Care2: Protecting Migratory Land Animals is More Complicated Than We Thought

Care2: Protecting Migratory Land Animals is More Complicated Than We Thought. “Some species inherently know when and where to migrate, but a new study has offered a more complicated perspective for land animals by providing the first solid evidence that they need to learn about seasonal migrations from each other…. This study is part of a growing body of migration discoveries coming out of Wyoming, a lot of which will be put together in ‘Wild Migrations: Atlas of Wyoming’s Ungulates,’ due out this October, which details all of the state’s ungulate migrations, in addition to an online database that makes migration data widely available to interested stakeholders.”

BBC: Facebook animal trade exposed in Thailand

BBC: Facebook animal trade exposed in Thailand. “More than 1,500 listings of live animals for sale have been found on Facebook in Thailand by a wildlife trafficking watchdog. Traffic, which monitors such activity, said many of the species, despite having international protection, were not native to the country, and so trading them was unregulated.”

The Local Denmark: Denmark’s plants and wildlife to get own website

The Local Denmark: Denmark’s plants and wildlife to get own website. “A new website entitled Danmarks Artsportal, to be launched in 2020, will provide nature enthusiasts with a guide to animals and plants in the Scandinavian country. The web portal, which will be produced by the Natural History Museum of Denmark and the Environmental Protection Agency, will collate public and private data on species of wildlife prevalent in Denmark, the Ministry for the Environment and Food announced in a press statement.”

National Parks Conservation Association: Eliminating Species Act: Senate Legislation Threatens Wildlife and Wild Lands

National Parks Conservation Association: Eliminating Species Act: Senate Legislation Threatens Wildlife and Wild Lands. “Senator John Barrasso hosted a hearing today in the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) on his draft Endangered Species Act Amendments of 2018 legislation. The draft bill proposes to radically weaken the Endangered Species Act, which has been the nation’s most effective law protecting wildlife in danger of extinction. The legislation undermines reliance on best available science and reduces public involvement in the process of adding ESA protections to species. The more than 500 plant and animal species with habitat in our national parks are chronicled in a new online database, launched this week by National Parks Conservation Association.”

EurekAlert: Ecology and AI

EurekAlert: Ecology and AI . “It’s poised to transform fields from earthquake prediction to cancer detection to self-driving cars, and now scientists are unleashing the power of deep learning on a new field – ecology. A team of researchers from Harvard, Auburn University, the University of Wyoming, the University of Oxford and the University of Minnesota demonstrated that the artificial intelligence technique can be used to identify animal images captured by motion-sensing cameras.”

Wildbook: facial recognition for critters in the wild (Boing Boing)

Boing Boing: Wildbook: facial recognition for critters in the wild. “The Wildbook project conducts wild animal population censuses by combining photos of animals taken by tourists, scientists, and volunteers and then using their distinctive features (zebra stripes, whale fluke shapes, leopard spots, etc) to identify individuals and produces unprecedented data that uses creepy facial recognition tools for non-creepy purposes.”

University of Southern California: Scientist’s new database can help protect wildlife from harmful hues of LED lights

University of Southern California: Scientist’s new database can help protect wildlife from harmful hues of LED lights. “A new generation of outdoor lights spreading across landscapes require greater scrutiny to reduce harm to wildlife, says a USC-led research group that developed a new tool to help fix the problem. The team of biologists surveyed select species around the world to determine how the hues of modern light-emitting diode (LED) lamps affect wildlife. They found that blues and whites are worst, while yellow, amber and green are more benign. Some creatures, including sea turtles and insects, are especially vulnerable. The findings, which include the first publicly available database to help developers, designers and policymakers choose wildlife-friendly lighting colors, appear today in the Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological and Integrative Physiology.”

Engadget: Inside the animal internet

Engadget: Inside the animal internet. “Halfway across the world, a goat is shivering. You know this because you’ve hooked her up to an accelerometer, which can measure tiny changes in her body movements. You also know the goat’s heart rate, body temperature, how much energy she’s using, when she’s looking up or down and where exactly in her habitat she is at all times through high tech monitors. You have information about her immediate environment, things like temperature, humidity and altitude. With cameras, you can see the world from her vantage point. With acoustic sensors, you can hear her drink, feed and call to her goat kin.”

Outside: The Social-Media Sleuths Hunting Down Moose Harassers

Outside: The Social-Media Sleuths Hunting Down Moose Harassers. “On May 4, a man chased a moose onto the median of a busy stretch of highway in Frisco, Colorado. The man stood casually next to the moose with his hands in his pockets, like he was standing with a friend. The moose, awkwardly marooned on a narrow patch of dirt, was visibly agitated, its ears drawn back and hackles raised. A startled motorist slowed so his passenger could take a photo of the scene. He posted it on social media.”

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.”