Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Tracking tigers in 3-D

New software helps count tigers

New software developed with help from the Wildlife Conservation Society will allow tiger researchers to rapidly identify individual animals by creating a three-dimensional model using photos taken by remote cameras. The software, described in an issue of the journal Biology Letters, may also help identify the origin of tigers from confiscated skins.

The new software, developed by Conservation Research Ltd., creates a 3D model from scanned photos using algorithms similar to fingerprint-matching software used by criminologists.

The study's authors include Lex Hiby of Conservation Research Ltd., Phil Lovell of the Gatty Marine Laboratory's Sea Mammal Research Unit, and Narendra Patil, N. Samba Kumar, Arjun N. Gopalaswamy and K. Ullas Karanth all of the Wildlife Conservation Society's India Program.

Researchers currently calculate tiger populations by painstakingly reviewing hundreds of photos of animals caught by camera "traps" and then matching their individual stripe patterns, which are unique to each animal. Using a formula developed by renowned tiger expert Ullas Karanth of WCS, researchers accurately estimate local populations by how many times individual tigers are "recaptured" by the camera trap technique.

It is expected that the new software will allow researchers to rapidly identify animals, which in turn could speed up tiger conservation efforts.

"This new software will make it much easier for conservationists to identify individual tigers and estimate populations," said Ullas Karanth, Senior Conservation Scientist at the Wildlife Conservation Society and one of the study's co-authors. "The fundamentals of tiger conservation are knowing how many tigers live in a study area before you can start to measure success."

The study's authors found that the software, which can be downloaded for free at:, was up to 95 percent accurate in matching tigers from scanned photos. Researches were also able to use the software to identify the origin of confiscated tiger skins based on solely on photos. Development of the software was funded through a Panthera project in collaboration with WCS.

Facilities for obtaining the images used for the construction of the three-dimensional surface model were provided by the Thrigby Hall Zoo, Norfolk, England. Centre for Wildlife Studies, Bangalore and the Wildlife Conservation Society, India Program provided images, local resources and staff time for this study, which was supported in part by a grant from the Liz Claiborne / Art Ortenberg Foundation.

Stephen Sautner | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

nachricht Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>