New facial recognition software and app invented at Michigan State University can help protect endangered primates – more than 60 percent of which face extinction.
Golden monkeys have lost so much habitat, they are only found in a handful of national parks in Africa; farming and illegal hardwood trade in Madagascar is gobbling up the island’s forests and displacing native lemurs; in a recent six-year span, more than 22,200 great apes have been lost due to illegal trade, and yet there have been only 27 arrests.
“Intervention is necessary to halt and reverse these population declines,” said Anil Jain, MSU Distinguished Professor of computer science and engineering and senior author on the study. “Automated facial recognition is one way we can help combat these loses.”
Jain and his doctoral student Debayan Deb harnessed the prowess of his world-renowned biometrics lab – which has helped solve high-profile crimes – to create PrimNet. The program uses convolutional neural networks, artificial-intelligence inspired technology that allows everything from self-driving cars to robots to observe and understand our world.
The results, featured on Cornell University’s arXiv, show that in head-to-head comparisons, PrimNet outperformed state-of-the-art face recognition systems, including SphereFace, FaceNet and LemurFaceID (a predecessor of PrimNet that Jain’s lab also invented).
Along with improved accuracy, PrimNet represents a more cost-effective as well as a far less invasive approach to primate tracking. Traditional tracking devices can be expensive, ranging between $400 and $4,000. Capturing and tagging animals can be time-consuming and can adversely affect the animals. The process can disrupt social behavior, and it can cause stress, injury and sometimes even death.
To complement PrimNet, the team of scientists created an Android app, PrimID. Researchers in the field can now snap a photo of a golden monkey, drop it into the app and identify the primate in question with a high degree of confidence.
In many cases, PrimID will produce a match that’s greater than 90 percent accurate. (With lemurs, PrimID scored an impressive 93.75 percent accuracy.) If it’s not an “exact” match, the app will offer up to five potential candidates from the dataset, corresponding to the top five confidence ratings.
“We compared PrimID to our own benchmark primate recognition system and two, open-source human face recognition systems, and the performance of PrimNet was superior in verification one-to-one comparison and identification, or one-to-many comparisons, scenarios. Moving forward, we plan to enlarge our primate datasets, develop a primate face detector and share our efforts through open-source websites.”
This invention, along with sharing it open sourced, provides another tool to offset wildlife trafficking. For example, if a captured great ape can be photographed and identified, knowing its origin can offer insights to its capture and help improve efforts to deter future crimes.
The Latest on: Endangered primates
via Google News
The Latest on: Endangered primates
- Primates: Uganda’s tourism gemon September 7, 2019 at 3:03 am
“It is made up of local community members who are given training and support from UWA and other NGOs like ours, and IGCP and the same approach can be used in other protected areas where you have ...
- Rwanda: Inside the Country's 15-Year Journey of Gorilla Conservationon September 5, 2019 at 10:46 pm
The official status of mountain gorillas has just been re-classified, from "critically endangered" - the highest ... This includes the golden monkeys and mountain hiking, which is increasingly ...
- Tonkin snub-nosed monkey resurgence offers renewed hope for rare Vietnamese primateon September 5, 2019 at 6:58 am
The most crucial population of a critically endangered monkey—found only in ... One of the world's rarest primates, the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey is confined to a handful of isolated forest ...
- Coffee helps protect Uganda's endangered mountain gorillason September 4, 2019 at 2:34 am
Despite the gorilla logo that distinguishes Allen's coffee on supermarket shelves, neighborly relations with the endangered primates aren't always smooth. Occasionally, they invade her farm and ...
- Garden Wise: Why endangered species matter, part oneon September 4, 2019 at 12:30 am
Of course, the act protected endangered plants and other life forms ... From a small tribe of higher primates, fighting for survival in a hostile environment, our species has grown to a population ...
- These Wild Animals Are Disappearing at an Alarming Rate — Here’s What You Can Do About Iton September 3, 2019 at 5:35 pm
the roloway monkey status changed from endangered a year ago to critically endangered in 2019. The monkeys are found in the country’s undisturbed forests and cannot adapt well to habitat changes.
- Conservation plan could help endangered primates in Africaon September 3, 2019 at 6:23 am
A project co-led by the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), Bristol Zoo and West African Primate Conservation Action is set to protect nine species of primate found across Africa.
- Doha Zoo welcomes rare and endangered guestson September 2, 2019 at 1:19 pm
Doha Zoo welcomed two rare and endangered guests to its fold recently ... According to Wikipedia, the night monkeys, also known as the owl monkeys or douroucoulis, are the members of the genus ...
- Safari of shame; how tourists shoot monkeys for funon September 2, 2019 at 2:35 am
Nearly 500 trophies from dead primates have been brought into Britain in recent years, including bodies, skins and skulls, according to data from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered ...
via Bing News