Scientists are continuing to discover so many ways to preserve our natural resources, even attempting to bring back animals that have gone extinct.
Nature-lovers have come with environmental steps to save polar bears. Scientists who were unable to further study the white rhinos have raised funds to pursue genome sequencing to bring back the endangered black rhinos. Geneticists have compared current Asian elephants with the extinct woolly mammoth, further aiming to resurrect the furry beast.
Almost similarly, conservationists in Kenya aim to preserve a famous wild creature through the use of a technology, which is known by most as useful to humans.
The technology is one that optimized a facial recognition system that can be used on, well, lions.
The Kenya-based wildlife group Lion Guardians started using a database that allows them to pinpoint individual lions, through facial recognition. The database called Lion Identification Network of Collaborators (LINC) was incorporated in the conservationist groups work in June.
While lions are neither extinct nor endangered, the group aims to better understand how they move about, to come up with better conservation efforts.
Other tracking techniques may make it difficult for researchers to 'catch up' with the lions and have a clear understanding of the large cats. In fact, Kerr says that the lions' movements throughout Africa are poorly understood.
Expensive GPS transmitters, for example, can only be fitted on the beast is sedated. These GPS transmitters last for only a short while, from one to three years.
Facial recognition is important in lions because their faces might as well be the most distinctive feature. It may be a little easier to identify spotted or striped animals like the liger, leopard or cheetah, because of their differing and recognizable coat patterns.
"With LINC, the conservation organization and other wildlife researchers will have an easier way to monitor the beast's whereabouts," Kerr said.
A similar technology is also used in the study of other animals. Camera traps capture photos of Bengal tigers which are studied through a facial recognition system. Wild chimps are monitored by a software that identifies their faces. Penguins are also identified not by unique facial patterns, but through their chests and bellies.
The Lion Guardians, which is based on a decade of research, boasts of having been able to transform lion killers into protectors.
William Warby | Flickr