China uses facial recognition to detect and monitor giant PANDAS in a giant nature conservation database
- Pandas in China are being followed with face recognition to help conservation efforts
- The technology is able to uniquely identify each animal using a gigantic database
- Similar technology has been used to preserve bears and lemurs
- In China, face recognition is most commonly used in its mass surveillance systems
Surveillance is not the only application of China's advanced face recognition software.
Conservationists are now also using technology as a tool to help protect populations of wild panda.
According to a report from Xinhua News, researchers from the Chinese giant pandas Conservation and Research Center in Chengu have begun to use facial recognition software to identify the often similar-looking faces and markings of wild pandas.
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Giant pandas are the newest subject of Chinese face recognition software. Conservationists are now using the technology to follow and follow the animals. File photo
& # 39; The app and database will help us collect more accurate and well-rounded data about the population, distribution, age, gender, birth and death of wild panda, who live in deep mountains and are difficult to track his & # 39 ;, researcher Chen Peng told. Xinhua News.
& # 39; It will certainly help us improve the efficiency and effectiveness in maintaining and managing the animals. & # 39;
Just like other face recognition databases, the panda-identifying app of researchers investigates a large series of photos to learn and recognize one animal from another.
In total, according to the Xinhua News report, the database contains 120,000 images and 10,000 video clips. 10,000 of those images have been marked and annotated.
The app will also be made available to visitors to the Chengu research center, where many pandas are kept in captivity.
These participants can use the app to scan a panda and retrieve more information.
As reported by The Verge, similar technology has been used to track other bears and lemurs in an effort to help preserve populations.
Giant Pandas, long-endangered species, were relegated in 2016 to & # 39; vulnerable & # 39; as a result of conservation efforts that helped raise the population by 17 percent in a decade.
However, nature conservationists soon notice that the status of the panda is still in danger, in particular due to the specter of a rapidly changing climate.
According to researchers, climate change threatens to wipe out much of the world's bamboo, the animal's main food source, which could put the creatures in danger again.
Software used in face recognition has become the most popular in China for its surveillance application. The country has a robust system that is used to control citizens.
While in this case face recognition has been used to track and monitor panda populations, the technology – especially in China – has been applied to people on a more extensive scale.
The country is currently working on building a system that can recognize each of its 1.4 billion citizens within three seconds and has already used the technology to closely monitor parts of the Muslim minorities in China.
In the US, fear of the misuse of facial recognition software has led to legislation at the municipal level, with San Francisco breaking a law enforcement ban this month.
How does China introduce giant panda & # 39; s back to nature?
The back-to-nature training was started by the Wolong Giant Panda Protection and Research Center in 2005.
The Wolong center is co-founder of the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda.
The program is designed to introduce artificially bred giant pandas into the wild after two years of training and preparation.
China strives to re-introduce the pandas into nature after training (file photo)
The first fully trained panda, Xiang Xiang, was sent back to the forest in 2006. However, the five-year-old bear was found dead in the forest in 2007. According to expert, it would probably have died of fighting wild pandas above food and area.
Since then, the center has continued to train and release giant panda & # 39; s to nature under the program.
The Wolong Giant Panda Protection and Research Center was established in 1980.
Located in the mountainous southwest of China, it is currently & # 39; the world's largest panda protection and artificial breeding institution.
The giant panda, a symbol of China, was removed from the list of endangered species last September after years of intensive conservation efforts.
The International Union for Nature Conservation (IUCN) said in a report that the animal was classified as a & # 39; vulnerable & # 39; instead of & # 39; endangered & # 39; species, due to the growing numbers in the wild in South China.
There are currently 471 captured pandas in China and most of them were bred using artificial insemination, according to China Daily.
While the population of captive pandas increased rapidly, Chinese experts also feared that the genetic diversity of the bears was declining.
Cao Cao, a 16-year-old panda who grew up in captivity, was successfully conceived in two consecutive years after being paired with mild pandas in nature.
In 2017, Cao Cao brought the world's first panda cub with both wild and captive parents.