Genomics Project Update
One of our major projects in 2020 was the Central African Genomics Project in partnership with African Parks & Stamford University. By collecting genetic samples from a range of species it will be possible to gain a real insight into them that would not otherwise be possible in such a remote and vast habitat. Elephant, giraffe, lion, leopard and hyena were all included in the survey
By studying the genomics its possible to understand the population sizes and density, interactions with other populations, the make up of populations and their overall health and diet. Such data is vital when trying to plan for future conservation as well as understanding how to make existing populations thrive.
One key part of our project was to finance was the collection of data from National Parks in the area, from several Central Africa countries, including Garamba National Park in DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo).
The DNA samples come from several sources - droppings and hair being the easiest to obtain ( but tricky to find). Garamba have just shared with us some images of the elephant collaring they did in the Park in late February/March. They took the opportunity to collect DNA samples that are now off to Stamford in the US for analysis. As more collection data is delivered so the results will get more detailed and a blueprint can be created for future conservation efforts in the region.