Sunday April 22, 2018
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Using computer algorithm to catch the sound of endangered frogs

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Red legged frog. Image Source - Wikipedia
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  • Red-legged frogs are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
  • Gary Kittleson a biologist is trying determine whether the conservation efforts are helping or not.
  • Many steps have been taken to find  the frogs and conserve them.

In the east of swamp in Santa cruz , Califorina,  Gary Kittleson a biologist and young explorer is trying find the rare red legged frogs. A local trust has hired him, to determine whether their number is growing or decreasing.

The Area called Watsonville Slough is a important habitat for the red legged frogs.

These frogs lost their habitat due to over hunting for frog legs and development, and now it is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Kittleson says it is not a job to spot frog in thick brush and pick out their sound and differentiate from other frogs. The people who have untrained ears wouldn’t able to do it. But Gary is an expert and is capable listing to them even while talking.

But this method is an old way of counting animals and it requires lot of time and man power too. With just Kittleson one could get only a small size of data because he can’t be there the whole time.

Hence the local trust of Santa Cruz has also partnered with Conservation Metrics a company which specialises in protecting and conserving biological matters. The company and Kittleson have setup song meters – little green boxes with microphones that record all night and capture everything.

Data recorded in the song meter is then uploaded in computer and the company employees little green boxes with microphones that record all night and capture everything.  What would normally take a whole team of field biologists can now be done by one person and a computer says Matthew Mckown CEO of Conservation Metrics.

“Our whole point is to make conservation better, so we are trying to make it as cheap as possible,” he says.

Conservation Metrics was found three years ago. Mckown believes big data is the hot tool in conservation to study endangered animals and threatened habitats.

“What you’re going to start having is cameras, acoustic sensors, satellites trained on these important parts of the world,” he says.

Kittleson stays in the Watsonville Slough where night has fallen and he finally spots one and says “Beautiful. Adult red-legged frog,”

He is not too optimistic about the future of the red legged frogs. But he says good data is the only way to know if conservation efforts are helping.

by Bhaskar Raghavendran

Bhaskar is a graduate in Journalism and mass communication and a reporter at NewsGram. Twitter handle: bhaskar_ragha

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Fast Food Habits of Americans

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Americans include fast food in their daily food habits.
Fast Food. Pixabay

It’s no secret that Americans have a taste for fast food. In fact, almost one in four Americans eats it daily, according to a report from CBS News. However, the amount of fast food consumed varies depending on the region, according to a new report from Texas-based Datafiniti, which broke down some of the data about Americans fast food habit.

For example, the central and southern states boast the highest concentrations of fast food restaurants per capita, with Alabama as the state with the most. The northeastern states have the fewest and are led by Vermont, New Jersey and New York.

“The Central region, at 4.5 fast food restaurants per 10K residents, has the highest number of fast food restaurants per capita,” the company wrote in a news release. “The South is close behind with 4.4. The Eastern region has the fewest with just 2.5 fast food restaurants per 10K residents.”

Alabama has 6.3 restaurants per 10,000 residents, the most of any state. Of the top 10 states, nine were in the South. Nebraska and Indiana were the only non-southern states in the top 10 with 5.4 and 5 restaurants per 10,000 residents respectively.

Vermont, for example, has only 1.9 fast-food restaurants per 10,000 residents. Orlando, Cincinnati and Las Vegas boast the highest number of fast food restaurants per capita, with New York having the fewest. California has four cities among the top 10, with the fewest restaurants.

McDonald’s, which is the second largest chain of fast food restaurants, can be found in every American city, and Orlando and Las Vegas have the most per capita with 20.9 and 13.9 McDonald’s per 100,000 residents.

What is the largest fast-food chain? Subway, which has 18.5 percent of all fast food restaurants. McDonald’s has 11.3 percent. Behind them, in third, is Burger King, which has 5.7 percent.

Also Read: STUDY – Americans Online Almost Everytime

“Southern and Central states are the place to go if you love fast food; head to the East or out West if you don’t,” Datafiniti wrote. “Southern cities have abundant options for fast food, particularly in Florida; head to California if you don’t want to eat on the go.

“As for McDonald’s, it appears that this major restaurant chain has spread to every corner of America. Head to California if you don’t like the golden arches, and head basically anywhere else if you do.”  VOA

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