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Con X Tech Competition: Prevent Extinctions, Win $20,000

The Con X Tech Prize is a competition for bold new ideas in conservation technology. Win up to $20,000 for your innovative ideas aimed to help prevent extinctions.

Are you an innovator? A creative thinker? Always have a trick up your sleeve and a clever idea to solve the latest problem that stands in the way of progress? Your inventiveness could help further global conservation efforts aimed to prevent extinctions—and you could land a prize of up to $20,000.

The Con X Tech Prize is a competition for bold new ideas in conservation technology. Twenty finalists will receive $3,500 and one cunning team will win the grand prize of $20,000.

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A colony of nesting Albatross on Midway Atoll. Credit: Gregg Howald/IslandConservation

A tricky puzzle

Introduced, damaging (invasive) vertebrate species on islands are a primary driver of extinction of island species, but this threat can be addressed by removing (eradicating) the invasive species. To ensure an invasive species does not repopulate the island, we must be certain that every single invader has been removed. “Confirming zero”—being certain that no invasive species are left on an island, is very difficult work.

Conservation biologists search thousands of kilometers of islands and sort through hundreds of thousands of photos, which can take months, or even years. Tools like remote, motion-activated monitoring cameras, track-pads (flat surfaces like sand that capture footprints), and drones are effective at detecting invasive vertebrates but are limited by our ability to deploy field staff and detection tools, and again to retrieve and analyze detection data – especially on remote islands with no internet access. Innovative technological solutions that could rapidly identify species and deliver real-time detection data could save conservation biologists countless hours and result in the preservation of unique species for future generations.

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A Galapagos Giant Tortoise. Credit: Island Conservation

Calling all innovators

Island Conservation, the National Invasive Species Council, and Conservation X Labs need help from innovation gurus, hobbyists, and dreamers to help us accurately detect invasive species at the lowest densities and confirm that the last invasive vertebrate has been removed from an island.

To learn more about this challenge and to apply, visit the Conservation X website. We look forward to hearing your innovative ideas.

Featured photo: Island Restoration Specialist, Jason Zito, launching a drone on Kayangel, Palau. Credit: Tommy Hall/Island Conservation

About Island Conservation

Island Conservation prevents extinctions by removing invasive species from islands. To date, we have successfully restored 60 islands worldwide, benefiting 1090 populations of 399 species and subspecies. Working together with local communities, government management agencies, and conservation organizations, we select islands that have the greatest potential for preventing the extinction of globally threatened species.

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