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Seychelles sells 'digital' endangered birds as NFTs for conservation

This move aims to raise money for conservation as the traditional sources of funding have dried up during the ongoing pandemic. 
 

Seychelles endangered birds gcw
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Seychelles, First Published Jul 21, 2021, 1:19 PM IST
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Now you can buy your very own "digital bird" in Seychelles! Yes, you read it right. A group named Natural Seychelles, with the support of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Porini Foundation, has launched the first-ever project to sell digital versions -- Non-Fungible Tokens -- of the island nation's endangered magpie robin. This move aims to raise money for conservation as the traditional sources of funding have dried up during the ongoing pandemic. 

Natural Seychelles CEO Nirmal Shah told media that the digital twins of the black and white birds could be snapped up from $10 to $10,000, and the group has already raised $2,500 on the first day of the sale.

The Non Fungible Tokens involve digital objects such as drawings, animations, photos and videos. Their authenticity is also confirmed to avoid forgeries and manipulation. The limited edition digital species have been designated an initial value for their sale and can be resold and shared by collectors. Importantly, all the proceeds of the initial sale will go directly to Nature Seychelles. Each token is a representation of a living bird currently protected on Cousin Island Special Reserve.

The Indian Ocean archipelago is home to about 400 magpie robins, with 59 found on the Cousin Island Special Reserve.  Nature Seychelles is a leading environmental organisation of the country that manages the Cousin Island Special Reserve. The Reserve is one of the oldest marine protected areas in Seychelles.  The island has been transformed into a thriving indigenous forest that benefits several endemic bird species and is recognised as an important site for hawksbill turtles.

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