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Application Solution-Detect and protect small endangered animals by infrared thermal imager

Views:0     Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2020-05-12      Origin:Site

Detect and protect small and endangered animals with thermal imaging cameras


Many animal species exhibit a low temperature characteristic, which can minimize the ability to be detected by other animals, thereby avoiding predation. The simplest form of an animal is to show a similar color to the environment and to perform a good disguise. Because of their highly concealed and elusive nature, these disguised animals may pose great challenges to researchers' detection and research. Due to the lack of basic information about their ecological needs, many of these recessive species are classified as endangered species, and their protection measures are also restricted.

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The picture shows the handheld infrared camera


Moreover, our understanding of species is usually limited to daytime. In contrast, nighttime activities are usually little known. Therefore, a method is needed to facilitate the data collection of the species throughout the life cycle and all stages of activity. Only in this way can appropriate species management or protection measures be implemented.

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The picture shows the infrared camera mounted on the drone


The thermal imaging camera provides thermal imaging information rather than pure visual information. Even if the animal is disguised or hidden in the dark, it can be detected normally. Of course, thermal imaging cameras can also provide accurate visual effects. The researchers accordingly used handheld infrared cameras and airborne infrared cameras to detect hidden wildlife, and judged their pros and cons and qualitatively evaluated the detection efficiency.


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The picture shows a suspicious target taken by an infrared camera


Studies have shown that handheld infrared cameras are very effective and can search for large areas with no or low vegetation coverage in fertile terrain with dense road networks. The application time of using the handheld infrared camera is limited to cloudy days or nights, ideally it should overlap with the most obvious time of the target species. Although hand-held methods are limited by the obstruction of vegetation, UAVs equipped with thermal imaging cameras complement the detection of recessive species in denser vegetation. When there is no rain, no wind, cloudy day or night, the airborne infrared camera is most suitable for areas with medium to high vegetation coverage.

Infrared thermal imaging not only can detect recessive species, but also has great potential for studying animal behavior at night. This method can collect data that was previously unavailable, thereby improving the overall ecological understanding of the mysterious species, and then providing appropriate management and protection measures when needed.


Reference materials:

Denise Karp. Detecting small and cryptic animals by combining thermography and a wildlife detection dog. Scientific Reports. 10:5220, 2020.

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