On many Central American beaches, poachers destroy more than 90% of sea turtle nests to sell the eggs into the illegal wildlife trade. The eggs are smuggled to cities where they are eaten as a delicacy in restaurants and bars. This wildlife crime is devastating for endangered sea turtles. Poachers currently have the upper hand on circumventing local authorities and little is known about the routes they use to smuggle endangered species.
To trace poaching routes and help stop the illegal wildlife trade, Paso Pacifico has developed the InvestEGGator: a GPS-GSM tracking device that mimics the look and feel of real sea turtle eggs. This technology has twice won prizes in USAID‘s Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge, winning a Challenge Prize in 2016 and an Acceleration Prize in 2017. These eggs, made through 3-D printing technology, can go undiscovered by poachers and provide real-time maps of smuggling routes. Armed with that information, we intend to work with authorities to dismantle egg trafficking, both domestically and internationally.
We face an uphill battle and appreciate all kinds of help! Here are some ways you can join the fight against wildlife crime:
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