Facial Recognition System for Lemurs Could Help Save Endangered Species

A team biologists and computer scientists have created the first ever facial recognition system for lemurs, able to identify more than 100 different individuals with 98.7 percent accuracy. It’s hoped that the software, dubbed LemurFaceID, will help with conservation efforts for the primate; giving researchers an easier and less invasive way to track individuals and whole families across generations.

“Like humans, lemurs have unique facial characteristics that can be recognized by this system,” biometrics expert Anil Jain, who worked on the software, told Phys.org. “Once optimized, LemurFaceID can assist with long-term research of endangered species by providing a rapid, cost-effective and accurate method for identification.”

The system is adapted from facial recognition software for humans. It was fed images of some 462 different lemurs covering a variety of different species, with the main focus being the red-bellied lemur — a species found in the rainforests of eastern Madagascar that’s vulnerable, but not endangered. A full description of the software is published in a report this week in the open access journal BMC Zoology.

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SOURCE: The Verge, James Vincent