This mobile app was created to save endangered sea turtles

Hawksbill turtles are killed for their scales, which are then used to make tableware, jewelry, and other illegally traded items. The SEE Shell application, developed by a team of wildlife biologists, should make it possible to better combat this illegal trade. decryption.

Photo: Shutterstock

An illegal trade

Brad Nahill is an American conservation biologist. He is also the co-founder of the SEE turtles Association, which is committed to protecting sea turtles in Latin America. With his team, he designed an application called SEE shell: it recognizes among commercial objects made of turtle. Their sale is effectively banned, and poaching of loggerhead turtles could lead to their disappearance: Coveted for their scales, they are said to have killed at least nine million between 1884 and 1992. National Geographicthere are now less than 25,000 breeding females left in the world.

Artificial intelligence, a new conservation tool?

How does the SEE shell work? The application uses the technique of machine learning that allows it to analyze a photo. In practice, it defines with 94% accuracy whether an object with a turtle pattern is real or fake. While Nahill’s team is trained enough to tell the difference with the naked eye, new buyers are not. Thanks to this tool, they can now buy conscientiously. Thus, the application makes it possible to launch the illegal trade warning by involving responsible consumers and law enforcement officers. This collaboration database is expected to help understand trading patterns around the world.

“If we encourage a few hundred travelers to actively use it, collect data and not buy a real turtle, that’s a plus. †

Brad Nahill for National Geographic

A technology that could expand its scope in the field of conservation. For example, it would make it possible to identify ivory.

Are nature and technology incompatible? It seems not!

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