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Automated Visual Recognition of Individual African Penguins

Tilo Burghardt, Barry Thomas, Peter J Barham, Janko Calic, Automated Visual Recognition of Individual African Penguins. Fifth International Penguin Conference, Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. September 2004. PDF, 3904 Kbytes.


African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) carry a pattern of black spots on their chests that does not change from season to season during their adult life. Further, as far as we can tell, no two penguins have exactly the same pattern. We have developed a real-time system that can confidently locate African penguins whose chests are visible within video sequences or still images. An extraction of the chest spot pattern allows the generation of a unique biometrical identifier for each penguin. Using these identifiers an authentication of filmed or photographed African penguins against a population database can be performed. This paper provides a detailed technical description of the developed system and outlines the scope and the conditions of application.

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