Kevin McGarigal has been awarded a $750,000 NSF grant to develop a system of tracking wildlife using digital photography

Excerpted from UMass News Office AMHERST, Mass. - The ability to identify and monitor individual animals in their environment can be critical for studying things like migration patterns or habitat use, but traditional tracking devices can be invasive and some populations are just too large to track easily. Now University of Massachusetts Amherst scientists are developing computer vision technology that will allow for quick identification of individual animals using digital photographs. Much like facial pattern-recognition programs used by the FBI, the software will use complex algorithms to identify each individual's unique features and automatically catalog them. The work could provide a valuable tool for managing endangered species and for basic ecological research. The National Science Foundation has awarded UMass Amherst's Kevin McGarigal $750,000 to develop the technology with former UMass Amherst graduate student Sai Ravela, who is now a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. McGarigal discovered the need for this technology through his study of threatened...
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