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″/>

Example of segmentation using scanned wildlife CT images to develop algorithms to produce grayscale images. Color 3D images are used for visualization only. Image segmentations are calculated directly from the reconstructed grayscale radiodensity values. (A) Australian water dragon (Intellagama lesueurii) under metal pan, (B) Barramundi fish (Lates calcarifer) in virtual test bag scenario with metal toy car, sock and water bottle, (C) Rainbow lorikeet parrot (Trichoglossus moluccanus) next in a three liter water bottle. Credit: Frontiers in Conservation Science (2022). DOI: 10.3389/fcosc.2022.757950

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

This research is a result of detection and conservation organizations. 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 baggage routes travelers.

Deputy Secretary of the Biosecurity and Compliance Group at DAFF, Chris Locke, and Deputy Deputy Secretary for Environmental Compliance at DCCEEW, Sam Hush said the work published in the Frontiers in Conservation Science Human-Wildlife Interactions Journal provided the reported results for three categories of wildlife (lizards, birds and fish) within 3D X-ray security scan images.

“Illegal wildlife trafficking poses a significant biosecurity risk to Australia as it could 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 the exotic wildlife trade, protecting Australia’s agricultural industries and unique natural environment from exotic pests and diseases.

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

Mr Hush said the wildlife trade was also damaging to Australia’s biodiversity.

“Taking animals from the wild poses risks to the conservation of the species, local populations, habitats and ecosystems, and preventing wildlife trade in Australia protects our unique natural environment from exotic pests and diseases,” said Mr. Hush.

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

“We are working with DAFF to test and validate 3D radiography and wildlife algorithms which have proven to be very effective and can help with a number of important detections.”


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

Provided by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Reference: 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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