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Pick up a penguin: Computer vision monitors penguins

Beverley De Valmency

A computer vision system has been developed to enable biologists to identify and monitor large numbers of endangered animals, from butterflies to whales.

Scientists at the University of Bristol, working on Robben Island in South Africa, have devised a surveillance system to capture detailed and reliable data on populations of endangered species.

The project, called the "Penguin Recognition Project" - supported by Earthwatch, the international environmental charity, and the Leverhulme Trust - is being used to monitor the African penguin. The system captures a real-time image of the pattern of spots on the penguin's chests, which uniquely identifies each animal.

The Penguin Recognition Project is being shown at this year's Royal Society Summer Science exhibition (30 June to 3 July).





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