Conservation from the Ground Up !
1. Spread the word on what you’re doing for conservation!
ConservationFIT offers ex-situ animal institutes and field projects huge opportunities to spread the word and engage more support for conservation. Our site will share stories through footprints – from the collection of digital images, through to analytics media, and on to field implementation for monitoring animals – the conservation message is clear.
2. Networking for your community.
The direct linking of ex-situ projects holding animals under human care, with field projects working on the same species, will provide opportunities for exchange visits, educational projects to share with visitors and staff. Animals under human care who contribute footprints will be directly helping conserve their free-ranging counterparts. Field projects will be able to search for institutes that might be interested in collaboration and reach out to other field-groups interested in collaboration, perhaps to monitor animals across traditional boundaries.
3. Engaging and empowering local communities in conservation.
FIT is particularly accessible to local stakeholders. Farmers (game/livestock owners), indigenous group and hunters can be engaged and included in conservation efforts for the benefit of the species, and thus reduce local human-carnivore conflict. Ex-situ animal organizations (zoos, sanctuaries) can use ConservationFIT engagement to facilitate conservation education for visitors and supporters.
The benefits of ConservationFIT membership
A jaguar sanctuary wants to help contribute to the conservation of free-ranging jaguar. They register on the ConservationFIT site that they are interested in helping collect footprints. We help them learn how to collect good footprint images from their jaguar, and how to upload them onto the site. At the same time they take some pictures of the animals who have made the prints, and perhaps of themselves collecting prints.
Images posted to the ConservationFIT Facebook page attract the interest of Jaguar field projects who would like to use the final algorithm. A jaguar field project contacts the sanctuary and they share images and educational material for their visitors. An article they write together features how jaguar A and his footprint have helped researchers in Brazil identify jaguar B in their area. The article attracts sponsorship from an enlightened company that identifies with the corporate benefits of going green. They use the site as outreach to their customers.
The world map on ConservationFIT plots where the footprints have been collected and who is supporting the site. When visitors hover over the position the information about the footprint collector comes up, with their contact details (in progress). As the site evolves, ex-situ institutes will be able to earn higher participation status for collecting more footprints and visitors to the project website can click on their logo to see what they’re doing. A link will also pop-up to the field project and visitors can learn about local challenges and how the conservation is working in the field.