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SIMBA: Software to Identify Asiatic Lion


SIMBA UPSC: Relevance

  • GS 3: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


Software to Identify Asiatic Lion: Context

  • Recently, Gujarat Forest Department has decided to use SIMBA software to identify the Asiatic lions for their proper management and conservation.

 इस लेख को हिंदी में पढ़ने के लिए यहां क्लिक करें

What is SIMBA?

  • SIMBA or Software with Intelligent Marking Based identification of Asiatic lions is a photo-identification software, specifically designed to distinguish patterns or marks.
  • Through this software, forest department will assign different names to the lions by identifying marks on their body parts.
  • The veterinary record will also be maintained using this database.


SIMBA: Software to Identify Asiatic Lion_40.1


How SIMBA works?

  • Asiatic lions are known for their unique whisker spots on either side of their muzzle.
  • According to some scientific studies, these precise patterns are unique to a lion, and do not change over time.
  • SIMBA works with a deep machine learning technique that matches a point-pattern for pairwise comparisons that automates the individual identification, based on the variability in the individual’s whisker spot pattern, the presence of scars on the face, notches on the ears, and other metadata of the photograph.
  • The software also extracts the uniqueness from the photograph and can cluster similar patterns or marks within the embedding space of the machine learning.


Benefits of SIMBA

  • SIMBA allows the user to identify and search whether the individual already exists in the database or is a new inventory.
  • The individual from the database also be filtered by using additional information like gender (male/female), name, microchip number, life-status (dead/alive), lactating (in case of female).
  • SIMBA has a user-friendly graphical interface that helps to understand the available database easily.
  • SIMBA will aid the efforts towards conservation and management of the species in the Asiatic lion landscape.


SIMBA: Software to Identify Asiatic Lion_50.1


Asiatic Lions

  • Asiatic lions are endemic to the Gir forest of Gujarat.
  • It is one of the 21 critically endangered species identified by the MoECC for taking up recovery programmes.
  • Asiatic lions are slightly smaller than African lions. Adult males weigh 160 to 190 kg, while females weigh 110 to 120 kg.
  • There are approximately 600 Asiatic lions left in the Gir Forest of Western India, their last remaining natural habitat.
  • This small population survives in a tiny patch of forest where one disease epidemic or forest fire could wipe them out forever.
  • The small population is steadily increasing but the species is listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as it is still vulnerable to many threats.


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