Lei, Y., Dong, P., Guan, Y. et al. 2022. Postural behavior recognition of captive nocturnal animals based on deep learning: A case study of Bengal slow loris. Scientific Reports 12(1), 7738.

The precise identification of postural behavior plays a crucial role in evaluation of animal welfare and captive management. Deep learning technology has been widely used in automatic behavior recognition of wild and domestic fauna species. The Asian slow loris is a group of small, nocturnal primates with a distinctive locomotion mode, and a large number of individuals were confiscated into captive settings due to illegal trade, making the species an ideal as a model for postural behavior monitoring. Captive animals may suffer from being housed in an inappropriate environment and may display abnormal behavior patterns. Traditional data collection methods are time-consuming and laborious, impeding efforts to improve lorises’ captive welfare and to develop effective reintroduction strategies. This study established the first human-labeled postural behavior dataset of slow lorises and used deep learning technology to recognize postural behavior based on object detection and semantic segmentation. The precision of the classification based on YOLOv5 reached 95.1%. The Dilated Residual Networks (DRN) feature extraction network showed the best performance in semantic segmentation, and the classification accuracy reached 95.2%. The results imply that computer automatic identification of postural behavior may offer advantages in assessing animal activity and can be applied to other nocturnal taxa.