Australian Geographic: Tortoiseshell database a ‘game-changer’ for critically endangered marine turtles

Australian Geographic: Tortoiseshell database a ‘game-changer’ for critically endangered marine turtles. “Seizing a tortoiseshell product is one thing, but knowing the original poaching location of the turtle it came from is another. The problem facing law enforcement and conservation agencies is that to catch these criminals in the act, they need to know where to look and in what regions to focus scarce resources. This is where ShellBank can help. Put simply, it is a global ‘bank’ of seized or donated tortoiseshell products.”

KRDO: CPW launches conservation dashboard to show progress on protecting sensitive species

KRDO: CPW launches conservation dashboard to show progress on protecting sensitive species. “Prior to the launch of the Species Conservation Dashboard, the only way for the public to view information about CPW’s State Wildlife Action Plan was through a PDF. The new dashboard now allows people to explore the progress being made on the more than 350 species and 2,500 conservation actions the agency is taking.”

MercoPress: A first international database on Leopard seals’ births and pups, shows they roam well beyond Antarctica

MercoPress: A first international database on Leopard seals’ births and pups, shows they roam well beyond Antarctica. “Leopard seals remain mostly a mystery given the limited information and research on the species and its range of action. However, an international study shared by several Antarctic institutes and universities identifies leopard seal births and pups in the first database of its kind and reveals evidence that these sightings are not limited to the Antarctic.”

ScienceDaily: New database to support conservation

ScienceDaily: New database to support conservation. “The database presents a valuable tool for planning conservation actions at any spatial scale and preventing species extinctions globally. This represents a large volume of literature that captures a wide variety of threats such as the collection of medicinal plants, hunting, pollution, and alien invasive species, that are particularly difficult to account for in global datasets.”

WWF: WWF kickstarts ShellBank – a global genetic database to trace and protect sea turtles from poaching and the illegal trade

WWF: WWF kickstarts ShellBank – a global genetic database to trace and protect sea turtles from poaching and the illegal trade. “Building off the success of a ground-breaking pilot in Australia called ‘Surrender Your Shell’, where over 300 tortoiseshell products were donated to help trace the illegal trade, WWF’s ShellBank is gearing up for uptake across Asia Pacific and globally.”

France24: Scientists produce chimp genetic map to combat trafficking

France24: Scientists produce chimp genetic map to combat trafficking. “Scientists have produced the first genetic map of chimpanzees in the wild, offering a detailed reconstruction of the endangered species’ past migrations, and a new tool to combat illegal trafficking. The genomic catalogue, which includes 828 individuals from across their vast African range, can now be used to link kidnapped chimpanzees — or their meat and body parts — to their place of origin within 100 kilometers.”

Environmental Investigation Agency UK: Groundbreaking stripe-pattern database to boost enforcement in fight against illegal tiger trade

Environmental Investigation Agency UK: Groundbreaking stripe-pattern database to boost enforcement in fight against illegal tiger trade. “Our Tiger Campaign’s project aims to develop a tiger stripe detection AI tool to help identify individual tiger stripe pattern profiles. Tiger stripe patterns are as unique as human fingerprints and we plan to create a database comprising thousands of images of individual tiger stripe patterns, sourced by EIA staff and other organisations, which will allow the identification of tigers and skins seized in illegal trade.”

Smithsonian Magazine: Researchers Develop a ‘Bear-Dar’ That Warns Humans of Approaching Polar Bears

Smithsonian Magazine: Researchers Develop a ‘Bear-Dar’ That Warns Humans of Approaching Polar Bears. “Whenever Alyssa Bohart heard a voice from her computer repeatedly chiming—status alert, status alert—the search was on. The warnings came from a radar device installed in Churchill, Manitoba—a modified military system programed with artificial intelligence (A.I.) and trained to detect polar bears. Bohart’s job was to remotely operate a camera and visually confirm that the AI was making the right call.”

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.”

The Conversation: Altruism in birds? Magpies have outwitted scientists by helping each other remove tracking devices

The Conversation: Altruism in birds? Magpies have outwitted scientists by helping each other remove tracking devices. “When we attached tiny, backpack-like tracking devices to five Australian magpies for a pilot study, we didn’t expect to discover an entirely new social behaviour rarely seen in birds. Our goal was to learn more about the movement and social dynamics of these highly intelligent birds, and to test these new, durable and reusable devices. Instead, the birds outsmarted us.”

De-extinction puzzle: how decoding numbat DNA could help resurrect the Tasmanian tiger (The Guardian)

The Guardian: De-extinction puzzle: how decoding numbat DNA could help resurrect the Tasmanian tiger. “Researchers at DNA Zoo Australia have mapped the genome of the numbat for the first time. The milestone is notable in its own right, motivated by a desire to improve conservation efforts for the endangered termite-eating marsupial, which is now found only in small pockets of Western Australia. But in announcing the development last week, scientists also had a more extraordinary suggestion: that the numbat’s DNA could be used as a blueprint to bring its extinct cousin, the thylacine, back from the dead.”