Friday, January 18, 2019

“MonkeySee” – primate mini-project: A big thank you and a little sneak preview

Although Chimp&See has its main focus on chimpanzees, other species, especially other primates, play an important ecological role in the African rainforest and their presence can be an indicator of biodiversity and potential disturbances at a site. The current Chimp&See annotation interface only supports the classification of monkeys in the broad category “other primates”. From site to site many different species of monkeys and even other primates like galagos and pottos are summarized here. These classification data do not allow differentiating species or giving any indication about the occurence of rarely seen species, like the endangered Western red colobus.

Early on in Chimp&See, we asked all volunteers to tag all species they can identify to the species level to improve the information that we get from the classification stage. We thank all volunteers who took this time over the years and engaged in ID discussions with the moderators and the science team for some rather difficult cases!

In addition, we used the current hiatus on Chimp&See to gather some very (very!) dedicated volunteers to finish tagging all primate videos and check hashtags and comments. As approximately 50% of our clips have been tagged during the site classifications, this adds to several thousand video clips! A very special thanks to @Batfan, @Corcaroli, @HeikeW, @midnightsun and @Snorticus, as well as the moderators coordinating this mini-project.

From left to right: Western red colobus, sooty mangabey, blue monkey, and olive baboon
These data can now be used to study single species of interest, their behaviors like reactions of baboon to our camera traps in our “Animal Selfies” mini-project and even potential interactions with chimpanzees like scavenging of leftover nuts from chimpanzees nutcracking sites by sooty mangabeys.

And we have good news for all the primate fans among you! The science team decided to use the current relaunch of Chimp&See (in progress) on the Zooniverse Panoptes Project Builder to integrate a new workflow dedicated solely to monkeys and prosimians (galagos and pottos) into Chimp&See. This new workflow that aims to identify all primates to the species level already during classification, leaving room for tagging exemplary videos and interesting behaviors and thus saving time. Stay tuned for the new Chimp&See interface!

Again pant hoots and thanks to everybody engaged in this mini-project “MonkeySee”!