Developing and testing new technologies is crucial in helping to find effective and scalable solutions to conservation challenges. It is also critical to make connections in order to share knowledge of these solutions amongst the wider conservation and technology communit. United for Wildlife is supporting projects to deliver on each of these actions.
WILDLABs.NET is an online community that was created as a way to share information, ideas, tools and resources for technology-enabled solutions to conservation challenges. Scientists and experts around the world are using the WILDLABs platform to engage with one another on a daily basis.
The new and innovative technologies that are being developed through WILDLABs need field testing to ensure that they are suitable to respond to wildlife incidents in real-time, prevent poaching and to enable law enforcement agencies to collect evidence. United for Wildlife is actively building a network of locations that can be used to test these technologies which include camera traps, GPS and alarm systems and DNA testing.
By supporting field sites, we are helping to develop testing locations where new and existing technology can be assessed for effectiveness, scalability and utility. In addition to on the ground testing we have also helped to build a web-based community platform. This brings experts from the technology world together with conservation practitioners to create a dynamic online community to combat illegal wildlife trade. This community is helping to crowdsource ideas and solutions to some of the challenges faced by conservationists, while also providing a place for skill-sharing and networking.
WILDLABS’ collaborative approach has also helped to cut costs and raise effectiveness of technology-based approaches, making them more practical and accessible.