Sexy Detection

Unknown profit model, Unknown IP model, Ideation Phase, Open to new members
A pheromone attraction and DNA sampling strategy to detect invasive mammals on islands

The Problem

There is a need for "innovative new techniques, systems, and other solutions that are financially scalable and dramatically improve the efficiency of rapid and accurate detection of low-density invasive vertebrate species in a remote location without internet access."

Our Proposal

The proposed solution involves identifying species-specific pheromones to be used as attractants, and low-cost hair-snare "traps" to extract DNA for species identification. Pheromone trapping is a common tool used to detect invasive insects, and the same technologies could greatly improve the accuracy and efficiency of invasive mammal detections on islands. When embedded within a broader strategy that makes use of low-cost and low-tech hair-snare sampling techniques, as well as recent innovations in field-based DNA processing for species identification, there exists the potential to revolutionize invasive mammal (and other vertebrate) detection and monitoring across the globe.

We Assume that...

1) resources exist to invest in identifying species-specific pheromone attractants if they are not currently known.

2) if/when identified, resources exist to invest in producing the attractant in commercial quantities.

Constraints to Overcome

Although the various pieces of the proposed solution are not novel and have been used in other contexts, bringing them together to address invasive mammal detection issues has (to my knowledge) not been suggested previously. It is the combination of these existing tools and technologies that will make the detection strategy more efficient and effective, which addresses the current barrier as laid out in the problem summary.

Current Work

To accelerate the eradication of invasive species on islands by making monitoring and detection more efficient and effective.

Current Needs

Happy to discuss with the Confirming Zero team if they see benefit in exploring this idea further.