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New App Tracks Black Rhinos Through Their Footprints

By Scientific American

December 16, 2020

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The footprint-identification technique (FIT) developed by the WildTrack conservation organization uses software to track black rhinoceros' movements via smartphone-recorded footprints, in order to protect the animals from poachers.

Scientists first collect footprint images with a smartphone application and upload them to a global database, then FIT software analysis can identify the specific rhino and tell its age and gender with up to 99% accuracy.

Researchers also can calculate the number of black rhinos in an area and monitor their movements.

WildTrack's Sky Alibhai and Zoe Jewell are training wildlife conservationists, land managers, local guides, and antipoaching agents to utilize FIT in Namibia.

Jewell said, "FIT is scalable, and we would always welcome the opportunity to use it with endangered species that are in larger populations."


From: Scientific American
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