EurekAlert: I spy with my digital eye … a tiger’s breathing, a lion’s pulse. “A pilot study undertaken by researchers from the University of South Australia at Adelaide Zoo, has developed a new way to undertake basic health checks of exotic wildlife using a digital camera, saving them the stress of an anaesthetic. Filming animals using a high-resolution digital camera installed on a tripod could offer another way for veterinarians to take an animal’s pulse or check its breathing rate.”
Times of India: Forest department to use artificial intelligence in lion census. “The state wildlife board has directed the forest department to use methods based on artificial intelligence during the lion census to avoid and eradicate duplication of entries, and enhance identification of individual animals.”
Science: New website aims to gather all those camera trap mugs of wildlife. “Wildlife Insights will allow users to upload camera trap images and then have software powered by artificial intelligence analyze them. Users will be able to ask the system to search for their animal of interest, and all of the images will be publicly available. That could be a huge help to researchers, Kinnaird says, saving time and putting a global data set within easy reach.” I spent a few minutes playing with this, and for the most part it’s pretty good, but I really doubt there’s a camera in North Carolina capturing pictures of white-nosed coati. Call me cynical.
ABC News (Australia): Acoustic observatory will record ‘galaxy of sounds’ to help scientists monitor Australian wildlife. “Hundreds of solar-powered audio recorders are being installed across remote parts of Australia to create a unique ‘soundscape’ as the environment changes. The National Acoustic Observatory project, funded by the Australian Research Council, was a collaboration of academics from five universities.”
EurekAlert: Putting a conservation finger on the internet’s pulse. “Scientists from the University of Helsinki have figured out how to mine people’s online reactions to endangered animals and plants, so that they can reduce the chance of pushing species toward extinction.”
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.”
Newswise: Museums Put Ancient DNA to Work for Wildlife. “Scientists who are trying to save species at the brink of extinction are finding help in an unexpected place. Heather Farrington, curator of zoology for the Cincinnati Museum Center, is using DNA from specimens collected more than 100 years ago to help understand the evolution and stresses faced by today’s animals.”