There’s a ‘Facebook’ for animals which wants to protect endangered species

There's a 'Facebook' for animals which wants to protect endangered species
Before the narcissistic streak in human beings took over the world via social media, it was difficult to keep in track of where your friends, ‘enemies’ or frenemies were. With the surge in popularity of the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, keeping track of human beings has become a lot easier. But what about other species? Not a week goes by when we don’t come across a headline about some species on the verge of extinction. Well, a non-profit group called WildMe has a solution and it’s the animal version of Facebook. Not exactly but on similar lines. Called Wildbook, it’s a website that will help researchers and conservationists to keep track on a variety of endangered animals. According to a CNET report, Wildbook’s basic idea is to crowdsource photos – clicked all over the world by wildlife enthusiasts and professionals – and use them to keep a track of endangered species.

How does Wildbook want to do this?

The key, according to Cnet, lies in using open-source software and artificial intelligence. Wildbook through various media – including YouTube and Flickr – receives data on animals which has been uploaded by people. Once the images or content is uploaded, Wildbook is able to find the same animal in various images. This then helps researchers and conservations to gather accurate data about that particular species. Through Wildbook, according to Cnet, researchers can get relatively accurate data about animals, including eating habits, more information about their habitat among others. When uploading animal photos, the user can also include additional data like the animal’s sex, approximate age, location, other animals nearby and more.

But how is it like Facebook? Just like every user on Facebook gets a profile, each animal on Wildbook gets their own profile and all the relevant information is mentioned and easily accessible. Through he profile, researchers can take a call and see if any particular animal is actually facing extinction or how their population is gradually declining or not.