Serengeti Wildlife Is Captured in a Slideshow by the combined effort of over 28,000 volunteers and is offering important data on Africa’s endangered species.
Serengeti is located in the northern part of Tanzania in the geographical region of Africa, with a size of over 12,000 square meters. The largest terrestrial mammal migration in the entire world is hosted by this ecosystem.
Famous for its huge lion population, Serengeti has been called as one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world, according to author of “The fast show”.
A new project involved over 28,000 volunteers who were encouraged to classify the captures of Serengeti wildlife from Snapshot Serengeti platform. The collective effort of these volunteers have greatly aided the scientist into studying the secret life hosted by this ecosystem.
225 cameras have been set up over an area of 1,125 square kilometers in the wild Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. The cameras have been able to produce over 1.9 million captures, many of them containing valuable information about the animals of the area, some of which are being part of an endangered species.
Some contributions brought by the Snapshot Serengeti volunteers consisted in classifying pictures as empty in case the cameras captured images of trees, or grass, and in a case were animals were present users checked an online guide to help determine which species the animals are most likely to be part of.
Some of the rarest animals that the cameras succeeded in capturing are the gray-faced sengi, and a baby giant armadillo. Important information was delivered about the Sumatran rhino, which is now found to still be breeding in the wild.
“It’s these animals at their most candid—the secret lives you never get to see,” Alexandra Swanson, from the University of Oxford, and member of the project, have said.
The cameras were attached to trees and were triggered by motion as well as heat. The members of the project checked on them regularly, replaced batteries and sometimes also cameras themselves, which have been damaged by the animals.
Alexandra Swanson incorporated the volunteers’ classifications into a single dataset. Each picture received a score depending on difficulty or uncertainty. She has also made her results available to scientists who might find them useful in studying the endangered species’ lifestyle and evolution.
A new project undertook by Swanson collaborators is presently designed to teach computers to automatically detect species of animals and to classify information from the collected data.
Image Source: Inhabitat