Thursday, March 14, 2013

Toyota Enviro Outreach 2013

Toyota Enviro Outreach team 2012
I usually try not to provide free ads for companies but this very successful program sponsored by Toyota South Africa and other corporations surely deserves a post.

Already for the fifth time a team of South African researchers will use a small fleet of vehicles (you can guess the make of those) to travel to a remote site in South Africa to collect samples for DNA Barcoding. 

This years tour will start on April 2nd at the Klipbokkop Mountain Reserve and will run until April 14th, during which time scientists and students from the University of Johannesburg, the South African National Biodiversity Institute, University of Pretoria, and University of Cape Town will visit several floristically interesting sites in the extremely arid Gariep region (Gariep Desert, Bushmanland Inselbergs, quartz patches) and the Upper Nama-Karoo region of the Northern Cape Province, with the goal to collect material for herbarium specimens and DNA Barcoding, as well as information about species distributions, population surveys of threatened species, habitat and threat assessment data while also recording information about plant utilisation.

South Africa is home to almost 10% of the world’s plant species and an astonishingly rich faunal diversity. It is paramount to learn more about this diversity otherwise the country would be limited in its ability to use such a national asset to solve environmental and human welfare challenges. Furthermore, with the current rate of extinction no other generation will have access to the number and diversity of species that we have now (many of which still remain unknown to science). It is the mission of the African Centre for DNA Barcoding (ACDB) is to bridge this knowledge gap and strengthen research frameworks for international, regional and inter-institutional co-operation in Africa. The ACDB collaborates with the International Barcode of Life project (iBOL) to explore the resources of South Africa's biodiversity, especially species that are poorly known. They are therefore extremely important and their preservation for future generations pivotal. 

Happy collecting!

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