In Photos: US Researchers Have Been Collecting Mugshots of Cats for 2 Years for Feline Census

Buzz | News18.com | November 20, 2020, 5:11 pm
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 A team of researchers from Washington DC have joined hands to finish a unique three-year project, painstakingly going through images of cats in the district to determine the exact number of felines. This was the first image that the group, led by wildlife ecologist with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute Bill McShea of the DC Count group and his team had posted on their social media accounts last year. (Photo: DC Cat Count/Twitter)
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A team of researchers from Washington DC have joined hands to finish a unique three-year project, painstakingly going through images of cats in the district to determine the exact number of felines. This was the first image that the group, led by wildlife ecologist with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute Bill McShea of the DC Count group and his team had posted on their social media accounts last year. (Photo: DC Cat Count/Twitter)

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 McShea and his team of researchers have put wildlife cameras in backyards, alleyways, street corners and triangle parks across the city. They have now finished collecting the data, and will soon start to analyse the photos. (Photo: DC Cat Count/Twitter)
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McShea and his team of researchers have put wildlife cameras in backyards, alleyways, street corners and triangle parks across the city. They have now finished collecting the data, and will soon start to analyse the photos. (Photo: DC Cat Count/Twitter)

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 In November last year, the team had documented the wild Bob cat near Georgetown. This sighting was the first reported sighting of a wild bobcat in DC ever! The project, according to the team's webiste, will serve as a
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In November last year, the team had documented the wild Bob cat near Georgetown. This sighting was the first reported sighting of a wild bobcat in DC ever! The project, according to the team's webiste, will serve as a "highly visible example of constructive collaboration between animal welfare organizations, wildlife scientists, academic institutions, and citizens who wish to cooperatively pursue common goals for cats and wildlife rather than engage in conflict." (Photo: DC Cat Count/Twitter)

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 Many often blame the outdoor feral cats of killing birds and small mammals each year and DC Cat Count aims to get an accurate count of the felines so that it makes it somewhat easier for the researchers to exactly understand the kind of impact the animals have on the local ecosystem and other animals in specific. While explaining the act of neutering a cat, they explain,
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Many often blame the outdoor feral cats of killing birds and small mammals each year and DC Cat Count aims to get an accurate count of the felines so that it makes it somewhat easier for the researchers to exactly understand the kind of impact the animals have on the local ecosystem and other animals in specific. While explaining the act of neutering a cat, they explain, "If its left ear is flat, like this cat’s ear is, it has already been trapped, neutered, and put back where it was found." (Photo: DC Cat Count)

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 McShea's team of researchers placed cameras in 1,530 locations, each in different and commonplace areas of sightings across the city. Each location was surveilled for 15 days, for 22,950 days of observation. They have managed to take 6 million photos and around 20% of the pictures are of cats. The DC cat Count's Twitter handle also keeps posting interesting facts about the felines, one such as that the furry creatures can sleep up to 16 hours a day. (Photo: DC Cat Count/Twitter)
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McShea's team of researchers placed cameras in 1,530 locations, each in different and commonplace areas of sightings across the city. Each location was surveilled for 15 days, for 22,950 days of observation. They have managed to take 6 million photos and around 20% of the pictures are of cats. The DC cat Count's Twitter handle also keeps posting interesting facts about the felines, one such as that the furry creatures can sleep up to 16 hours a day. (Photo: DC Cat Count/Twitter)

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 The researchers were also lucky enough to capture many more local animals. The cameras managed to take photos of dogs, squirrels, deer, rats and raccoons. Also a few rare urban animals such as flying squirrels, coyotes, beavers and a bob cat. (Photo: DC Cat Count)
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The researchers were also lucky enough to capture many more local animals. The cameras managed to take photos of dogs, squirrels, deer, rats and raccoons. Also a few rare urban animals such as flying squirrels, coyotes, beavers and a bob cat. (Photo: DC Cat Count)

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 The researchers now will be going through all the photos of the felines to ensure no photos are being replicated. After that, they will be able to tell the feline population of a particular area and then conduct further research on their density and give an estimate on their numbers. The project will be completed in 2021 and is funded by several charity organisations. (Photo: DC Cat Count)<br />
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The researchers now will be going through all the photos of the felines to ensure no photos are being replicated. After that, they will be able to tell the feline population of a particular area and then conduct further research on their density and give an estimate on their numbers. The project will be completed in 2021 and is funded by several charity organisations. (Photo: DC Cat Count)

  • First Published: November 20, 2020, 5:11 pm

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