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: www.conservationresearch.co.uk, 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!
Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.
Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
27.07.2017 | Life Sciences
27.07.2017 | Life Sciences
27.07.2017 | Health and Medicine