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Metric Learning Based Pattern Matching For Species Agnostic Animal Re-Identification

In the active effort to monitor and protect endangered animal species, modern technology is replacing the previously used conventional techniques of tracking using GPS or tagging which are considered invasive in nature. The non-invasive technology such as camera traps collects a large amount of data remotely, enabling the use of computer vision techniques to perform the analysis including re-identification of animal individuals. The re-identification of the animal individuals can be done by training a convolutional neural network to measure the

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A Synopsis of the Diseases of Giraffes

This synopsis has been prepared to inform the general public about all of the extremely complex health issues facing both free-ranging and captive Giraffes with the goal in mind of hopefully interesting more people to become involved with Giraffe conservation efforts. Studies of the diseases of captive Giraffes in Zoological Gardens serve to indicate how susceptible Giraffes can be to contracting new diseases in confined mixed animal populations. Most Zoos are generally very stressing to Giraffes. It is extremely heart

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Giraffa camelopardalis: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red List or Red Data Book), founded in 1964, is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species. Giraffa camelopardalis – Provisionally listed as Least Concern as the species remains widespread, with a total population numbering more than 100,000 individuals. However, a recent preliminary population estimate suggests a decline in the total population has taken place which,

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Large herbivore loss has complex effects on mosquito ecology and vector-borne disease risk

Loss of biodiversity can affect transmission of infectious diseases in at least two ways: by altering host and vector abundance or by influencing host and vector behavior. We used a large herbivore exclusion experiment to investigate the effects of wildlife loss on the abundance and feeding behavior of mosquito vectors and to explore consequences for vector-borne disease transmission. Large herbivore loss affected both mosquito abundance and blood-feeding behavior. For Aedes mcintoshi, the dominant mosquito species in our study and a

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What is Speciation, How Does It Occur, and Why Is It Important for Conservation?

Speciation provides a framework for classifying biodiversity on Earth and is a central concept in evolutionary biology. To help undergraduate students learn about speciation, we designed a student-centered lesson that uses active-learning techniques (e.g., clicker questions, small group work, and whole class discussion) and compares multiple species concepts (morphological, biological, and phylogenetic) using giraffes as an example. Giraffes were chosen as the focus of this lesson because they are familiar and have broad appeal to students; are in danger of

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Reported & Reported: Differences among local and international game hunting data and potential reasons on the example of South Africa

The South African wildlife tourism industry is based on trophy hunting and together with international wildlife trade it can represent a major treat to biodiversity conservation. Annually, thousands of hunters participate in hunting activities in South Africa and thousands of trophy items are traded across international borders. This research is a result of comprehensive quantitative analysis in how far data of trophy hunting kills and data of trophy export are consistent on the example of South Africa. Data were extracted

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Sparring dynamics and individual laterality in male South African giraffes

Sparring by male giraffes has been commonly reported since its first description in 1958 and is believed to play a role in establishing male dominance hierarchies. However, despite being often documented, quantitative investigations of sparring behaviour are currently lacking. Here, we investigate the factors affecting the frequency, duration and intensity of sparring bouts in a population of giraffes Giraffa camelopardalis giraffa living on a private fenced reserve in Limpopo, South Africa. We show that sparring bouts were most frequently observed

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Use of Specialized Questioning Techniques to Detect Decline in Giraffe Meat Consumption

Biodiversity conservation depends on influencing human behaviors, but when activities are illegal or otherwise sensitive, actors can be hesitant to admit engagement with illicit behaviors. We applied Specialized Questioning Techniques (SQT) to estimate and compare behavioral prevalence of giraffe meat consumption between direct questioning and two SQTs, Randomized Response Technique (RRT) and Unmatched Count Technique (UCT), from 2017 to 2019. Comparisons between the two samples yielded significant differences across all three methods, with confidence intervals distinctly divergent between years. The

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Herbivore dung stoichiometry drives competition between savanna trees and grasses

The balance between trees and grasses is a key aspect of savanna ecosystem functioning, and so far, believed to be regulated by resource availability, fire frequency and consumption by mammalian herbivores. Herbivores, however, also impact plant communities through the deposition of growth-limiting nutrients in their dung and urine. Little attention has been paid to the fact that savanna herbivores produce dung containing different concentrations of nutrients and it remains unknown what the effect of this variation is on tree-grass interactions.

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Water sources aggregate parasites, with increasing effects in more arid conditions

Shifts in landscape heterogeneity and climate can influence animal behavior and movement in ways that profoundly alter disease transmission. Amid accelerating climate and land use changes, it is increasingly important to identify and monitor hotspots of increased animal activity and overlap where disease transmission is likely to occur. Water sources that are foci of animal activity have great potential to promote disease transmission, but there has been very little work to quantify this, nor any comparison across a range of

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