On a different note from all the tech and lifestyle gadgets that Kickstarter is known to fund, seldom has the platform been used to address environmental issues and funding towards the alleviation of those issues. With the campaign started by The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), this could give a renewed meaning towards websites like Kickstarter and their purpose in the society.
AZA is an organization that is integral to preserving the wildlife of the planet and recently, the organization had set up a Kickstarter campaign to help save the African penguins form extinction. Owing to the increasing demand and supply for food, people have been harvesting in places where the penguins reside, which make them unable to build nests for their chicks, and owing to this, they are becoming an endangered species. The campaign that was running until June 16, saw $150,000 worth of pledges being made in order build artificial nests for these penguins in South Africa and Namibia. The nests are made of environmentally friendly materials and are built to last for 15 years, which are all made by hand.
As with all Kickstarter campaigns, those who pledge different brackets of amounts will be given special rewards, which range from a voice message from the legendary conservationist Jack Hanna to a t-shirt, to even a dinner with Elephants and penguins as well. AZA did mention that the Kickstarter campaign did make a world difference of funding towards the movement and the pledges were eager to participate.
The penguins would previously build nests from their own excreta, however, since the humans have been harvesting around their space, they have been in a lack of food, which resulted in lest production of guano, or dung to use for making their nest. Fewer than 25,000 breeding pairs currently exist on the earth, making them extremely delicate to the courses of nature and mankind.
According to Huffington Post, at the rate at which these penguins are thriving, their species would only be able to exist up until the next 10 years or so. Climate change, over fishing by humans and other acts are simple ways in which the extinction process accelerates. The “Invest in the Nest” campaign has so far been funded by 2,000 people. Currently, the penguins are residing in dilapidated conditions near garbage and abandoned buildings. They search for cover and protection for the chicks so that predators do not attack and leave them prone to danger. Thanks to the campaign of Kickstarter, however, this will all change for the better.