AI helps decode crocodile migration, habitats in Gujarat

Times of India | 2 months ago | 27-11-2022 | 05:44 am

AI helps decode crocodile migration, habitats in Gujarat

AHMEDABAD: A faculty member at Ahmedabad University has developed a method to identify individual crocodiles based on aerial images, which can be used to understand crocodiles' habitats and migration patterns. Ratna Ghosal, an assistant professor at the university, was co-author of the paper 'Identification of free-ranging mugger crocodiles by applying deep learning methods on UAV imagery', which was recently published in the Elsevier journal Ecological Informatics. "The biometric tool identifies mugger crocodiles or marsh crocodiles based on the pattern of their bony external plate, known as scute. Each crocodile has a unique pattern which can be identified by artificial intelligence (AI). We have so far developed a library of 143 crocodiles in three different habitats - Kutch, Anand and Vadodara districts," Ghosal told TOI. "The library can be expanded by drone images from different populations," he added. This identification will serve several purposes, she said. "The most important is understanding population clusters and migration patterns. With a large population base in some districts of Gujarat, it is interesting to see how an increase in population affects the habitat. We have also shared this research with the state forest department," she added. The researchers added that this method is much more animal-friendly compared to rubber or radio tags or collars, which often irritate the animals. "We are also trying to understand the various aspects of these populations such as human presence, interaction with the local environment, their adjustment to modified environments - some muggers live in the highly polluted waters of the Vishwamitri river and this could be affecting the health of these apex predators," said Ghosal, adding that muggers are a protected Schedule I species under the Wildlife Protection Act.

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Ndtv | 1 day ago | 26-01-2023 | 11:41 pm
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Ahmedabad franchise in Women’s Premier League to be called ‘Gujarat Giants’