Using 3D X-ray technology to detect illegal wildlife trafficking

Frontiers in Conservation Science (2022). DOI: 10.3389/fcosc.2022.757950″ width=”800″ height=”438″/>

An example of segmentation using scanned wildlife CT images to develop a grayscale imaging algorithm. Color 3D images are used for visualization only; image segmentation is calculated directly from the reconstructed grayscale radiodensity values. (A) Australian water dragon (Intellagama lesueurii) under metal pan, (B) Barramundi fish (Lates calcarifer) in mock test bag scenario with metal toy car, sock and water bottle, (C) Rainbow lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus ) next to a three liter bottle of water. credit: Frontiers in conservation science (2022). DOI: 10.3389/fcosc.2022.757950

A paper titled “Detecting Illegal Wildlife Trafficking Using Real-Time Tomography, 3D X-ray Imaging and Automated Algorithms” and published in Frontiers in conservation sciencewas the first to document the use of 3D X-ray CT scanning technology for wildlife conservation in the scientific literature.

This research is the result of detection and conservation agencies; The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), the Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water (DCCEEW), Rapiscan Systems and Taronga Conservation Society Australia are joining forces to combat illegal wildlife smuggling through mail and roads to passenger luggage.

Biosecurity and compliance group deputy secretary at DAFF, Chris Locke, and acting assistant secretary for environmental compliance at DCCEEW, Sam Hush, said the paper, published in the Frontiers in Conservation Science Human-Wildlife Interactions Journal, provided the reported results for three classes of wildlife (ie, lizards, birds and fish) within 3D X-ray CT security images.

“Illegal wildlife trafficking poses a significant risk to Australia’s biosecurity as it can introduce pests and diseases that could affect the environment as well as human and animal health,” Dr Locke said.

“This paper demonstrates the limitless potential of the 3D X-ray algorithm to help stop exotic wildlife trafficking, protecting Australia’s agricultural industry and unique natural environment from exotic pests and diseases.”

“This innovative technology is an invaluable complementary platform to our existing biosecurity and wildlife detection tools at Australia’s international borders, with potential global applications in the future.”

Mr Hush said wildlife trafficking was also harmful to Australia’s biodiversity.

“Taking animals from the wild poses a risk to the conservation of species, native populations, habitats and ecosystems, and stopping wildlife trafficking in Australia protects our unique natural environment from exotic pests and diseases,” Mr Hush said.

“It’s also extremely cruel. Smuggled animals often suffer from stress, dehydration or starvation, and many die in transit.

“We are working with DAFF to test and validate the 3D wildlife x-ray and algorithms, which have proven to be very effective and can help make a number of important discoveries.”


US influence on the illegal pet trade in Australia


More info:
Vanessa Pirotta et al, Detecting Illegal Wildlife Trafficking Using Real-Time Tomography, 3D X-ray Imaging and Automated Algorithms, Frontiers in conservation science (2022). DOI: 10.3389/fcosc.2022.757950

Provided by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Quote: Using 3D X-ray Technology to Detect Illegal Wildlife Trafficking (2022, September 23), Retrieved September 23, 2022, from https://phys.org/news/2022-09-3d-x-ray -technology-illegal-wildlife .html

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