We've Got An App for Conservation

Trying to keep track of twenty groups of little cotton-top tamarin monkeys is a challenging task! However, this is just what the field team of Proyecto Tití attempts to do as part of their research work. Over the years, they have taken thousands of pages of notes as they watch happens every day in the tamarin groups.

It is a bit of a soap opera trying to keep up with who is pregnant, who is plotting to take over as the dominant male, or who might be looking to leave a family. Add that information to notes about what the cotton-tops are eating, where they are sleeping, and how they manage to avoid being eaten by a very large snake, and you can imagine the wealth of information that the PT team needs to manage on a daily basis.

Thanks to Greg Shear, they now have a custom-designed app that allows the field team to enter all of this information on an iPad. Within minutes of the collection, the team in Colombia or its counterpart in the US can be reviewing the data and analyzing the information for use in PT’s management and conservation plans.

It has been incredibly exciting for the team to learn how to use an iPad in the field. Even the cotton-tops are interested in the iPads. Female cotton-top Tamara has been observed looking at her reflection in the glass. And, thankfully, the waterproof case stands up to being “christened” by a cotton-top!

Do you have a tablet or smartphone that you no longer use? You can donate it for conservation. WCN’s Partners are in need of gently used electronics for their work. Tablets and phones should be working, include a charging cable and have been purchased within the past three years.  Contact WCN’s Director of Technology Dave Cortright at dave@wildnet.org or 415-202-6394 to donate.


June 16, 2014


Cotton-top Tamarin


Technology Research Fieldwork