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Gentle Observation: IFAW × Uniview as Smart Raptor Watchers

As environment improves, wild animals increase in urban areas, posing a new challenge: how to better coexist with these animals.

In 2021, Uniview partnered with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to enhance wildlife rescue and protection efforts. To prevent disturbances to injured animals, Uniview met the challenge, completing the installation of all monitoring points within three months. Now the IFAW Beijing Raptor Rescue Center (BRRC) rehabilitators can observe the status of raptors in real-time without the need to approach their rooms, thus reducing the raptors’ stress responses.

Under the monitoring of these cameras, the raptors exhibit relaxed natural behaviors, helping rehabilitators in making more informed medical and rehabilitation plans for them. Raptors like Eurasian Eagle-owls and Common Kestrels can be observed in remarkable detail, with high-resolution cameras capturing their entire bodies as well as intricate features such as pupils, feathers, and plumage reflections.

UNV cameras installed in the bird wards and operating rooms can magnify up to 44 times, significantly enhancing observation capabilities. Zhou Lei, a rehabilitator at the IFAW BRRC, expressed that these devices facilitate peer exchanges for activities such as feather replacement and other technical exchanges. The high-definition cameras enable more precise demonstrations and operations, furthering the center’s rehabilitation efforts.

While technology has extended human vision, mere recording is not sufficient. The rehabilitators proposed a new requirement: could algorithm help with monitoring? Fu Qiang, a Uniview software expert, explained that animals’ behaviors differ significantly from humans’, requiring a complete reorganization of animal models and actions to develop a new algorithm. Despite the complexity, Uniview achieved this in a year. Now, advanced models can identify bird actions and automatically capture them. The algorithm recognizes movements, adjusts for amplitude, captures images, and saves them to a folder, enabling staff to easily search for specific activities.

This technological advancement is invaluable for public education work. For example, it enables the capture of interesting small movements that can be used for raising public awareness. Sharing these insights helps the public better understand raptors, which is of great significance.

Uniview remains committed to protecting biodiversity through cutting-edge technology, including intelligent devices and sophisticated algorithms. Our collaboration with IFAW exemplifies how technology can be harnessed to foster a deeper connection between humans and the natural world, ultimately contributing to the preservation and understanding of wildlife.

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