Wildly popular online game supports wild populations of rhinos
Starting today, RuneScape players (of which there are 220 million registered globally) will have an opportunity to show their support for wild rhinos and the United for Wildlife alliance by learning about the animals’ plight as they answer a series of daily questions over the next fortnight.
Players will unlock a white rhino pet if they answer three questions correctly, and a rare black rhino pet if they correctly answer ten. The rhino pets will provide players with an experience boost during their RuneScape adventure.
Two young conservationists supported by Fauna & Flora International (FFI) – one of seven organisations that make up United for Wildlife – are to be immortalised in the game after having their voices recorded for use as special in-game characters.
Trang Nguyen from Vietnam, who is currently completing her Masters in Conservation Leadership at the University of Cambridge, and Colombian Mauricio Guerra, a Conservation Leadership Programme alumnus, will provide facts and help explain the plight of wild rhinos across sub-Saharan Africa to players as they move about the game.
“United for Wildlife is a fantastic initiative that aims to preserve some of the world’s most endangered species in the wild. The RuneScape team is really proud to play our part in this important conservation project,” said Neil McClarty, brand director of RuneScape. “Our community has always shown amazing support for the many charity campaigns we’ve been involved with over the years, and we fully believe that they will continue this by throwing their support behind United for Wildlife’s latest drive.”
FFI’s Deputy Chief Executive, Ros Aveling, added: “As a member of the United for Wildlife alliance I’m delighted that we’ve been able to combine our collective conservation aims with RuneScape’s passionate audience. Innovative approaches to reaching a younger audience – who can be traditionally hard to engage in conservation issues – are vital to the success of United for Wildlife and to the protection of critically endangered wildlife.”
United for Wildlife is a collaboration between seven of the world’s most influential conservation organisations led by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The partnership between Conservation International, Fauna & Flora International, IUCN, The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society, WWF-UK, The Zoological Society of London and The Royal Foundation will lead the way to substantially increasing the global response to major conservation crises.