Unique Identification of Macaques for Population Monitoring and Control

2 Nov 2018  ·  Ankita Shukla, Gullal Singh Cheema, Saket Anand, Qamar Qureshi, Yadvendradev Jhala ·

Despite loss of natural habitat due to development and urbanization, certain species like the Rhesus macaque have adapted well to the urban environment. With abundant food and no predators, macaque populations have increased substantially in urban areas, leading to frequent conflicts with humans. Overpopulated areas often witness macaques raiding crops, feeding on bird and snake eggs as well as destruction of nests, thus adversely affecting other species in the ecosystem. In order to mitigate these adverse effects, sterilization has emerged as a humane and effective way of population control of macaques. As sterilization requires physical capture of individuals or groups, their unique identification is integral to such control measures. In this work, we propose the Macaque Face Identification (MFID), an image based, non-invasive tool that relies on macaque facial recognition to identify individuals, and can be used to verify if they are sterilized. Our primary contribution is a robust facial recognition and verification module designed for Rhesus macaques, but extensible to other non-human primate species. We evaluate the performance of MFID on a dataset of 93 monkeys under closed set, open set and verification evaluation protocols. Finally, we also report state of the art results when evaluating our proposed model on endangered primate species.

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