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Scientists Count Elephants From Space with Satellites, Computer Smarts

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An elephant in the wild.

The method for counting African elephants using satellite imagery opens up a new way to monitor vulnerable and endangered animals.

Credit: Siegfried Modola/Getty Images

Scientists at the U.K.'s Universities of Oxford and Bath have developed a technique for counting African elephant populations using satellite camera imagery and a deep learning algorithm.

The Maxar space technology company, which supplied the satellites used in the research, said the method boasts "comparable accuracy to human detection capabilities."

The satellite images could replace elephant surveillance by manned aircraft, as the technique can single out elephants from a variegated landscape of grass and woodlands.

Bath's Olga Isupov said, "Accurate monitoring is essential if we're to save the species."

From CNet
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