Madrid Zoo Aquarium to Host Technology Event Zoohackathon 2018 For First Time

Illegal trafficking and poaching of wild flora and fauna are among the illicit activities causing the greatest global concern, posing a serious threat to the security, political stability, economy, natural resources, and the cultural heritage of many countries and regions.

Each year, 1.5 million live birds and 440,000 tons of medicinal plants are illegally trafficked, and over 100 tigers, 1,000 rhinoceroses, 30,000 elephants and some 100,000 pangolins are killed. If the current trend continues, coming generations will witness the full disappearance of these species.

In this context, Zoohackathon, an international event to be held at Madrid’s Zoo Aquarium on September 15-16, 2019, will bring together technology and innovation to fight poaching and trafficking of wild species at the international level.

The Embassy of the United States of America in Spain, in collaboration with the Ministry for Ecological Transition, the Civil Guard’s Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA), the United Parks Foundation and Zoo Aquarium of Madrid will hold this important technology event for the first time ever in Spain.  Zoohackathon seeks to bring together a sizeable number of creative experts from the technology community for a weekend to develop innovative solutions (software applications, systems and other technology tools) to help combat international poaching and wildlife trafficking.  This event is part of Spain’s Action Plan against international wildlife trafficking and poaching (PlanTIFIES).

The purpose of this event is to bring programmers, webpage designers, graphic designers, coders, biologists, mathematicians and engineers together for two days to create technological solutions to help resolve problems related to the poaching of wildlife and the illegal capture and sale of said species, their parts and derivatives, thereby protecting our biodiversity worldwide by interdicting illegal trafficking and involving communities in the fight.

Participants can register online at:  Zoohackathon will provide  lodging and travel expenses for participants from outside Madrid. The organization will also provide transportation from the hotel to the event site.

Participants will be divided into three- to five-member teams and are expected to focus their efforts on resolving one of the challenge sets proposed by the experts. The challenge sets will be made public approximately one month prior to the event.

Teams participating in Zoohackathon will design a software product able to be converted into a demo, a piece of hardware, or a combination of the two and will have three minutes to demonstrate it to a jury made up of a group of experts in the field. The winning team will win a cash prize of €2,500 and advance to the global competition.

What are you waiting for? Come and join a great team, and help us fight illegal poaching and wild species trafficking!

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*Hackathon is a term used in the hacker world to refer to a meeting of programmers whose goal is to collaboratively develop software, although at times there may also be a hardware component too.