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07 Nov 2016

Four facilities host US Department of State’s first Zoohackathon
   BY Jennifer Fields

Poaching and wildlife trafficking are decimating populations of animals such as elephants, rhinoceroses, and tigers. The US government is working with governments and members of the public around the world to reduce demand of these products.

The US Department of State organised a Zoohackathon, which occurred from 7-9 October at conservation centres in Sydney, Australia, and London, as well as at four zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) in the US: San Diego Zoo in San Diego, California, Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington, Saint Louis Zoo in Saint Louis, Missoouri, and the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, DC.

Supported by the US government’s Task Force on Combating Wildlife Trafficking and other partners, the event gathered teams of coders, programmers, designers, and conservation experts in a friendly competition. The participants’ goal was to use their technological skills to develop applications, systems, and tools to combat wildlife trafficking and other conservation challenges, raise public awareness about these issues, develop demand reduction technology, and highlight international collaboration.

At the end of the Zoohackathons, teams presented their ideas to an expert panel of judges, who announced the local winners. The winning teams from each site are now eligible to compete in a global competition, with the winner to be announced in November 2016.

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Attractions Management 2016 issue 4

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