Fighting Wildlife Crime with Tech


In 2014, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)—in partnership with the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institution, and TRAFFIC—launched the Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge to reward science and technology innovations combating wildlife trafficking. The Challenge aimed to complement traditional models of conservation with discovering innovations that had the potential to better combat the illegal wildlife trade’s dynamic complexity, and invited concept notes in four priority areas: detecting transit routes, strengthening forensic evidence and data sharing, reducing consumer demand, and tackling corruption.

In 2016, the Challenge selected winners to receive Prize Packages of $10,000, promotional and networking opportunities, and technical assistance to scale or accelerate their solutions. The Challenge then invited these winners to compete for Grand Prizes that targeted the most promising solutions. Four Grand Prize Winners were eligible to receive up to $500,000 to advance their science and tech. It has now been five years since USAID first announced the winners of the Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge, and we wondered: Where are they now? What successes and lessons learned do they have?

In this Story Map, 13 of the Tech Challenge winners share news and updates on their work.