discussion / Software and Mobile Apps  / 19 August 2016

Wildlife Crime App Development


I'm currently working with U.S. Fish and Wildlife's Office of Law Enforcement on a project related to illegal wildlife trafficking and we have an idea for an app that will help curb illegal wildlife trade.  However, neither I nor the person I'm working with is tech savvy - can anyone offer any advice and/or resources in regards to developing apps? We have reached out to the local university's (University of Washington) Computer Science Department, and they said they may have some students interested in helping, however they need to know what the time committment would be, etc. (questions I do not have answers to).  Also, is there any hope in finding someone to develop an app for free or little pay? Are there grants available? 


Thanks! Rosemary

Just a thought, but you could go onto Linked In or other professional networking sites and do a search for App Developers and "Animal Welfare" (in Linked In, this is one of the "causes I care about" you can select if you want to list that in your professional profile).    I just did a quick search and found a quite a few matches.  I don't know if they are a good fit or not for what you are looking for.

But people with that combination may be willing to do some work pro-bono and may have the right skill set.

Hi Rose,

You could submit it as a problem statement to zoohackathon.com. We are hosting the London leg of the event at ZSL London Zoo and we have around 50 developers coming to London to develop apps. Yours could be one of 9 briefs they work on. 



Hi Rosemary,

WILDLABS is partnering with the U.S. State Department on the 2016 ZooHackathon (the focus of the hack is demand reduction, but problem statements can be submitted for a variety of illegal wildlife trade priorities). As Sophie suggests, you can submit a challenge to the hack and attend in-person in the US at the Smithsonian National Zoo (Washington, DC), San Diego Zoo (San Diego, CA), St. Louis Zoo (St. Louis, MO) and Woodland Park Zoo (Seattle, WA).  You can register here for the location nearest to you.

Rules and guidelines for the ZooHackathon online here: http://www.zoohackathon.com/documents/Zoohackathon-2016-Rules-and-Guidelines.pdf.

demark should be able to share the latest updates from the World Conservation Congress!


You may also want to look into the frugal innovation lab at Santa Clara University which has teams of students engaged in helping build new engineering tools for social impact.  https://www.scu.edu/engineering/labs--research/labs/frugal-innovation-hub/programs-get-involved/social-enterprises-ngos-and-non-profit-organizations.html