Working Group Roundup: Conservation Technology

The Conservation Technology Working Group kicks-off!

Interested in applying technology to your conservation research or projects? Think that it could improve how you study your species or landscape, increase the amount of data you can collect, or provide innovative solutions to tracking threats? You’re not alone! Here at the SCB Conservation Technology Working Group (ConsTechWG) we believe that technology (currently available or to be developed) can be a real game-changer, empowering those working for biodiversity conservation. We believe conservation biology – as a discipline – should work towards coordinating this progress, and accelerating the pace at which technological developments are incorporated into research and practice. And we believe SCB has an important role to play in this.

The ConsTechWG recently received the green light, so we are now an SCB working group with provisional status. We have brand new webpages, an email address to reach us and an email distribution list (listserv) for communication. We are currently starting the process of defining who we are and outlining more concrete objectives for our first year.

If we want to realize the full potential of technology for conservation, we need to understand the technological needs of our discipline and reach for the community of engineers, computer scientists, programmers and other technologists that could make exciting developments possible. Some of these people work in the industry, others in universities or research institutions, or may even be enthusiastic Makers. Most of them are currently unaware of our urgent needs, so connecting people and expertise, and creating new bridges between professionals and institutions will be critical to take advantage of this opportunity gap, and an important part of our planned contribution as a working group. The other part of the equation is maximising access to technology for people working in conservation, raising awareness about the possibilities (but also potential issues), the correct use of different technologies and the analytical tools associated with the data collected.

Pushing the agenda of conservation technology is a massive undertaking, not one the ConsTechWG should tackle alone, of course. We will not operate in a vacuum but will seek collaboration with interesting local and global initiatives and platforms that are slowly popping up around the world, looking for synergies and working towards a common goal.

If this prospect excites you as much as it does excite us, and if you’d like to be part of this process, please join the ConsTechWG. We need your help, your ideas, your contribution, your expertise, your contacts! We are working towards growing our membership to 100 members, a requirement for obtaining official working group status. Only SCB members can be officially part of the group. Nevertheless we are keen to keep in contact with non-members that are interested in this; if this is your case, please email us to