News Round-Up

Spotting elephants from space: a satellite revolution

Source: ox.ac.uk

Using the highest resolution satellite imagery currently available – Worldview 3 – from Maxar Technologies and deep learning, (TensorFlow API, Google Brain) researchers at the University of Oxford Wildlife Conservation Research Unit and Machine Learning Research Group have detected elephants from space with comparable accuracy to human detection capabilities.

Finding a needle in a haystack is a challenge, but counting elephants from space sounds like science fiction, but that is exactly what a team led by WildCRU’s Isla Duporge has achieved.

The population of African elephants (Loxodonta africana) has plummeted over the last century due to poaching, retaliatory killing from crop raiding and habitat fragmentation. To conserve them requires knowledge of where they are, and how many there are: accurate monitoring is vital. MORE

Header image: Raw image in homogenous area compared with CNN detections (green boxes) and ground truth labels (red boxes). Worldview-3 Satellite images Credit: Maxar Technologies.