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Friday
Apr272018

Wildlife on Social Media: Top 5 Clever Campaigns for  Conservation

Image adapted from original by mohamed mohamed mahmoud hassanDo you feel like you’re spending way too much time on social media? You’re not alone, and organizations that work to protect wildlife are making huge efforts to use this potential. In this list, we present five clever and innovative uses of Twitter, Instagram, Tinder and Snapchat that raise awareness for endangered species.

The Most Eligible Bachelor in the World

In 2017, the last male northern white rhino called Sudan joined a dating app to save his bloodline. The bio on his Tinder account highlighted his “advantage” in being “one of a kind”. He even shared some personal facts with prospective matches - “I like to eat grass and chill in the mud. 6ft tall and 5,000lbs if it matters.” If Sudan stole your heart, you could swipe right to make a donation and support the rhino breeding program. The bold combination of humour, irony and seriousness of the message provoked a large interest in northern white rhino conservation among the public. Unfortunately, as you probably know Sudan passed away this year. However, scientists are still working to save the species.

Do you really need to see #SlothSelfies?

There is one thing that always gains the attention of internet audiences and is highly probable to become viral. Yes, we are talking about cute animals. Scientific research shows that cat videos are not only entertaining, they are actually beneficial to our health as they boost our positive emotions. Messages containing iconic animals such as polar bears or big cats have the potential to raise awareness about conservation; however not all of the animal content is harmless to wildlife. Selfies with wild species can cause suffering as the animals are often stolen from their natural habitat to make money from tourists. To alert the internet community to this issue, World Animal Protection has started a partnership with Instagram. Now, when users search for hashtags like #koalaselfie and #slothselfie, the platform shows them a warning that the hashtag “may be associated with posts that encourage harmful behaviour to animals or the environment.” Try it yourself!

#EndangeredEmoji

A clever initiative invented by WWF has made it possible to support wildlife conservation simply by tweeting. Their campaign #EndangeredEmoji encourages people to use their set of 17 emojis that represent 17 endangered species. Every time you include one of them in your tweet, you make a small donation of £0.10 which supports efforts to save these animals and their natural habitats.

 

Don’t let this be my #LastSelfie

It might be unpleasant that pictures on Snapchat disappear too quickly, but it is truly devastating that populations of endangered species are wiped off the planet just as fast! To illustrate this rapidity, WWF uploaded several images of endangered animals on Snapchat and encouraged users to screenshot them and share them with their friends before they disappeared. They also had the opportunity to adopt the animal or donate.

Can you run as a tiger?

Successful online campaigns often go beyond the internet sphere and encourage people to participate in offline activities. The WWF campaign #Run4Tiger serves as a great example. Its main message is that people have always competed with tigers as they have been poaching them or destroying their natural habitat. However, now comes the time to change these rules and make the competition fair. The amur tiger is your challenger. It can run up to 20km a day. Can you beat him? WWF placed a GPS tag on a tiger in the wild to track his position. When you go jogging, you can log into your running app and see if you can outrun him. If you lose, the idea is to give a donation to your challenger!

By Eliška Olšáková - Online Journalism Intern

Frontier runs conservation, developmentteaching and adventure travel projects in over 50 countries worldwide - so join us and explore the world!

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