Cattle counting in the wild with geolocated aerial images in large pasture areas

V. H.A. Soares*, M. A. Ponti, R. A. Gonçalves, R. J.G.B. Campello

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Among the production areas with largest impact on global economy, agriculture and livestock play a prominent role. Technologies have been developed in order to automate and increase the efficiency of these fields. The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) has been extensively investigated to improve the efficiency of agricultural production and in the monitoring of animals. One of the most important and challenging tasks in animal monitoring is cattle counting. In this paper, we propose a method for detecting and counting cattle in aerial images obtained by UAVs, based on Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) and a graph-based optimization to remove duplicated animals detected in overlapped images. We show that maximizing the degree of matching between animals is a suitable strategy to reduce duplicate counting. We also offer a dataset of real images, obtained from large pasture areas, both for training as well as for testing/benchmarking of cattle counting techniques. Our results show that the proposed method is very competitive, outperforming the state of the art in detecting duplicated animals, while significantly reducing the computational cost of the overall counting task.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106354
JournalComputers and Electronics in Agriculture
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Cattle counting
  • CNN
  • Object detection
  • Precision farming
  • UAV


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