A Call to World’s Creative Minds – Can you think for tigers?
Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) and World Animal Protection have launched “Think for Tigers”, an online competition today to find an innovative idea, product or solution that will help researchers and rangers locate, track or monitor tigers in the wild to better study and protect them.
Researchers and rangers already use a variety of tools ranging from camera traps to satellite collars to study and monitor tigers in the wild. The “Think for Tigers” challenge aims to improve or expand the existing toolbox of tiger monitoring to better study and protect the last 3200 tigers in the wild.
With the Think for Tigers challenge, WildCRU hopes to encourage creative thinking in animal protection and conservation science by attracting applications from not only wildlife biologists, but also from people from all academic disciplines such as design, engineering and artificial intelligence.
The challenge will be run via the www.thinkfortigers.org website for a period of six weeks and it is open to anyone affiliated with a college, university; non-governmental or governmental organisation working in the field of nature conservation; intergovernmental organisation or with creative-industries. The deadline for applications is 22 December 2015
Professor David Macdonald, WildCRU Director, said: Tigers are in trouble. They are threatened by poaching for illegal trade, habitat loss and conflict with people. Researchers and rangers are working around the clock to protect them but the threats are increasing and time is running out.
Dr Emre Can, Lead Scientist for the initiative said: Science is a way of thinking and we are asking to all creative-minds and problem-solvers from all academic disciplines to think for tigers. How might we better monitor the remaining 3200 tigers in the wild?
Dr Neil D’Cruze, Head of Research at World Animal Protection added: The problem is that tigers are elusive, they live in dense, vast ranging habitats, making them extremely difficult to study and protect. We need innovative thinking if we are going be successful in our mission to save them from extinction.
The winning idea will be announced publicly on the 31 March 2016 before WildCRU and World Animal Protection attempt to test its effectiveness during field trials later that year.