Thanks for visiting Imaging and Machine Vision Europe.

You're trying to access an editorial feature that is only available to logged in, registered users of Imaging and Machine Vision Europe. Registering is completely free, so why not sign up with us?

By registering, as well as being able to browse all content on the site without further interruption, you'll also have the option to receive our magazine (multiple times a year) and our email newsletters.

Face recognition combats chimp trafficking

Share this on social media:

Since 2005, more than 6,000 great apes have been trafficked illegally from the wild, often bought and sold through the internet and social media platforms. Now, new software called ChimpFace is helping conservationists identify illegal trade in chimpanzees using face recognition, the same type of algorithm that sorts through internet sites for photos of people.

Alexandra Russo developed ChimpFace to flag sites with links to illegal trade in chimpanzees. The scale of chimpanzee trafficking on the internet makes it difficult for conservationists to search manually for individual animals. ChimpFace uses image analysis to automate this process and flag up chimps being traded illegally through social media and other sites.

The algorithm scans the internet for images of chimpanzees; it flags the posts and sends them to conservation experts for review.

Russo and the project team now want to build the algorithm so that it can identify individual chimps. This would allow each animal to be tracked as they are traded online, and a case built against buyers and sellers.

ChimpFace is a finalist of the Conservation X Labs Tech prize. The prize looks for technological solutions to challenges in conservation; round one of the prize ended in December 2018.

Related news

Recent News

15 November 2019

A time-lapse 3D video of a zebrafish heart growing over a day has been captured for the first time by a new microscope imaging technique

26 September 2019

Rugby fans are now able to watch highlights from the Rugby World Cup, currently taking place in Japan, from angles and viewpoints not possible with conventional cameras, thanks to a multi-camera system from Canon

13 September 2019

A hyperspectral imaging system built by US research centre Battelle, using Headwall sensors, has been chosen as a finalist for the Department of Homeland Security’s Opioid Detection Challenge

23 July 2019

On the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing on 20 July 1969, Zeiss has described how, in less than nine months, it built the camera lens used to capture the iconic images during the Apollo 11 mission