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AI for Conservation / Feed

Artificial intelligence is increasingly being used in the field to analyse information collected by wildlife conservationists, from camera trap and satellite images to audio recordings. AI can learn how to identify which photos out of thousands contain rare species; or pinpoint an animal call out of hours of field recordings - hugely reducing the manual labour required to collect vital conservation data.

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WILDLABS Community Call: August 12th

WILDLABS Team
Catch up on our August 12th Community Call, where we welcomed the conservation tech community to join us for a discussion on our exciting programme updates, research results, and how you can get involved in our new...

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Wildlife Insights Launches

Wildlife Insights
Wildlife Insights is excited to announce the public release of their new platform! Read on to learn about all the useful features you'll find on Wildlife Insights, and check out WILDLABS' Tech Tutors episode with...

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Opportunity: Lead an ML Workshop

Edge Impulse
Our friends at Edge Impulse are seeking pitches for workshops during their embedded ML event, Imagine! WILDLABS community members with experience with embedded machine learning are welcome to propose workshops to lead...

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How do I get started with Wildlife Insights?

Nicole Flores
Catch up on our Tech Tutors episode with Nicole Flores, who answered the question, "How do I get started with Wildlife Insights?" Watch the full session below and on Youtube, and check out the resources shared by Nicole...

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How do I get started with Megadetector?

Siyu Yang
Catch up on our Tech Tutors episode with Siyu Yang, who answered the question, "How do I get started with Megadetector?" Watch the full session below and on Youtube to learn how this tool can speed up the process of...

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WILDLABS Tech Tutors: Season 3

WILDLABS Team
The WILDLABS Tech Tutors are back for all new season of in-depth walkthroughs, deep discussions on effective, impactful, and inclusive conservation technology project strategies, and - of course- even more answers to...

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PhDs (or MSc) in tech + nature conservation ?

I grew interest on a few areas I'd love to carrying out in a PhD : - mapping sustainability on economics and financial networks (I have a project proposal ready) -...

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I think programming and machine learning are what I wish I did in uni the most. Particularly Python coding. Most biologists use R/Rstudio but Python is more popular in the tech world. And machine learning is taking over everything, conservation included, so it's definitely a high-demand skill. 

 

carlybatist, I can help with python. Is there anything you or people in your network may need help? 
About ML  - can you tell 3 main challenges you'd think as priority in conservation, that ML can be helpful ? Also, anything that also small NGOs may struggle to work on, due to limited budget / IT capacity, and so they may benefit from freelancers ? Large NGOs or international agencies will likely work with established companies. I'ìd like to know if there could be a niche were I can interact directly with NGOs and philantropic institutions, both for supporting with services, as well for listening to feedback to project proposals that could benefit from mutual collaborations (e.g. tech pilot + fundraising = startup and product iterations with lower costs).

Also, can you mention a few activities  / roles that may offer both outdoor + analytics / tech skills ? 
Piorirty is outdoor for me. But since I have a few tech skills and management skills, im trying to trade them!

You should join the Key Conservation app, which connects people and NGO's for specific needs, whether funding, time, or skills (programming included). Organizations can list particular things they need and you can get day-to-day updates on progress. 

In terms of how ML is used in conservation, it's mostly to process the large datasets yielded by conservation tech (camera traps, passive acoustics, biologging, remote sensing/GIS). Annotating detections (which pictures have animals, which species a call belongs to, where deforestation is happening through satellite imagery, etc.). 

And lots of freelancing opportunities come up in Wildlabs - the community threads and the biweekly digest. Twitter is also great for finding those kinds of opportunities, search by relevant keywords or hashtags (e.g., #tech4wildlife). I would also start following conservation tech organizations on LinkedIn and Twitter or subscribing to their newsletters or listservs so you don't miss opportunities as they come up. 

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New Papers: Methods in Ecology and Evolution

British Ecological Society
A new issue of Methods in Ecology and Evolution from the British Ecological Society is now available for download. In this issue, WILDLABS readers will enjoy research involving conservation dogs and non-invasive...

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New Papers: Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation

Remote Sensing in Ecology & Conservation
ZSL's Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation journal  has released new research for early view before inclusion in an issue. See the full list of recent open access research papers on RSEC.

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BirdCLEF 2021 Kaggle Challenge

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Join the BirdCLEF 2021 Kaggle challenge, where you’ll automate the acoustic identification of birds in soundscape recordings. You'll examine an acoustic dataset to build detectors and classifiers to extract the signals...

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Looking for animal emotions data for ML

Hi. I'm hoping this community is able to help as there are probably many pet parents here: We're researching animal identification and emotion recognition with ML...

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There is a TON of research on ML algorithms for all this!

For facial rec-

BearID project - http://bearresearch.org/ (individual facial rec for grizzlies)

AnimalFACS (facial action coding system) - http://www.chimpfacs.com/ (the model started with chimps but they now have versions for orangutans, gibbons, macaques, dogs, cats, and horses)

A lot of the gesture/facial expression literature is focused on primates, particularly apes, so if you do a Google Scholar search on that, you'll loads of papers that have looked into this as well.

For vocals - 

Carlson, N. V., Kelly, E. M., & Couzin, I. (2020). Individual vocal recognition across taxa: a review of the literature and a look into the future. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 375(1802), 20190479.

Turesson, H. K., Ribeiro, S., Pereira, D. R., Papa, J. P., & de Albuquerque, V. H. C. (2016). Machine learning algorithms for automatic classification of marmoset vocalizations. PloS one, 11(9), e0163041.

Wijers, M., Trethowan, P., Du Preez, B., Chamaillé-Jammes, S., Loveridge, A. J., Macdonald, D. W., & Markham, A. (2020). Vocal discrimination of African lions and its potential for collar-free tracking. Bioacoustics, 1-19.

Clink, D. J., Crofoot, M. C., & Marshall, A. J. (2019). Application of a semi-automated vocal fingerprinting approach to monitor Bornean gibbon females in an experimentally fragmented landscape in Sabah, Malaysia. Bioacoustics, 28(3), 193-209.

Spillmann, B., van Schaik, C. P., Setia, T. M., & Sadjadi, S. O. (2017). Who shall I say is calling? Validation of a caller recognition procedure in Bornean flanged male orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii) long calls. Bioacoustics, 26(2), 109-120.

Hantke, S., Cummins, N., & Schuller, B. (2018, April). What is my dog trying to tell me? The automatic recognition of the context and perceived emotion of dog barks. In 2018 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP) (pp. 5134-5138). IEEE.

Totakura, V., Janmanchi, M. K., Rajesh, D., & Hussan, M. T. (2020). Prediction of Animal Vocal Emotions Using Convolutional Neural Network. International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research, 9(2), 6007-6011.

Other - 

Neethirajan, S., Reimert, I., & Kemp, B. (2021). Measuring Farm Animal Emotions—Sensor-Based Approaches. Sensors, 21(2), 553.

Hong, W., Kennedy, A., Burgos-Artizzu, X. P., Zelikowsky, M., Navonne, S. G., Perona, P., & Anderson, D. J. (2015). Automated measurement of mouse social behaviors using depth sensing, video tracking, and machine learning. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(38), E5351-E5360.

 

Thank you VERY much for that, Carly. I really appreciate it. I have only heard of the bear research project and was not aware of the others. This is very helpful.

FYI: Most studies I am aware of use ML with facial recognition software. I am interested to find out if there are recognition software/research for facial-gesture-voice-speech as this will be more accurate to read animals that have less elastic facial expressions than primates or humans.

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Event: tinyML for Good: Conservation & Climate

Edge Impulse
Join the tinyML Summit 2021 tomorrow, March 23rd at 12 PM PT for the panel discussion "tinyML for Good: Conservation & Climate," featuring Talia Speaker from WILDLABS. Register for this session here, and view the...

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Building Experts Into AI

Whale Seeker
In this article from Whale Seeker, you'll read about how human expertise plays a role in building strong AI algorithms and achieving accurate wildlife identification results, as well as the ethics of using AI in these...

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Kaggle Competition: iWildcam 2021 - FGVC8

CVPR
This year's iWildCam competition is now live on kaggle. Go beyond just classifying species or detecting animals - this year the challenge focuses on counting how many individuals of each species are seen in a burst of...

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Funding Opportunity: COVID-19 Science Fund

National Geographic
National Geographic is offering funding up to up to $50,000 for conservationists conducting research on how the pandemic has impacted wildlife and conservation work.  If you are interested in researching aspects of the...

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Resource: WildID

WildID
WildID is excited to share their new camera trap processing and detection tools with WILDLABS! Using machine learning to identify Southern African wildlife species in large quantities of camera trap data, WildID's tool...

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Looking help with camera trapping for Jaguars: Software for species ID and database building

Hi! I'm looking for help with the development of a software for the analysis of thousands of photos from camera traps. We have more than 200 cameras deployed in field and...

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Hi Carmina,

I definitely get not wanting to create another copy of your data, I realized this about Camelot just a little late, and we did have to buy a 4 TB external hard drive. The unique names that Camelot assigns to its copies of the data are also not friendly if you want to move things around.

I mentioned that Wild.ID is being more and more integrated with Wildlife Insights, but it can still be used as a standalone software. It has the same format as Camelot, but I think it doesn't create and additional copy (I might be wrong about this, though). You should take a look at this, it might be what you need.

As for detection, Camelot puts together batches of photos, uploads them to Microsoft's servers, and then gets the resulting database back. The model they use, however, is available and you can run it on your own computer. The AI model that it uses is called Megadetector. You used to have to run it from the command line, but recently Petar Gyurov posted this GUI that makes using Megadetector soooo much easier. You just tell the software where your photos are, and let it run. You can decide whether you trust it enough to sort your photos automatically, or check yourself. In most conditions it performs very well, you may have issues when you can only see parts of an animal behind some vegetation. The check would take less time than going through the raw pictures, since it marks boxes where it found things. You still have to identify the pictures after they're sorted. Megadetector will work on any computer, but it performs much faster if it has an Nvidia graphical card. However, setting this up is a little tricky.

Finally, the output from Megadetector can be integrated into the workflow of Timelapse, another software. I've never used this one so I can't really say how well it works.

Integrating everything can be a little intimidating, so feel free to ask if you need guidance for any of these steps.

Best,

Juan

 

Hi.

Thanks a lot for your explanation. I decided to try megadetector but I'm dumb with computers and of course I don't have a Nvidia graphical card, can you help me?

If it is better for you to talk directly, you can write to [email protected]

I'm so happy I can finally see the light with so many photos :)

Thanks again

Carmina

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Transparency, AI, and Machine Learning Conservation Impacts

Hi all, I'm writing up a short article about the rewards and risks of using big data and AI for transparency in conservation. I'm pointing to sites like...

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Hello,

Just spit-balling some ideas, but you might check out WildMe/WildBook, Widlife Insights, the ICARUS/Movebank project, Arbimon, Norway's new imaging initiative (https://www.planet.com/nicfi/), Hack the Poacher, Vulcan's EarthRanger, SmartParks, the SMART app/platform, the TEAM camera trap network?

Not sure if any of this is what you're looking for but just some things that came to mind! 

Thanks Carly,

These are great ideas. The movebank recommendation reminds me of some work from Save the Elephants that used its transparency to exonerate an elephant that had been accused of eating up some crops. I didn't know about Hack the Poacher - I'll check that out. I'm familiar with the others, but will dig deeper to understand the transparency angle.  I work on Wildlife Insights, so know that one well. TEAM has essentially morphed into Wildlife Insights as I understand things. 

Thanks again!

Best,

Thau

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Windows explorer video thumbnails

Does anyone know a way of making Windows explorer video thumnails show a frame from early in the video, when the animal that triggered the camera is still in view ? It would then...

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This works very well, and can remove the movie strip icons from the edges of the thumbnails, which obscure animals just coming into the frame. https://icaros.en.softonic.com/

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Intro to Embedded Machine Learning on Coursera

Edge Impulse
Edge Impulse is proud to announce their brand-new online course, Introduction to Embedded Machine Learning. Hosted on Coursera, this professional training course will provide beginners with the tools to started with...

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Tech Tutors: How do How do I launch machine learning projects using MLOps?

Hi everyone, This week we are pleased to welcome back EdgeImpulse's Daniel Situnayake. Dan will be building on his first tutorial, where he walked us through training...

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Dan's comments about the need for technologists and conservationists to manage and share (properly annotated) data struck a chord with me, it was right at the end of the presentation.

I fired off a point into the chat "could your old background data be my background data?" or something similar, and it got me thinking...

(Firstly, sorry for clouding this issue with my simultaneous "Ian Tuna" joke)

In the context of using AI as described in EdgeImpulse example, lets say - audio.

Lets say Group A are trying to detect the roar of lions, and Group B are trying to detect the grunt of wild pigs, and lets imagine that is in roughly the same area of Africa.  I mean they could both send out teams to capture the sound of their target animal, and the sound of NOT their target animal, e.g everything else.

Well if "serengetti sounds" was a known audio track, then all you need is the unique sound of the beast in question, am I right?

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