"“The insatiable human appetite for wildlife products drives species to
extinction, spreads disease and has negative consequences for the
economies of source countries.” Thus opens a recent article , published
in Current Biology, detailing a new method to investigate illegal trade
in turtle eggs by using GPS-enabled decoys.
The team, led by researchers from the Durrell Institute of Conservation
and Ecology at the University of Kent, led a pilot study to determine
whether hiding 3D-printed ‘InvestEGGators’ in turtle nests on Costa
Rican beaches could provide information on the trafficking routes used
by poachers. The researchers hid 101 decoy eggs, one per nest, which
were programmed to lay dormant until exposed to the open sky, at which
point they would activate and emit a signal every hour. A quarter of the
eggs were taken, and five of them yielded information of interest."
Via Esther Schindler, who wrote "Scientists used GPS-enabled (decoy)
“InvestEggator” eggs to track the illegal trade of turtle eggs in Costa
Rica. One of the eggs travelled 137km inland, uncovering an entire
trafficking chain in the process."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics