This week's screening of the BBC's "Last Chance to See" programme featuring New Zealand's own conservation ambassador Sirocco the kākāpō, has catapulted kākāpō recovery into the international spotlight.
Department of Conservation staff have been amazed by the response that viewers of the "Last Chance to See" programme, starring Stephen Fry and Mark Cawardine, has evoked from the British public.
"His Facebook page alone jumped from 600 friends to over 2000 friends in the 48 hours following the broadcast of the kākāpō episode of "Last Chance to See"," said Sirocco's media advisor Nic Vallance from the Department of Conservation.
"And the Youtube clip of him getting 'up close and personal' with presenter Mark Cawardine has resulted in well over half a million hits."
The show "Last Chance to See" is a remake of the series that the late Douglas Adams and Mark Cawardine recorded for radio and published a book on in 1990.
Many of the comments posted on Sirocco's rapidly growing Facebook page send words of support and encouragement to kākāpō recovery as well as many offers of donations to continue to increase the survival of the kākāpō.
"The international interest in kākāpō is just fantastic," said Vallance.
"It reminds us that while we may not have megafauna such as lions, tigers or bears in New Zealand - our charismatic, unique and special wildlife is of great interest to people around the world."
To celebrate the interest in Sirocco the kākāpō, the Department of Conservation have set up a Twitter account for him - which will give regular updates on the work of the kākāpō recovery programme to his online followers.
"We encourage everyone to sign up to 'follow' Sirocco's updates on Twitter," said Vallance.
"This is a fantastic way for us to bring news and updates of one of our iconic native birds to anyone who's interested in conservation in New Zealand."
Sirocco's first Tweet highlighted the kākāpō's point of difference from other birds.
"Kākāpō don't tweet, we skraaaaaark," the popular parrot said.
You can follow Sirocco at http://www.twitter.com/SiroccoKakapo for regular updates.
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