We hope that you will be as interested as we are in advancing the use of ML to make the classifying process more fun and satisfying. We will ask you to tell us whether the ML model got it right.
Stay tuned for that and other special projects! These three projects have the new retirement rules in place, as will Season 12 of Snapshot Serengeti, which will launch in June. As new seasons or new projects come online, they will be set up with these rules and perhaps more as we refine the data pipeline.
Let us and the moderators know how it goes. We are so thankful for your efforts and support, which help us to return data to our collaborators at reserves in Africa quickly and with confidence that it is correct thanks to the combination of citizen science and machine learning. Happy classifying! For more information about the machine learning algorithms created using Snapshot Serengeti images, see:. Miao, Z. Whilst we are waiting for the next season of Snapshot Serengeti images I have been reviewing some of the amazing images that season 11 turned up.
I always have to remind myself that these cameras do not have some avid photographer sat behind them snapping away at the opportune moment but are activated merely by sensing a change in heat within their detection zone. It is truly amazing how often we get stunning images. Here a beautiful male ostrich struts across the field of view showing off his amazingly pink legs. The bare parts of male ostrich are usually a pale grey to pink colour but during the breeding season hormones influence the pigmentation and a flush of red blazes through his neck and legs. Given the extent of these legs and neck contrasted with the bold black and white feathers it makes for an arresting sight.
Compared with the drab browny grey of the female the male is a real show off.
Serengeti Safari at Busch Gardens
The colourful male would perhaps attract too much predator attention around the vulnerable nest or chicks. The Serengeti is renowned for being one of the few relatively intact large ecosystems remaining in the world. Not so long ago wild dog were present in the SNP in small numbers. In , when studies began, there were an estimated 95 individuals in 12 packs. They were studied sporadically until when all 12 packs had seemingly died or disappeared.
Here in lays the mystery, what killed them? At the time the rapid disappearance of the wild dogs coincided with a renewed period of research that saw individuals from several packs immobilised and fitted with radio collars. The research community at the time were baffled and a hypothesis was proposed by Roger Burrows that implemented researchers handling of the dogs as being causal to their decline, the theory being that the stress imparted to the animals made them susceptible to rabies which eventually killed them. Some argue that invasive handling of study animals is un-ethical and can lead to tragic outcomes as hypothesised by Burrows for the African wild dog others argue that collaring and taking blood samples from study animals is vital to understanding processes which effect conservation management.
I am not trying to weigh in on the argument, my expertise is inadequate for that but I thought it was an interesting take on the question of wild dog in the Serengeti and it used data generated by Snapshot Serengeti, all be it in a small way, to help with its argument. One would argue that these areas are not as pristine as SNP itself with a good dose of human impact but the wild dogs have been studied here since and as of there was an estimated population of individuals in 10 packs.
The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works and Why It Matters
Collaring has shown that the wild dogs do venture back to the Serengeti plains from time to time proving there is no physical barrier to dispersal but that they do not settle there, choosing instead to stay in an environment where one would imagine it was harder to survive on the periphery of human habitation. Our own Snapshot Serengeti work comes in to play here to prove that even with an extensive network of cameras that have been in operation for several years no wild dog has been recorded in SNP.
So what do Jackson et al imagine could be the route cause if not the direct handling leading to stress related rabies outbreaks hypothesis. The team have studied wild dogs for over a decade in areas adjacent to SNP that arguably have an equal or higher rabies risks think of the domestic dogs associated with people to the SNP. They have used the same invasive methods of study as the SNP researchers including using intervention to fit collars, take blood and in one incidence an attempt at relocation back to SNP.
They believe that they have the perfect scenario in which to test the hypothesis. They found, in contrast to the earlier study which saw the entire population disappear, that 12 month survival rate in handled wild dogs was One pack did remain but not in the former study area of grassland plains but rather in a rugged area just outside the original study area.
“Tanzania, Not as Pictured”
The team argues that the wild dogs in both NCA and LGCA have been subject to handling just as much as the original study yet have shown a population increase, secondly, there has been no repopulation of the original study area either naturally through dispersal nor through attempted reintroduction something that arguably should have happened if the only reason for the die off was human induced. Instead they believe that the demise of the wild dog coincided with a rise in lion and hyena numbers on the plains of the Serengeti.
Wild dog are killed by these predators but perhaps more importantly they also have their hard earned prey stolen from them by larger predators. Compared with the endless grassy plains of the Serengeti, the NCA and LGCA are much more varied terrain with a mixture of hilly, rocky areas as well as open woodland and open grassland. This kind of mosaic gives wild dogs a much better chance of avoiding larger more dominant predators and so their chance of survival is greater.
So could this be why we see no wild dog in our camera traps. Whatever the reason it highlights that even with what we imagine as well protected areas the space we have left for wildlife is minimal and to protect a wide range of biodiversity we should be doing more to protect a wide range of ecosystems and habitats. I have written about this before, I know but this series of images has got me going again. I posted images of a male seemingly strolling through the savannah a while back, musing on what he had been up to. The other day whilst browsing through images I found more parts to the picture.
More images of him moving at different times and a female. I am sure that Snapshot Serengeti followers could add to this series of images if we delve further but I was intrigued. Is it a male and female spending some days together whilst mating as happens with lions? Or are there other pride members around? The female looks as though she has blood staining her face so perhaps, they have been feasting on a kill, alternately moving back and forth to water or shade between snacking. It is one of those instances when you would like the camera to just swivel a bit to see if we can learn more but technology or at least affordable tech has not quite reached that state yet.
So, we will just have to sit back and enjoy what we can see, a pair of very full looking handsome lions and let our imaginations do the rest. Sometimes no knowing is part of the fun. Here at Snapshot Serengeti we are lucky to get regular good images of all the big cats. Lions feature the most frequently followed by cheetah with leopard being the rarest. I heard about Curro from a friend who had two children there. She moved her children from one of the other private schools to Curro.
When I went on the website, I was impressed that the model looked solid and there were so many schools, including boarding schools, which is where I would ultimately want my son to be when he gets to Grade 5 or 6. Teething problems at first, but he is loving it. He says it was the best decision to take him to Curro.
My first sort of encounter with an uneasy feeling was when the Grade 3 teachers were introduced at a Welcome Day late last year. They were and still are all white. This made me feel uncomfortable. Looking at the number of black children there, it made me feel there were transformation issues in the school. Even when they went on camp at the end of April, I was a bit uncomfortable. The majority of teachers who went with them were white. Another thing I have noticed is that my son is in a class that only has black pupils. If there are white pupils in Grade 3, why not put them in his class?
I am aware that all the Grade 3 classes do Afrikaans as a subject, so why not have a good spread of teachers of colour and then have the Afrikaans taught by an expert? That makes me really uncomfortable. When you heard about the separate classrooms at another school, what did you do?
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When the first reported incident happened, I made it a point to check when I went to Curro and asked my son how they were mixed. How did you interpret the bus film? On a field trip at Curro Roodeplaat, the black pupils were on one bus and the white ones on another. It is discrimination of the highest order and I am worried about how the children felt.
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Since the early s, the environment of Southern Florida has undergone extensive habitat degradation associated with hydrological alterations by humans. Initially, these were to drain land for agriculture and human settlements; later alterations were to protect against flooding.
The human population of Southern Florida is now 4. The Everglades has been compartmentalized for a variety of land uses: agriculture in the north, where the largest accumulations of organic soils once existed; water conservation areas in the central portions; and the Everglades National Park in the south. About half the original Everglades remains in some semblance of its natural state in the water-conservation areas and the park Gunderson and others The construction of canals, levees, and pumping stations has changed the hydrology of the entire system, leaving it vulnerable to a variety of influences.
Populations of a dozen animal species and 14 plant species have been so reduced that they are now endangered or threatened. Nonnative and nuisance species, such as Melaleuca quinquinervia a tree introduced from Australia in the early s to help drain the Everglades and the Brazilian pepper tree Schinus terebinthifolius , have invaded extensive areas, outcompeting native plants. In the converted agricultural areas, soil subsidence and water-level declines so great that they are measured in feet Alexander and Cook have increased the susceptibility of the Everglades to drought and fires.
Agriculture has introduced excessive nutrients into the system, and the decreased overland flow of freshwater has resulted in salt-water intrusion into the Everglades National Park and along areas of urban development to the east. If the present ecosystem continues to degrade, ecological sustainability cannot be achieved without fundamental changes Davis and Ogden Over the last several decades, state and federal programs have been created to address water-conservation problems in the Everglades.
Crises resulting from a failure of existing policies have led to major reconfigurations and new institutions, structures, and policies Gunderson and others Even among the agencies and institutions that were concerned primarily with the ecological functioning of the Everglades, there were conflicts over specific management objectives, owing in part to differences in the legal mandates governing the different management agencies.
The Values of Biodiversity - Perspectives on Biodiversity - NCBI Bookshelf
Conflicts were also generated by a lack of critical data needed to evaluate the likely effects of potential manipulations of the hydrological regimes of today's Everglades and by legal and other constraints on the options considered and evaluated by the agencies.
The agencies recognized that single-purpose interventions were unlikely to succeed and that restoration activities needed to be evaluated in a system-wide context. There was also common recognition that it was impossible to recreate precisely the original ecological conditions, because the drainage system had been altered in irreversible or very difficult-to-reverse ways. At issue were maintenance of the integrity of the watershed and water quality, preservation of biodiversity in a region of great interest, conservation of endangered species as required by law, and the sustainability of natural resources in a setting of rapid economic and population growth.
Two current examples illustrate the complexity of the process. Restoration objectives included increasing the total spatial extent of wetlands, increasing habitat heterogeneity, restoring hydrologic structure and function, restoring water quality, improving availability of water, and reducing flood damage on tribal lands.
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The reconnaissance study was the first step in development of a restoration plan. It set the stage for feasibility studies to develop further the most promising alternatives and recommend a plan for authorization by Congress. The second example is a 4-year US Man and the Biosphere US MAB study on ecosystem management for sustainability of southern Florida ecological and associated societal systems Harwell and others in press. This project places water-management and biodiversity issues into an ecosystem-management framework that presumes that the last century's fragmented and compartmentalized approach to management must evolve to one that explicitly recognizes the mutual interdependence of society and the environment.
Such an approach will require integration of theory and knowledge from the natural sciences with analyses of societal and ecological costs and benefits of ecosystem restoration.