The Guardian: Researchers use whale photo archive to help protect important WA calving site

The Guardian: Researchers use whale photo archive to help protect important WA calving site. “Researchers are combing through thousands of whale photos to help protect a calving site off Western Australia’s coast that was severely impacted by the whaling industry. The researchers believe that Geographe Bay off south-west WA is an important calving ground in need of environmental protection, and are using a 30-year archive of images to determine how many southern right whales have visited the area over time.”

The Guardian: Five ways AI is saving wildlife – from counting chimps to locating whales

The Guardian: Five ways AI is saving wildlife – from counting chimps to locating whales. “AI is helping to protect species as diverse as humpback whales, koalas and snow leopards, supporting the work of scientists, researchers and rangers in vital tasks, from anti-poaching patrols to monitoring species. With machine learning (ML) computer systems that use algorithms and models to learn, understand and adapt, AI is often able to do the job of hundreds of people, getting faster, cheaper and more effective results. Here are five AI projects contributing to our understanding of biodiversity and species.”

Geographic: Social media is providing crucial data to study and monitor marine species

Geographic: Social media is providing crucial data to study and monitor marine species . “Visitors to the stretch of coastline from Donegal to Antrim, Northern Ireland, are often treated to the sight of bottlenose dolphins leaping from the sea surface. Pictures of their acrobatics accrue thousands of likes on social media, but amateur photographers are often unaware that their images are generating powerful data.”

ABC News (Australia): Race to save frogs, quokkas, parrots and koalas from extinction helped by new threat database

ABC News (Australia): Race to save frogs, quokkas, parrots and koalas from extinction helped by new threat database . “Researchers across Australia have spent 18 months forming the database of threats forcing species to the brink of extinction. The list of more than 1,700 species was done to help wildlife warriors and organisations stop foreshadowed declines in flora and fauna populations, and even possible extinctions.”

CityNews 1130: Canadians encouraged to protect, connect with nature through online tool

CityNews 1130: Canadians encouraged to protect, connect with nature through online tool. “… a tool has been launched by the Nature Conservancy of Canada to show you where plants and animals are most at risk. Those interested can access a website, input their postal code, and see which parts in their area require more protection. The tool is part of a study which is considered the first comprehensive look at where nature in southern Canada needs to be protected as the world faces challenges around habitat loss and climate change.”

Florida Museum: Rare lichen unique to Florida discovered in museum collections, may be extinct

Florida Museum: Rare lichen unique to Florida discovered in museum collections, may be extinct. “Scientists have found a new species of fleshy verdigris lichen, thanks to DNA analysis of museum specimens. Misidentified by its original collectors, the lichen is only known from 32 specimens collected in North and Central Florida scrubland between 1885 and 1985. Now the hunt is on to find it in the wild – if it still exists.”

New Zealand Herald: DoC angry as Napier penguins illegally disturbed for ‘social media amusement’

New Zealand Herald: DoC angry as Napier penguins illegally disturbed for ‘social media amusement’. “The Department of Conservation (DoC) have been left ‘disturbed’ after reports of the public handling kororā/little blue penguins in Napier and posting images on social media. Disturbances to the animals, especially during nesting, can result in chicks being abandoned or dying.”

PR Newswire: USAID, Born Free USA, and Freeland Launch WildScan App to Counter Wildlife Trafficking in West Africa (PRESS RELEASE)

PR Newswire: USAID, Born Free USA, and Freeland Launch WildScan App to Counter Wildlife Trafficking in West Africa (PRESS RELEASE). “Designed as a tool for customs and border patrol officers, WildScan aids in the identification of wildlife species and wildlife parts and products being trafficked across borders. The app comes with a comprehensive photo library and database of vital information on more than 500 protected species, providing users with tips on how to identify the animals they encounter. WildScan also details local animal protection laws and includes a reporting option that allows the user to document a suspected wildlife crime with the push of one button. This reporting transmits information to relevant enforcement agencies and contributes to broader information sharing on wildlife crime in the region.”

Phys .org: Facebook and Instagram gave away the presence of the ‘Japan pig’ seahorse in Taiwan

Phys .org: Facebook and Instagram gave away the presence of the ‘Japan pig’ seahorse in Taiwan. “While monitoring of cryptic and elusive tiny creatures, such as pygmy seahorses that measure only 13 to 27 mm, might be too costly and time-consuming for research teams and institutions, the underwater activity might be proving of particular interest to photography and diving enthusiasts. At least, this is what comes across from the recent reports of five miniature species identified from Taiwanese waters by local citizen scientists and passed along via Facebook and Instagram.”

Phys .org: New online, interactive atlas gives comprehensive view of Texas quail decline

Phys .org: New online, interactive atlas gives comprehensive view of Texas quail decline. “The Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, or NRI, has recently published the Texas Quail Atlas, a free online resource and the newest ‘story map’ to be developed by the institute. The online atlas was developed as a collaborative effort of the Reversing the Decline of Quail in Texas Initiative and the NRI Geospatial Analysis Team.”

Mongabay: Holding social media companies accountable for facilitating illegal wildlife trade (commentary)

Mongabay: Holding social media companies accountable for facilitating illegal wildlife trade (commentary). “Facebook, and other social media firms, mainly rely on algorithms and artificial intelligence to moderate harmful content. But investigations by the Alliance to Counter Crime Online (ACCO) show time and again how these algorithms actually connect traffickers faster than moderators can remove them. They suggest friends and recommend groups, putting illicit actors in touch with one another, continually expanding networks of users engaging in similar illegal activities.”