Wednesday 16 June 2021

Australia using artificial intelligence to locate feral cats

DUDLEY PENINSULA, KANGAROO ISLAND, SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Before Australians kill their feral cats, they have to find them. Common-sense. They say there are millions of them but they have difficulty in finding them. A bevy of men have to skim through SD camera cards to check the images from camera traps. This takes time.

SPONSOR A CAMERA: The KI Landscape Board's Feral Cat Eradication team is checking cameras deployed out in the field for sightings of feral cats. Photo supplied

They have come up with a method which speeds things up, shaving off 40 days annually from the process. They are using 4G-connected camera traps which send images to an image recognition software business called 'eVorta' which has a near non-existent website. It tells me nothing about their AI software. 

But it allows the eradicators to be informed in real time of the presence of feral cats in the area. The team have installed 200 of the cameras across various sites on the Dudley Peninsula.

Locals have been asked to help funding with donations. I interviewed an Australian woman on the issue of feral cats (click here to hear her) and my impression is that the residents agree with the eradication programs. I just think they are bloody cruel because there is no attempt to use humane methods. It is 'kill at all costs' and sod the pain.

The objective is to get rid of feral cats from all of Kangaroo Island ultimately. They have received government funding of $4m under the Marshall Liberal Government's Landscape Priorities Fund to remove the cats and manage the kangaroos plus for weed control.

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