UK Plans to Save Hedgehogs with the Help of AI

Written by Camilla Jessen

Mar.26 - 2024 11:52 AM CET

The UK is set to use artificial intelligence to analyze nationwide camera captures, aiming to halt the decline of the beloved hedgehog population.

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The National Hedgehog Monitoring Program (NHMP) is set to harness artificial intelligence in a bid to halt the decline of hedgehog populations across Great Britain.

Researchers aim to deploy cameras nationwide to capture images of hedgehogs in various habitats with AI technology then analyzing these images. The data collected will provide insights into annual population changes and identify factors impacting hedgehog numbers, according to The Guardian.

The initiative is a collaborative effort involving Nottingham Trent University, ZSL HogWatch, Durham University, MammalWeb, and receives funding from Natural England.

A New Approach to Conservation

Dr. Henrietta Pringle, the NHMP Coordinator at PTES, emphasized the importance of this project: “This is the first time we are using AI to open up new opportunities in hedgehog conservation. We need to understand what's wrong with them and why their numbers are declining before we can take practical steps to conserve them."

The project invites public participation, making it an inclusive endeavor.

Faye Wass, the chief executive of BHPS, encourages everyone to contribute to hedgehog conservation, stating that aiding these creatures has "never been easier or more accessible."

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