San Diego Zoo Global Conservation Project Needs Volunteers

San Diego Zoo Global is asking the public to take part in the "1 million Photo Challenge" to help review trail camera photos in an effort to save wildlife.

The crowdsourcing project is an effort by scientists to gather information on giraffes and other wildlife throughout northern Kenya, according to the San Diego Zoo Global.

Since the site's launch, scientists completed two years worth of conservation work in three months with the help of 5,100 volunteers.

But scientists hope the challenge will boost the number of online volunteers to 20,000 in an effort to reach the 1 million-image goal by June 2018.

"Wildwatch Kenya is off to a great start, but more people are needed to really see this project reach the next level," said David O’Connor, researcher and conservation ecologist for San Diego Zoo Global.

The completed work will provide researchers enough data to explore giraffe hotspots, areas without giraffe activity and diversity of species present at the research sites, according to San Diego Zoo Global.

"This website has been a critical component in our giraffe conservation work. The amount of data we’ve already received is tremendous, and we would not have been able to do that amount so quickly if it was not for our volunteers on the site," said O’Connor.

The project is providing real-time data on giraffe movements, the size of their home ranges, where they travel during seasons and the travel corridors they use.

This information will help community conservancies develop better strategies for managing their lands and livestock and expand the frontiers of giraffe science.

Volunteers can visit the site and help identify what is in the trail photos by choosing from an animal list or indicate no animal is in the picture.

Currently, there are fewer than 100,000 giraffes left in their native habitats—a decrease of over 40 percent over the last 20 years. Certain giraffe subpopulations have decreased rapidly and are now extinct in seven African nations, according to San Diego Zoo Global.

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