Wednesday, November 27, 2019

New MonkeySee (part 1): What is new and how does it work

In September, we opened the new MonkeySee workflow for the monkey aficionados among you. This workflow presents volunteers exclusively with videos of monkeys and prosimians during classification to determine the exact species. These videos have already been pre-sorted in the Species ID workflow and at least four people said that one or more monkeys or prosimians are seen. The video is then moved to the MonkeySee workflow for further specification. This two-step classification process allows Chimp&See to annotate videos faster and in more detail at the same time.

The process is faster, because the science team knows already after four (unanimous) classifications that monkeys or prosimians are present. And after only four more annotations in MonkeySee (again provided the volunteers agree on the species), the videos are retired with all individual species labels applied. In addition, videos with more than one primate species can be easily identified with the new workflow. This wasn’t possible before.

Here is how it works

MonkeySee presents the volunteers first with a video and broader categories of primate groups, like baboon, chlorocebus, or prosimian, as well as an absence category. The volunteer chooses then between single species options in the next step. The species choices include all species that are known to be at this site and species that haven’t been confirmed there yet, but those ranges are close. So, there is a reasonable chance to actually see them at the site we're working on and confirm (or add to) known species ranges.

A detailed tutorial helps with species identification.

If you want to try out MonkeySee, go to Chimp&See and choose the MonkeySee workflow under the Welcome banner. The current site Xenon Bloom with its mixed grass- and woodland habitat features some unique savannah primates, for instance the highly entertaining Guinea baboons.

Enjoy! Be a Citizen Scientist and help us annotate African wildlife videos at Chimp&See.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Update on the leopard mini-project

In July, Chimp&See re-launched the new project interface at Zooniverse with an upgrade of new workflows and remodeled discussion forums that facilitate exchange of the volunteers with the science team and among each other. At the same time, we re-launched the leopard mini-project that aims to assess the density of this important chimpanzee predator at all PanAf sites by identifying individual leopards.

The new interface enables us to have a dedicated discussion board for leopard videos and discuss questions related to leopards and other predators. Here the volunteers can post leopard videos they found during classification and discuss individual match proposals. Every video will be tagged by the volunteers with #leopard and the site name. We also ask for behavioral tags (like #marking, #resting, or #hunting), the sex, if seen, and to tag which sides of the body are visible in the video (front, back, left, or right). For discussing individual leopards in match proposals, it is important to compare the same side of the body for assessing the identity of the highly individually-specific pattern of spots and rosettes for any given leopard.

An example of a rather difficult perspective for identifying this gorgeous
leopard as the pattern is highly distorted. Original video here
In the first months of identifying leopards, we discovered that often for us the best perspective on the leopards from the Chimp&See video footage is the back view, when a leopard is walking away from the camera. The side views that many scientists use are, of course, even better, but rarely displayed in our footage and often distorted (see image above). Many cameras are set up facing animal trails, so when the leopard is walking slowly, we have the best chance to get a good look on the pattern found on the hind limbs and a reasonable number of images to confirm their identity. You can see here an example from “Tau”, a named male from the Quiet Wood site.

The images are stills from two videos captured on two separate days and different locations. Find more videos of Tau here.
The leopard video list and any information about the individuals seen are stored in the new open leopard spreadsheet. This spreadsheet, which we hope to automate partly in the future, replaces the old static known and prospective list for leopards. A storage solution for images of the identifying fur pattern will be added soon. The currently running Xenon Bloom site in West Africa already features beautiful leopards and we hope to name the first individual soon. You should ge involved.

If you want to discuss leopards and see how we identify individuals, please come over to Chimp&See, help us classify videos, and discuss with us!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Trotters ID workflow

Today we are opening the Xenon Bloom trotters workflow at Help us identify hoofed and cloven-footed creatures like ungulates, duikers and hogs at the species level! The tutorial acts as a mini field guide to help you identify the species if you're a beginner or an experienced annotator that needs a bit of help 😊

You'll find the trottersID workflow on our start page under the main photo. Enjoy!