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The software that helps Kenyans count zebras

Kenya introduced database called Wildbook that helps to track individual animals in a wildlife population using natural markings. Wildbook also brings volunteers to take photographs which are then uploaded to the database. This way it automatically maps the number of the rare Grevy’s zebra. Its global population is estimated at 3,000, and Kenya is home to 95 percent of them.

Engineers working on autonomous vehicles built a collision detector, based on what they learned after examining how locusts avoided bumping into each other. Those insects rely on just one neuron that works as a movement detector. The molybdenum sulfide-based photodetector made by scientists is small and uses only a small amount of energy to complete its task.

An increase in the number of beached whales could be caused by military sonar exercises and seismic surveys for oil. Sonar may scare the animals into surfacing too quickly, causing decompression sickness. Recently  there were 29 occurrences of beaked whale stranding and sightings around the shores of northern Europe. Most of them died.

Lionfish are an invasive species in the southeast U.S. and Caribbean that have no natural predators in these areas. Lionfish were transferred from their natural ecosystem in Indo-Pacific. Scientists are working on new methods of limiting their population and protecting the native reefs. One of the means is to employ a trap similar to the one used for lobsters – to which lionfish are attracted – and a net around it that closes when pulled.

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