Team Navy Pangolin, a six-member team of young Indonesian coders and conservation specialists, won second place in the 2019 Global Zoohackathon contest. The team created ‘The Pangolin,’ an Artificial Intelligence-powered data extraction and verification tool that data-mines online news articles to find key information about wildlife seizures for efficient analysis of wildlife crimes. Navy Pangolin will receive $5,000 USD in Microsoft Azure compute credit grants to help advance their solutions.
In November of 2019, Navy Pangolin won first prize at the Borneo Zoohackathon in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. The event, organized by the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and the University of Malaysia Sabah (UMS), brought together eighty-five coders from across Malaysia and Indonesia to create new applications and tools to help end wildlife trafficking. The event in Borneo was one of sixteen regional competitions held globally for developers, designers, project managers, and wildlife enthusiasts to address challenges posed by the illegal wildlife trade. The projects of Navy Pangolin and fifteen other regional competition winners were judged at the global competition in Washington, D.C. The first-place team, Team Quantum from Colombia, created a solution that combines hardware and software to monitor the amount of timber carried by logging trucks.
The Zoohackathon is a computer coding and technology event that brings together developers, designers, project managers, and subject matter experts to create applications, systems, and tools that help reduce demand for trafficked wildlife products. The Department of State’s Zoohackathon promotes technology solutions, builds cross-sector collaboration, raises awareness, and empowers communities to combat wildlife trafficking. During 48-hour competitions, teams of university students, software developers, coders, graphic designers, and wildlife enthusiasts use technology to tackle wildlife conservation problems. At each local event — held at zoos, wildlife organizations, technology start-up facilities, and education centers around the world — judges choose a winning solution.