From bushmen to biometrics in Namibia

We recently visited Namibia with Susan and Ray Ellis, founders of Footpath pictures.  They produced a beautiful short film that relates how footprints produce biometrics to help us protect endangered species.  We describe the potential of deep learning to help process these data. With the help of local San trackers…

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Giant panda publication in Biological Conservation

With co-authors from Duke Kunshan University and the Chinese Center for Research and Conservation of the Giant Panda, we report on the use of footprints to monitor Giant panda in China. Li, Binbin V., Sky Alibhai, Zoe Jewell, Desheng Li, and Hemin Zhang. 2018/2. “Using Footprints to Identify and Sex Giant…

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Cheetah + sand = footprints? Not quite so fast…

ConservationFIT is partnering with organisations that host ‘ambassador’ animals whose footprints can help us protect their free-ranging cousins.  Oregon’s Wildlife Safari is helping us by collecting prints from their cheetahs.  Maddy Tweedt, a carnivore keeper there, recounts her team’s trials and tribulations in finding the ‘right kind of sand’ to…

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Keeping cheetah FIT!

Larissa Slaney, our PhD student at Heriott Watt University, Edinburgh, interviewed for The National Scot on her project to keep cheetah FIT http://www.thenational.scot/news/15588082.Scottish_scientists_in_crucial_research_project_to_save_the_cheetah/    

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Using FIT to look at relatedness in Cheetah

Our PhD student Larissa Slaney, based at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh UK, is using FIT to investigate relatedness between cheetah.  If the technique can be shown to work it will be many times less expensive than DNA-based methods. The BBC interviews Larissa here:   http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05jmddq  

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Buckley report on ConservationFIT

ConservationFIT helping track, preserve endangered species Bob Buckley of The Buckley Report on ConservationFIT “Anywhere an animal leaves a footprint, we can start collecting that data on who’s who and where they are. Capturing the data is so simple: All you need is a smart phone”. Sky Alibhai, co-founder of WildTrack.

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Elephants get FIT

 We’re often asked, ‘Which is the most challenging species to ID from footprints?’. Surprisingly it’s not the tiny dormouse, who, although she has footpads less than 1mm in diameter, has plenty of complexity in the footprint. It’s the elephant, whose huge footprints can be more than 30cm long.  Although their…

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