By Andrea Crawford, Communications Advisor.
DOC’s northern royal albatross cam has been running for two months and the engagement we’re getting is incredible. The chick is bringing people together, enriching their lives and connecting them to nature.
Royal cam has captured the public’s hearts, not just in New Zealand but around the world. Viewers from 101 countries are watching the chick’s progress and talking about it. The web page www.doc.govt.nz/royalcam has been viewed 93,000 times, and more than 37,000 hours of live streaming have been watched – if you add that up, it’s four and a half years of video!
Connecting and contributing to conservation
Royal cam has inspired a devoted group of commenters, with some people checking in every day. In total we’ve had over 1,300 comments on the chick and its parents. Some commenters have said they want to take DOC staff out to lunch when the chick fledges about September!
Coastal Otago ranger Lyndon Perriman says the web cam is bringing economic and social benefits. “People on the guided tours to the observatory at Taiaroa Head say they’re coming to view the albatross because they’ve seen the web cam. People are taking real ownership of the chick and now have a connection to it. They’re realising the trials and tribulations they’re seeing with one chick is happening 26 times over. They’re getting a glimpse into the management needed from DOC staff to ensure survival of the other chicks here.”
We’ve heard stories about groups and businesses who are devoted watchers of Royal Cam. For example, a class of Bay of Plenty school children has been playing Royal cam in the background all day. It has inspired them to write stories about the chick and its parents. Their teacher Lesley says Royal cam is actively engaging the kids in learning. “Their written language is improving with all the oral discussion centred around their observations of the weather in Dunedin, the parent bird leaving the baby alone and activity in the harbour. So much learning is taking place.”
Many viewers have commented on the highlight videos we have posted. You can see watch these on the DOC website.
Although many viewers are from New Zealand, we’ve also reached people across 101 countries. Our top five countries are NZ (83%), US (5%), Australia (4%), Russia (2.1%) and Canada (2%).
The chick is now two months old, and we’ll continue filming until the chick fledges around September.