article / 10 November 2020

Hackathon Opportunity: Vaquita Hacks

Do you have innovative #tech4wildlife ideas that could save one of the most endangered species on earth from extinction? Apply now to join Vaquita Hack, a hackathon for students and early career conservationists!  This hackathon is aimed at disrupting the totoaba cartels' illicit supply chain, which has led to the immediate extinction of the vaquita. The solutions created in this hackathon may also lead to applicable solutions for other wildlife crime challenges worldwide. Apply now!


12 & 13 December 2020

The Conservation Project International is launching Vaquita Hacks, the world’s first virtual hackathon dedicated to finding innovative technological and artificial intelligence solutions to save the vaquita from extinction. 

Delivered in partnership with global experts from Earth League International, Earth Hacks and the Countering Wildlife Trafficking Institute, Vaquita Hacks is open to students and early career conservationists worldwide. 


There are less than 10 vaquita left.

The impending extinction of the vaquita is attributed to the illegal fishing of totoaba, a fish killed for its swim bladder as a delicacy and ancient Chinese medicine, in Mexico's Gulf of California. Fishing with nets, the criminals kill all life in their path, including the vaquita. 

Be part of the world's first hackathon designed to save the vaquita.

The purpose of Vaquita Hacks is to work with students and early career conservationists to help develop new technological solutions to assist with Earth League International's investigatory work in disrupting the totoaba cartels' illicit supply chain and to help save the Vaquita from extinction. The technological learnings from the hackathon will also be applied to future wildlife trafficking projects around the world.

Who can apply to Vaquita Hacks?

Students, early career conservationists and anyone who is passionate about applying their skills to help save the vaquita can apply to Vaquita Hacks. Due to the challenges involved, the hackathon will be particularly relevant to those studying environmental law, data and criminal analytics or public engagement.

Who is running the hackathon?

The Conservation Project International is delivering Vaquita Hacks in partnership with global experts from Earth League International, Earth Hacks and the Countering Wildlife Trafficking Institute.​

Global technology giant Microsoft, a key sponsor of Vaquita Hacks, will award $20,000 worth of Azure software credits to the most innovative hackathon solutions. 

This sounds amazing. How do i get involved?

Apply now to participate!


Learn More about the vaquita

National Geographic's award-winning documentary Sea of Shadows follows a multinational team of scientists, jouranlists, activists and undercover agents as they go up against the drug cartels and illegal traffickers in a bid to save the vaquita.

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