Great Ape Detection in Challenging Jungle Camera Trap Footage via Attention-Based Spatial and Temporal Feature Blending

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We propose the first multi-frame video object detection framework trained to detect great apes. It is applicable to challenging camera trap footage in complex jungle environments and extends a traditional feature pyramid architecture by adding self- attention driven feature blending in both the spatial as well as the temporal domain. We demonstrate that this extension can detect distinctive species appearance and motion signatures despite significant partial occlusion. We evaluate the framework using 500 camera trap videos of great apes from the Pan African Programme containing 180K frames, which we manually annotated with accurate per-frame animal bonding boxes. These clips contain significant partial occlusions, challenging lighting, dynamic backgrounds, and natural camouflage effects. We show that our approach perfroms highly robustly and significantly outperforms frame-based detectors. We also perform detailed ablation studies and a validation on the full ILSVRC 2015 VID data corpus to demonstrate wider applicability at adequate performance levels. We conclude that the framework is ready to assist human camera trap inspection efforts. We publish key parts of the code as well as network weights and ground truth annotations with this paper.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2019
EventIEEE International Conference of Computer Vision 2019 -
Duration: 27 Oct 2019 → …


ConferenceIEEE International Conference of Computer Vision 2019
Period27/10/19 → …


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