Artificial Intelligence Can Help Protect Orchids and Other Species

Scientists have developed a new way to figure out which orchids are at risk of extinction. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species is the most comprehensive catalog of endangered plants and animals in the world. To be assessed, each species needs a thorough scientific study of its conservation status. However, the enormous orchid family contains almost 30,000 species, and only about 1400 have IUCN Red List assessments so far. Scientists have created an automated system using machine learning algorithms, also known as deep learning. They input existing studies, climate info, geography, and other traits to quickly study lots of orchids. So far, they’ve identified over 4300 varieties which are at risk. They’ve also pinpointed regions with lots of endangered species, including Madagascar, East Africa, and Southeast Asia. Their automated approach may be used for other plants and animals too, helping to direct conservation resources where they’re most needed.

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