Leatherbacks Matching by Automated Image Recognition

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We describe a method that performs automated recognition of individual laetherback turtles within a large nesting population. With only minimal preprocessing required of the user, we prove able to produce unsupervised matching results. The matching is based on the Scale-Invariant Feature Transform by Lowe. A strict condition posed by biologists reads that matches should not be missed (no false negatives). A robust criterion is defined to meet this requirement. Results are reported for a considerable sample of leatherbacks.