Critter of the Week

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Critter of the Week is a weekly RNZ National programme about endangered and neglected native plants and animals of New Zealand.

Jesse Mulligan Jesse Mulligan - 2012 Keynote (7932625232) (cropped).jpg
Jesse Mulligan

Beginning in 2015, Critter of the Week is an approximately 15-minute discussion between Nicola Toki of the Department of Conservation and host Jesse Mulligan on an "uncharismatic and lovable" New Zealand species. [1] The topic of spotlighting uncharismatic species was raised in an interview by Mulligan in April 2015, [2] and the programme originated in a discussion between Mulligan and Toki about threatened bird conservation, in which she lamented a lack of attention and corporate funding for species such as the Smeagol gravel maggot. [3] The first episode, airing 2 October 2015, featured the New Zealand bat fly. [4] Each week's broadcast is supported by improving the Wikipedia article for the species in question. [5] The show currently airs on Friday afternoons.

In 2018, artist Giselle Clarkson designed t-shirts featuring a selection of species that had appeared on the programme. [6] In September–October 2018, a "Critter of the Week: Bake-off" competition invited listeners to bake a cake in the shape of their favourite "critter". [7]

The Critter of the Week project was the subject of a lightning talk by Mike Dickison for the 2018 ESEAP Conference in Bali, Indonesia. [8] An updated presentation was given at the Wikimedia Australia Melbourne meetup in November 2018. [9] Critter of the Week was discussed as an example of a museum outreach at the 2018 SPNHC conference in Dunedin. [10]

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  1. "Critter of the Week". Radio New Zealand . Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  2. Mulligan, Jesse; Dickison, Mike (8 April 2015). ""Charismatic" Conservation – Dr Mike Dickison". RNZ. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  3. Mulligan, Jesse; Toki, Nicola (17 September 2015). "Bird Funding Crisis – Nicola Toki". RNZ. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  4. Mulligan, Jesse; Toki, Nicola (2 October 2015). "Critter of the Week – Nicola Toki". RNZ. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  5. Mulligan, Jesse (26 February 2016). "Wikinerds Explained". Radio New Zealand . Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  6. "Critter of the Week T-shirts". Radio New Zealand . 6 July 2018. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  7. "Critter of the Week: Bake-off!". Science Learning Hub Pokapū Akoranga Pūtaiao. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  8. "Wikipedia in Science". ESEAP Conference 2018 . Wikimedia Foundation . Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  9. "Melbourne Meetup 37". Wikipedia: Melbourne Meetup . Wikipedia. 11 November 2018.
  10. Dickison, Mike (15 June 2018). ""Critter of the Week": Wikipedia as a Museum Outreach Tool". Biodiversity Information Science and Standards. 2: e25798. doi: 10.3897/biss.2.25798 .