Technology has taken an exciting leap that could help us aid endangered species. A team of researchers have developed and created a tool with facial recognition that can identify individual lemurs in the wild with impressively high levels of accuracy. The plan for this technology is to use it as a base that will radically improve the way in which we track endangered species which in theory will allow us to help increase their numbers in the wild.
The tool titled: LemurFaceID has seen biologists and computer scientists work together to create the first facial recognition system of its kind. It has the ability to identify over 100 species with an average of 98.7% accuracy. Researches and wildlife experts will be able to use LemurFaceID as an easy and less invasive way to get helpful and necessary information on the primate. The system has been adapted from facial recognition software used for humans and was fed images of 462 lemurs in its trial stages.
This breakthrough has excited zoologists and environmental enthusiasts around the globe and an article has been released on the BMC Zoology journal giving full details. LemurFaceID is the start in a long chain of environmental and animal welfare technological advancement programmes and although it will have to be tested thoroughly in the wild to better evaluate its potential as a research tool, the creators are confident.
It is hoped in the future this tool can be adapted to other species of Lemur and from there other primates such as monkeys and gibbons, giving animals more of a fighting chance when their numbers drop as we become more aware as to why an animal may be at risk. It is believed that more than 60% of known primate species are at risk of extinction and these figures have staggered environmentalists. The method could also be applied to other species such as Red Pandas and Bears and although it is in the early stages, the LemurFaceID is a tool that has got everyone excited.