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Wildbook: Crowdsourcing, computer vision, and data science for conservation

Author(s): Berger-Wolf, Tanya Y.; Rubenstein, Daniel I.; Stewart, Charles V.; Holmberg, Jason A.; Parham, Jason; et al

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Abstract: Photographs, taken by field scientists, tourists, automated cameras, and incidental photographers, are the most abundant source of data on wildlife today. Wildbook is an autonomous computational system that starts from massive collections of images and, by detecting various species of animals and identifying individuals, combined with sophisticated data management, turns them into high resolution information database, enabling scientific inquiry, conservation, and citizen science. We have built Wildbooks for whales (, sharks (, two species of zebras (Grevy's and plains), and several others. In January 2016, Wildbook enabled the first ever full species (the endangered Grevy's zebra) census using photographs taken by ordinary citizens in Kenya. The resulting numbers are now the official species census used by IUCN Red List: In 2016, Wildbook partnered up with WWF to build Wildbook for Sea Turtles, Internet of Turtles (IoT), as well as systems for seals and lynx. Most recently, we have demonstrated that we can now use publicly available social media images to count and track wild animals. In this paper we present and discuss both the impact and challenges that the use of crowdsourced images can have on wildlife conservation.
Electronic Publication Date: 24-Sep-2017
Citation: Berger-Wolf, Tanya Y, Rubenstein, Daniel I, Stewart, Charles V, Holmberg, Jason A, Parham, Jason, Menon, Sreejith, Crall, Jonathan, Oast, Jon Van, Kiciman, Emre, Joppa, Lucas. Wildbook: Crowdsourcing, computer vision, and data science for conservation.
Pages: 1 - 8
Type of Material: Conference Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Bloomberg Data for Good Exchange Conference
Version: Final published version. This is an open access article.

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