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
- Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys come in from the cold to a warm welcomeon May 25, 2022 at 5:58 pm
Located in Nujiang Lisu autonomous prefecture in Yunnan province, the village sits halfway up the steep mountain, 2,000 meters above sea level. In the following two days, the three trudged through ...
- Oregon Zoo welcomes 5 new chimpanzeeson May 25, 2022 at 5:06 pm
Five new chimpanzees are calling the Oregon Zoo home after moving into the recently opened Primate Forest habitat.
- Mother and Daughter Orangutans Released into the Wild to 'Revert Impending Extinction Crisis'on May 25, 2022 at 12:04 pm
After completing rehabilitation at the BORA Rescue & Rehabilitation Centre in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, Bornean orangutans Ucockwati, 18, and Mungil, 8, were deemed eligible for release ...
- 7 Ways to See Gorillas in Uganda and Rwandaon May 24, 2022 at 5:08 pm
Use these tips and list of recommended tour operators to plan a trip to see the famed silverback gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda.
- Crisis in Cambodia – New threat to the glorious biodiversity of the Cardamom Mountainson May 24, 2022 at 5:00 am
While the world was waking up to a new millennium, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) was busy breaking new ground, leading a series of expeditions into Cambodia’s vast, remote and virtually unexplored ...
- Endangered white-headed langur population increases to 1,300on May 22, 2022 at 7:32 pm
The population of China's endangered white-headed langur has increased to around 1,300, according to the white-headed langur national reserve in South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. The ...
- World's 'most endangered tribe' are expert hunters and eat monkeys but may be wiped outon May 22, 2022 at 8:33 am
The Awa, a tribe with only around 80 members left, is thought to be the most at risk of being made extinct due to threats posed by logging companies plundering through Brazil’s Amazon rainforest ...
- Urgent action needed on primate protectionon May 21, 2022 at 7:23 pm
Since the government’s Decision 628 – an action plan for the protection of the primate species in Việt Nam– was issued in 2017, a total of 684 endangered douc langurs, inc ...
- Orangutans, lions feature in Columbia's Riverbanks Zoo ambitious $80M growth planon May 21, 2022 at 12:00 pm
New zoo exhibits would be built on the Lexington County side of Riverbanks Zoo if an $80 million bond is approved.
via Bing News