Until June 21, donations of any amount could help win funding for a research project supported by Wild Animal Initiative.

 

Where would the funding come from?

The Wildlife Disease Association has offered a challenge grant to the eligible research project that has the highest number of individual backers by June 21, 2021.

 

What is the funding for?

Wild Animal Initiative is supporting a project that would monitor the movements of adult magnificent frigatebirds (Fregata magnificens) to determine the relationship between mercury poisoning, parental behavior, and juvenile mortality from a common disease.

The research will be carried by a team from the National Museum of Natural History of Paris. Additional funding will allow them to increase the sample size of their study and to visit another island to track the spread of the disease.

 

Why does this matter?

We're interested in both the scientific merit of the study and the novelty of the funding mechanism. Crowdfunding might be a useful way to engage researchers and donors who might not otherwise have known about wild animal welfare. While the prizes in this case are not very large ($1,250 for first place, $750 for second place), a successful pilot campaign would facilitate further investigation into this field-building strategy.

 

To read more about how this project advances the broader wild animal welfare research agenda, read our research note: https://www.wildanimalinitiative.org/blog/frigatebird-funding

To back this research project, visit the campaign page on Experiment.com: https://experiment.com/projects/why-are-frigatebird-chicks-so-vulnerable-to-a-viral-disease

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Fine print question: is Manrico Sebastiano, the principal investigator, a WDA member? If not, the prizes would be $1000 and $500 respectively, per the challenge grant terms here: https://experiment.com/grants/wda2021 

Fun fact for readers: if you too have a wildlife health project idea, this Wildlife Disease Association challenge grant is recurring on Experiment.com! I think this is at least the fourth time. 

At time of writing, this project is in second place by number of backers (47).

I asked Dr. Sebastiano and he has confirmed yes, he is a WDA member. As of a 6 AM ET on 6/21, he says the project is running a close third.

Result: This project came in second place and won the $750 prize, per update here.