How crowdfunding saved Australian penguins from inevitable death

What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding provides an opportunity for creators of for-profit and nonprofit, creative, and cultural projects to fund their works via reasonably minor inputs from a rather big number of people with the assistance of the internet, without regular financial mediators.

What is crowdfunding for biodiversity conservation?

Conservation methods big, average and small have usually been financed via official or state-run sources. Yet, recently wildlife conservation projects are starting to find monetary support via crowdfunding websites, through which individuals as well as businesses or any other parties can input.

On top of raising money and meeting the gap in funding, crowdfunding for conservation raises awareness, getting through to an audience, engaging people on these problems and motivating them to take positive climate, wildlife and environmental actions. Conservation crowdfunding campaigns inspire people to share their participation and activities among their networks, leading to a louder voice of the life-changing movement.

Results of crowdfunding for conservation to date

A study on raising money for scientific research via crowdfunding indicates that 32% of threatened species across the globe occur on the lands of 40 most underfunded countries. The disproportion between the financial conservation needs of those countries and traditional backing bases (commonly weighty grants from the government or private foundations) is the same as ever. Yet, the light has shined through with the beginning of internet based crowdfunding. Now individuals coming from nations with more capital can support wildlife conservation projects in low-income countries. Current statistics state that Australia, the United States and United Kingdom are leading the outlay of resources chart but other countries are starting to follow increasingly.

Platforms like Kickstarter and Ingiegogo serve as a new kind of intermediate that can lessen obstructions between the fundraiser and the public via empowering data sharing, offering a wider reach and increasing validity. A study done by Eduardo Gallo-Cajiao investigated big data sets of crowdfunded conservation works. The investigators recognised 72 crowdfunding websites that held 577 conservation projects in total, which pulled almost $5 million in merged pledges between 2009 and 2017.

A crowdfunding for conservation story

Gallo-Cajiao featured a campaign that aimed to get funding for dog training to safeguard a penguin colony based in Australia. Two dogs of an Italian breed called the Maremma sheepdog have been guarding a colony of penguins for about 10 years. Local penguins have been destroyed due to predation and habitat loss, going from 800 in late 1990s to about 10 in 2005, yet the dogs led the penguins to a victorious recovery, going to 150 birds in a space of 10 years.

Maremma sheepdog, cute puppies

The Maremma sheepdog puppies, penguin-guarding dogs

However, time came for the heroic dogs to retire, so a crowdfunding campaign was launched to raise 18,000 USD to purchase and train a pair of new penguin-guarding dogs. The campaign ended up being a success, and showed that crowdfunding can provide a life-changing support that may preserve a whole species.


Growing funds is absolutely essential for preserving biodiversity, therefore we need to carry on inspecting evolving monetary means that may assist in reaching the goal. Crowdfunding for biodiversity conservation is an international miracle, holding powerful potential for development. Comprised with appropriate care, crowdfunding has everything to become a significant monetary mechanism for biodiversity conservation.

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