Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 12:18PM
According to Scientific American, researchers from universities in England and South Africa were recently seeking a more effective, faster and less invasive method of tracking and monitoring penguins for conservation. Previously, they had to attach expensive transmitters or bulky metal bands to the penguins to study population dynamics, migratory patterns and species health. The devices sometimes injured the animals and could interfere with their swimming and hunting.
The solution? A system that identifies unique markings on a penguin’s chest, similar to facial recognition software, with a 96.7 percent accuracy rate. The software enables researchers to keep track of individual penguins over the seasons and years.