Researchers from the China Conservation and Research Centre for Giant Pandas have developed an app that could recognize individual pandas using facial recognition technology, the Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Friday (May 17).
The app will draw from more than 120,000 pictures and 10,000 videos of giant pandas to identify the animals.
According to a 2014 census conducted by the Chinese government, there are fewer than 2,000 giant pandas left in the wild, and they live in three provinces in western China. The country has taken a proactive role in conservation efforts, announcing last year that it would build a 10,476-square-mile panda reserve called the Giant Panda National Park at a cost of at least 10 billion yuan ($1.45 billion).
Presumably, recognizing individual animals will help conservationists keep track of how many pandas are left and see whether their efforts to encourage breeding are paying off. Chen Peng, a researcher at the China Conservation and…