In 2011, two scientists, one American and one Dutch, met in Switzerland over coffee with a gripe familiar within the field of wildlife conservation. Animals in big countries get roped off in national parks and zoos. But monitoring species in the developing world, especially countries along the ecologically-rich equator, is much less tenable. Scientists in those places had few resources. The local NGOs had small staffs and even smaller budgets.
Conservation work is often a discipline of question marks. Before you start saving the whales and protecting the forest, researchers need to ask the basics: Where are the spots where the animals prefer to live and breed? From there, strategies to restrict poaching or fishing are developed. After that, policy makers