Kiwibank

Earlier this year a wellington based artist named DSIDE - renowned for his paintings on the street - stepped inside the walls of a local gallery to relinquish his environmentally charged exhibition: EXTINCTED - an ode to extinct animals. We get in touch with the enigmatic artist - who talks about his exhibition and philosophises over the role that art plays in the face of mass extinction.

Extinction Week, brought to you by Kiwibank

The Endangered Species Foundation (ESF) started in March 2013 and set out to sustainably fund conservation action to prevent the extinction of any New Zealand native species. Since then, it has been actively working to raise public awareness of New Zealand’s most endangered species and develop innovative new ways of keeping animals alive – like 3D printing eggs, and having them painted by Weta Digital. Founder Dr Mike Thorsen talks about its efforts to keep New Zealand’s most endangered species alive.

Extinction Week, brought to you by Kiwibank

George Perry is a Professor of Environmental Science in the School of Environment at Auckland University. Perry conducts research on how humans influence forest ecosystems and what the consequences of extinction are for ecosystems. Specifically, he has worked on research on moa extinction and also the waitaha penguin. We ask him some burning – and fairly broad – questions around extinction in New Zealand and how we can better protect our native creatures.

Extinction Week, brought to you by Kiwibank

A Raglan-based high-performance drone company, Aeronavics, has created a special model of drone to help monitor wildlife parks for poachers in South Africa, and now they’re rolling out the technology for other conservation purposes. We talk with co-founder Linda Bulk about the company is helping save the critically endangered rhinos, as well as monitoring critical environments around the world.

Extinction Week, brought to you by Kiwibank

Bringing back animals that have long been extinct holds a special type of excitement for many – just imagine seeing a moa back in the wild. But is it realistic to think this could actually be pulled off? A team of New Zealand and Australian scientists say previously-extinct species to our conservation checklist will strain already tight conservation budgets, and it might come down to a choice between our beloved endangered animals that still exist and the ones that have long since passed.

Extinction Week, brought to you by Kiwibank

In a regular section called Can We Fix It? Idealog and Kiwibank will explore some of the world’s biggest – and, in some cases, most intractable – problems and then showcase some of the clever people trying to tackle them. Here's how ethically farming Koura (crayfish) is actually helping ensure the native species' survival, while increasing their natural habitats and other freshwater life.

Extinction Week, brought to you by Kiwibank

Throughout history, blockades have been overcome by new ways of thinking and experimentation – try, try and try again, as the saying goes. This faith in the human ability to find solutions has led to everything from penicillin to electricity to flying machines and it continues to push society forward. So, in a brand-new section called Can We Fix It? Idealog and Kiwibank will look at some of the world’s biggest – and, in some cases, most intractable – problems and the homegrown businesses doing their bit to tackle them. This time, Anna Bradley-Smith looks at extinction in New Zealand.

Virtual reality realities

For Conservation Week this week, social enterprise Squawk Squad and virtual reality studio M Theory have joined forces to go into the classroom and get children excited about saving New Zealand’s native birds through VR technology. The experience takes the viewer through a forest journey alongside a robin bird, who encounter friends and predators along the way.

Zipping along

Forest-based, eco-tourism business Rotorua Canopy Tours has gone from strength to strength since it opened in 2012. It recently opened a second tour – an experience that is a step-up in terms of adventure. Idealog spoke with co-founders, James Fitzgerald and Andrew Blackford, about the design of the new course, the importance of conservation and pushing through challenges.