Thursday, March 15, 2018

Saving endangered species with an app

An app developed with support from USAID is making wildlife protection officers more effective in their efforts to combat wildlife trafficking in Southeast Asia. WildScan, a mobile species identification and response app, is designed to help law enforcement officials respond to wildlife trafficking, an illicit trade estimated at $19 billion per year and run by organized criminal syndicates. WildScan is currently available for free on Android devices and available in English, Thai and Vietnamese. The app will soon be available in Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Malaysia and Khmer in addition to updated Android and new Apple iOS versions.

The app is a result of a collaborative partnership between academics, law enforcement, scientists and other wildlife specialists. USAID worked through its implementing partner, Freeland, under the USAID Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking program.

Law enforcement agencies, as well as casual phone users, can now identify endangered species using high-resolution photos and the app allows them to report illegal collections of terrestrial, marine, and freshwater animals to the proper authorities. Wildscan not only includes clues to identify over 700 protected species but also offers primary care tips for injured animals.

Here is a video showcasing the app.

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