Featured Image Credit: spiritanimal.info
By: Sarah Sharkey
Scientists are now using a computer algorithm to find dolphins. The research is based on sounds made by the dolphins that bounce off the seafloor.
The use of sound detection is vastly more cost-effective than traditional tracking done by boats or planes. Sifting through the seafloor recordings is much more cost effective and it is possible to track the dolphins as they move and live in the sea. In the past, this method has been done manually by trained analysts, but the introduced human bias is not necessarily good for the data. Each person hears and perceives things slightly differently, so it is difficult to have consistent data.
The new computer program has already been able to identify multiple echolocation sounds. The team was able to match up some of the computer’s findings with individual dolphin species. Now the team will continue to match up the computer’s findings with hard observation data of specific species in the area.
According to the researchers, the program seems to have missed some of the species known to be in the area. This may be because the species produce similar sounds that the computer was unable to differentiate. Hopefully, with some fine tuning, this will help dolphin researchers in their monitoring efforts.
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