CRG’s tortoise protection training system featured in New Yorker documentary


Desert Tortoise

Technology developed by CRG has been prominently featured in a new episode of The New Yorker’s highly acclaimed documentary series, “Eco-Hack!” The documentary, created by Brett Marty and Josh Izenberg, showcases the significant impact the Techno-Tort™ Training System could have in safeguarding the desert tortoise population.

In the July 19, 2023, episode of “Eco-Hack!,” now available on The New Yorker‘s website and YouTube, viewers are introduced to the cutting-edge Techno-Tort™ Training System, developed by CRG in partnership with HardShell Labs. This innovative system features realistic 3D-printed tortoise models with attack detection and species-specific, nonlethal repellent spray, which has undergone rigorous field testing and has shown to be highly effective in deceiving predators and averting future attacks.

Diagram of the Techno-Tort system

By addressing the critical issue of raven predation, the Techno-Tort™ is a game-changer, with the potential to protect countless young tortoises and foster positive behavioral changes in ravens.

The collaboration between CRG and HardShell Labs has yielded remarkable results in combating threats faced by desert tortoises and offers hope for the future of conservation biology.

“Conservation biology is no bed of roses, but I do believe that each of us has a role to play in at least limiting the damage that is done to the natural world around us, and at best repairing that damage,” wrote Tim Shields, founder and CEO of HardShell Labs, Inc., while announcing the video. “Access to tools is essential, as is spreading the word about the work. On both scores, [CRG] has been stellar.”

For more information about Techno-Tort™, see CRG’s tech sheet on the technology.