This project began with the Con X Tech Competition hosted by Conservation X Labs, where 20 finalists were given a $3500 grant to address a conservation problem with a tech solution. SnapCat was pitched as a way to help researchers go through thousands of images with the help of computer vision, thereby reducing the time and money spent by these organizations.
The first case-study of SnapCat will be in partnership with the nonprofit Island Conservation. Island Conservation aims to protect island ecosystems by actively removing invasive species, thereby reducing the number of extinctions in the most biodiverse places of our planet. Island Conservation reports that 75% of all bird, amphibian, mammal, and reptile extinctions have occurred on islands. They have also underscored that 86% of all extinctions that were linked to invasives also occurred on islands.*
Several questions were posed to Conservation X Labs. How do we determine that all invasives have been removed from an island? How do we sort through large datasets of images to determine if a camera has seen an invasive? Is it possible to automatically detect for an invasive? Is it possible to have a real-time alert system tied to invasive detections?
SnapCat addresses these questions.