Associated Press: Body parts from threatened wildlife widely sold on Facebook

Associated Press: Body parts from threatened wildlife widely sold on Facebook. “Facebook is displaying advertisements for well-known American corporations on group pages operated by overseas wildlife traffickers illegally selling the body parts of threatened animals, including elephant ivory, rhino horn and tiger teeth. In a secret complaint filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, wildlife preservation advocates allege that Facebook’s failure to stop illicit traders using its service for illegal activity violates the social network’s responsibilities as a publicly traded company.”

IEEE Spectrum: Russian Astronauts Prepare to Bring the ‘Internet of Animals’ Online

IEEE Spectrum: Russian Astronauts Prepare to Bring the ‘Internet of Animals’ Online. “An ambitious project to keep an eye on thousands of animals and birds from space in a sort of ‘Internet of Animals’ is getting ready to kick off. In February, German researchers sent three large 200-kilogram antennas to the International Space Station (ISS) on a Soyuz rocket. The antennas joined a computer that had been sent up in October. These pieces will be the ears and brain of ICARUS, short for International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space, an initiative funded by the Russian and German space agencies to track the movement of the smallest animals—birds, turtles, fish, and even insects—and tap into swarm intelligence.”

Phys .org: Using artificial intelligence to investigate illegal wildlife trade on social media

Phys. org: Using artificial intelligence to investigate illegal wildlife trade on social media. “Illegal wildlife trade is one of the biggest threats to biodiversity conservation and is currently expanding to social media. This is a worrisome trend, given the ease of access and popularity of social media. Efficient monitoring of illegal wildlife trade on social media is therefore crucial for conserving biodiversity. In a new article published in the journal Conservation Biology, scientists from the University of Helsinki, Digital Geography Lab, argue that methods from artificial intelligence can be used to help monitor the illegal wildlife trade on social media.”

NPR: 21 Tech Companies Band Together Against Wildlife Trafficking

NPR: 21 Tech Companies Band Together Against Wildlife Trafficking. “The Global Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online, organized by Google and the World Wildlife Fund, was announced Wednesday morning. It includes companies such as Alibaba, Baidu, eBay, Facebook, Instagram and Microsoft, and they’re pledging to ‘work together to collectively reduce wildlife trafficking across platforms by 80% by 2020.'”

Phys .org: AI computer vision breakthrough IDs poachers in less than half a second

Phys .org: AI computer vision breakthrough IDs poachers in less than half a second. “Thousands of animals including elephants, tigers, rhinos, and gorillas are poached each year. Researchers at the USC Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society have long been applying AI to protect wildlife. Initially, computer scientists were using AI and game theory to anticipate the poachers’ haunts, and now they have applied artificial intelligence and deep learning to spot poachers in near real-time.”

UC Santa Barbara: Where’s the Bear?

UC Santa Barbara: Where’s the Bear?. “Consider Sedgwick Ranch Reserve, part of UC Santa Barbara’s Natural Reserve System. A sprawling and pristine 6,000 acres and nine square miles, the protected land used for research and teaching is a veritable nirvana for animals of all kinds. Mountain lions and black bears and deer, oh my. And they are all represented many times over in the reserve’s massive image archive — millions of pictures of thousands of animals, captured by multiple camera traps and dating back more than a decade. But who has time to sort them all? Cue the computer scientists.”

Facebook top choice for Philippines wildlife traders: monitor (The Independent)

The Independent: Facebook top choice for Philippines wildlife traders: monitor. “Facebook has emerged as the top site for wildlife trafficking in the Philippines, a watchdog said Friday, with thousands of endangered crocodiles, snakes and turtles illegally traded in just three months. Monitoring network TRAFFIC said Facebook had not done enough to shut down the trade, which saw more than 5,000 reptiles from 115 species put up for sale on its discussion groups from June to August 2016 alone.”