the Giraffes It is one of the most famous animals on the African continent, but its population continues to decline. According to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, from 1980 until today the giraffe population was went from 155,000 animals to 117,00030%. There are six subspecies, all of which are considered endangered.
Many of them are located in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. Twenty percent of Zimbabwean giraffes can be found there, but their population has been in free fall for 25 years, to the point where Where there used to be 14,500, there are now 1,600. Their monitoring and control is very important to prevent their extinction. It is also a difficult task, and this is precisely why French researchers rely on it deep learning.
Deep learning to identify giraffes
According to the researchers of this article published in the British Ecological Society, the deep learning system was formed too Differentiate giraffes individually, that is, to distinguish certain giraffes from others. This tool aims to help conserve the species and prevent it from becoming extinct, as the causes of this population decline are still under investigation.
It could be done with the eye, of course, but it would not be an easy thing. Each giraffe has a unique coat pattern (their brown spots on a light brown background) so it is not easy to identify with the naked eye. However, it could be a well-trained deep learning and image recognition model.
To this end, Vincent Miele’s research team, lead author of the study, photographed 400 giraffes in Hwange between 2014 and 2018. Together they collected 4,000 photos that they used to create a training database. Through a convolutional neural network (which analyzes images), a deep learning system was developed that researchers say it can identify giraffes with a 90% accuracy.
The model was trained with five photos per giraffealthough these images were later modified in the lab to increase variability and make the system more efficient. The system is able to obtain data related to the Composition of groups of giraffes, their history and movements. The researchers also point out that it can also detect previously undiscovered animals.
It is based on free software, and researchers say it could be modified to apply to other animals such as tigers, leopards, zebras, kudu, and humpback whales.
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