In her Wildbase Recovery Conference keynote, Threatened Species Ambassador, Nicola Toki, said most people could identify a Kardashian but questioned how many would recognise native birds such as the kōkako, kākā or kākāriki.
“I’m not sure your average Kardashian-loving member of the public knows the reality, whether people even know species are in trouble.
“Lack of engagement with the public is a real issue.”
Toki told the scientists and conservationists gathered for the conference that her role was to bridge the gap between what they were doing and the public’s knowledge.
“I’m here to channel the good stuff you guys are doing out to the rest of New Zealand.”
Getting the message around conservation right was a challenge, Toki said. It was not about dumbing down the science but about being clever and keeping things fun.