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Scientific crowdsourcing in wildlife research and conservation: Tigers (Panthera tigris) as a case study

April 28, 2017 by

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With around 3,200 tigers (Panthera tigris) left in the wild, the governments of 13 tiger range countries recently declared that there is a need for innovation to aid tiger research and conservation. In response to this call, we created the “Think for Tigers” study to explore whether crowdsourcing has the potential to innovate the way researchers and practitioners monitor tigers in the wild. The study demonstrated that the benefits of crowdsourcing are not restricted only to harnessing the time, labor, and funds from the public but can also be used as a tool to harness creative thinking that can contribute to development of new research tools and approaches. Based on our experience, we make practical recommendations for designing a crowdsourcing initiative as a tool for generating ideas.