Automatic insect identification for better grasp on biodiversity | 3/27/2019 | Staff
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One hundred camera traps, developed specifically for the automatic counting and recognition of insects, will be placed throughout the Netherlands this summer. This is a first, as this system has never before been used. Counting insects is very important and the system, announced last year, is popular. The builders have already received more requests than they can honor this year. The official launch of the project was in Engewormer on May 15.

The insect population is not flourishing. Recent publications in scientific research show an alarming drop in numbers of insects in Western Europe and in Dutch nature reserves. The recently published IPBES report emphasizes the importance of biodiversity and a wide range of parties is sounding the alarm. Experts are voicing their opinions in national media, the national bee count is raising awareness in the general public and garden centers are all selling seed mixtures for plants that attract bees and butterflies. It's really important to measure and understand the insect population. Counting and identifying insects gives researchers insight into the numbers nationally and also the effectiveness of measures being applied to restore biodiversity.

Purchasers - Camera - Councils - Population - Order

Purchasers of the camera traps include provincial councils, who wish to obtain insight into the insect population in order to determine biodiversity policy. The data is currently collected by human counters, but this is a difficult task and rarely covers enough territory. For that reason, researchers from Naturalis Biodiversity Center got together with EIS Kenniscentrum Insecten, Radboud University Nijmegen and COSMONIO Imaging BV and took advice from to develop a system that performs this task automatically. The Netherlands leads the field in the area of automatic image recognition of insects and the technique, sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund, will now be delivered in time for the summer.

Using a camera trap 24 hours a day at...
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