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Factors affecting the identification of individual mountain bongo antelope

Gibbon, Gwili E.M., Bindemann, Markus, Roberts, David L. (2015) Factors affecting the identification of individual mountain bongo antelope. PeerJ, 3 (e130). pp. 1-12. ISSN 2167-8359. (doi:10.7717/peerj.1303)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1303

Abstract

The recognition of individuals forms the basis of many endangered species monitoring protocols. This process typically relies on manual recognition techniques. This study aimed to calculate a measure of the error rates inherent within the manual technique and also sought to identify visual traits that aid identification, using the critically endangered mountain bongo, Tragelaphus eurycerus isaaci, as a model system. Identification accuracy was assessed with a matching task that required same/different decisions to side-by-side pairings of individual bongos. Error rates were lowest when only the flanks of bongos were shown, suggesting that the inclusion of other visual traits confounded accuracy. Accuracy was also higher for photographs of captive animals than camera-trap images, and in observers experienced in working with mountain bongos, than those unfamiliar with the sub-species. These results suggest that the removal of non-essential morphological traits from photographs of bongos, the use of high-quality images, and relevant expertise all help increase identification accuracy. Finally, given the rise in automated identification and the use of citizen science, something our results would suggest is applicable within the context of the mountain bongo, this study provides a framework for assessing their accuracy in individual as well as species identification.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.7717/peerj.1303
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH541 Ecology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Biodiversity Conservation Group
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Biodiversity Management Group
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: David Roberts
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2015 09:52 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 16:20 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/51749 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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