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This paper presents an energy-efficient contention based cooperative routing scheme for event detection in wireless sensor networks. In order to improve detection efficiency and diminish energy consumption, ECCRD selects the appropriate relay node by integrated consideration of detection efficiency, access probability and energy consumption. In the scheme, we propose a well-defined cooperative access mechanism which captures the detection capability and is used as the criterion for relay node selection during each contention round. Simulation results show that ECCRD achieves better detection efficiency and less energy consumption.