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The DeepFaune initiative: a collaborative effort towards the automatic identification of the French fauna in camera-trap images

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Carole Birck
  • Function : Author
Gérard Caussimont
  • Function : Author
Jean-François Elder
  • Function : Author
Jean-Michel Jullien
  • Function : Author
Wilfried Thuiller

Abstract

Abstract Camera-traps have revolutionized the way ecologists monitor biodiversity and population abundances. Their full potential is however only realized when the hundreds of thousands of images collected can be rapidly classified with minimal human intervention. Machine learning approaches, and in particular deep learning methods, have allowed extraordinary progress towards this end. Trained classification models remain rare however, and for instance are only emerging for the European fauna. This can be explained by the technical expertise they require but also by the limited availability of large datasets of annotated pictures, which are key to obtaining successful recognition models. In this context, we set-up the DeepFaune initiative ( https://deepfaune.cnrs.fr ), a large-scale collaboration between dozens of partners involved in research, conservation and management of wildlife in France. The aim of DeepFaune is to aggregate individual datasets of annotated pictures to train species classification models based on convolutional neural networks, an established deeplearning approach. Here we report on our first milestone, a two-step pipeline built upon the MegaDetector algorithm for detection (discarding empty pictures and cropping the animal) and a classification model for 18 species or higher-level taxa as well as people and vehicles. The classification model achieved 92% validation accuracy and showed > 90% sensitivity and specificity for many classes. Most importantly, these performances were generally conserved when tested on an independent out-of-sample dataset. In addition, we developed a cross-platform graphical-user-interface that allows running the pipeline on images stored locally on a personal computer. In conclusion, the DeepFaune initiative provides a freely available (for non-commercial purposes) toolbox with high performance to classify the French fauna in camera-trap images.
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Dates and versions

hal-03818210 , version 1 (17-10-2022)

Licence

Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives - CC BY 4.0

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Noa Rigoudy, Abdelbaki Benyoub, Aurélien Besnard, Carole Birck, Yoann Bollet, et al.. The DeepFaune initiative: a collaborative effort towards the automatic identification of the French fauna in camera-trap images. 2022. ⟨hal-03818210⟩
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