Wildlife conservation is an enormous global undertaking, vital to ensuring the health and longevity of our planet, and that the incredibly diverse plant and wildlife species we share our world with are here for generations more to come. A significant threat to conservation efforts is the poaching of wildlife, which can be difficult and even dangerous to combat and is pushing many species towards extinction, while also helping to support a multi-billion-dollar illegal wildlife trade.
I’m pleased to introduce my guest for today’s podcast, Lily Xu with Harvard University, whose work to create a data driven approach to combat poaching in protected areas around the world led to the development of PAWS, the Protection Assistant for Wildlife Security. Perhaps most exciting is the hope that, with the help of PAWS, not only can we reduce the impact of poachers but ultimately reintroduce populations of wild tigers back into areas where they once thrived.
I’m also thrilled to share that Lily’s work was awarded the INFORMS Doing Good with Good O.R. prize – which recognizes outstanding student projects with a significant societal impact – and I’m excited for the opportunity to speak with her about it.