1 June 2009
Donning the penguin apron
Image by © Royal Society
Using this technology reduces any the welfare impact of our research on the penguins dramatically, as well as increasing the quantity and quality of population data by orders of magnitude.
“The software was designed to recognise unique chest patterns on penguins, which would otherwise be caught and fitted with a metal identification ring on the flipper” said Peter Barham, part of the project team. “Using this technology reduces any the welfare impact of our research on the penguins dramatically, as well as increasing the quantity and quality of population data by orders of magnitude.”
The Summer Exhibition, which lasts over four days, attracts several thousand visitors each year including scientists, policy makers, the media, businesses and the general public. This year, the stand was even visited by members of the Royal Family and UK Government ministers. Faced with such a diverse and varied audience, the exhibitors had to be prepared to talk about their subject at all levels but they were also well equipped with handouts about the research which visitors could take home with them.
At the Summer Exhibition, the conversation would generally start from the same place each time, but could go anywhere.
Please contact The Public Engagement Officer for further information.
Further information about the project is available at www.spotthepenguin.com.
The software was first tested on still images and birds in Bristol Zoo Gardens. A wireless monitoring system is currently being deployed to monitor the 15,000-strong penguin population on Robben Island, South Africa.