We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.

The full article is available here as HTML.

Press Ctrl-C to copy

[BEIJING] Chinese scientists have developed a system to help field biologists identify plant and animal species rapidly by sending images to experts over the Internet.

The system — approved by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) on 17 February — will assist researchers in fields such as biodiversity conservation, pest control and disease surveillance.

"This is not a breakthrough in a technical sense, but it combines different approaches to save the biologists time and allow them to be more accurate," says Ji Liqiang, a researcher at CAS.

"The system will let us decide quickly and cheaply whether there are new threats from pests or invasive species."

Ji says the system is easy to use and install in remote field stations. Field workers will use microscopes and video cameras capture images of species and transmit them over the Internet to biologists in other parts of the country.

These experts will have access to a comprehensive image database to assist in identifying species.