Genetic Analysis of Elephant Species in Guinea Conakry

Olivia Bruni Biology, Education
Olivia Groenewold Biology

Adam Brandt Professor of Biology

Presentation Time: April 28, 3:30pm – 4:00pm

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 In the aim of conservation, this project studied the elephant population in the transitional zone of Guinea Conakry to determine whether the individuals in the population are African forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis), African savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana), or a hybridized species. In the transitional zone, the elephants live under low surveillance and security, making them vulnerable to poaching. In this study, we collected genetic data from the elephants of Guinea Conakry to better understand their taxonomic affinity and added to a larger genetic database that has been developed to locate the origin of ivory seized from poachers to better direct efforts and resources for African elephant conservation. We  accomplished three goals by conducting this research: 1) used DNA to determine the elephant species found within the transition zone in Guinea Conakry, 2) identified single nucleotide polymorphisms indicative of hybridization, and 3) added this data to the growing trans-African genetic database to aid in anti-poaching efforts. 

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