This project will help us distribute wildlife crime-busting technology to sea turtle conservationists throughout Central America. The InvestEGGator is a decoy sea turtle egg embedded with a GPS tracker. We need your help to distribute these eggs so that the conservationists can use them to track the illegal trade of sea turtle eggs. Sea turtles are threatened with extinction, especially the leatherback and hawksbill turtles that nest in Central America.
Wildlife poaching is a major threat to the survival of endangered species across the world, particularly affecting large, slow-to-reproduce vertebrates such as sea turtles. In Latin America, sea turtle eggs are prized as a delicacy and aphrodisiac and are often stolen. Documenting the eggs' trade routes can enable law enforcement officials to disrupt wildlife crime at the trade network level. However, until now, it has proven near impossible to collect reliable data on this clandestine activity.
Paso Pacifico has developed the InvestEGGator: a realistic, artificial sea turtle egg containing a GPS tracker that transmits locations in real-time using cellular networks. The 3D printed egg is pliable, water-resistant, and closely resembles a real turtle egg in look, weight, and feel. These fake eggs can be planted in nests vulnerable to poaching and then provide, real-time geographic data on the eggs' movements, from the nesting beach to the final market.
The InvestEGGator will allow users to locate frequently used storage facilities; document transit routes, border crossings, and means of concealment; document temporal patterns in movement; and provide evidence to local and regional law enforcement to facilitate arrests and prosecutions of key participants in wildlife trade. By supporting this project, donors will be able to make this powerful tool available to sea turtle conservationists around the world.
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