Conservation Mapping

Do you love mammals and regularly take photos of them? If so, then you can do your part for conservation and contribute your mammal photos to science.

By submitting your images to the MammalMAP virtual museum, you can help update the distribution maps of all African mammal species.

The easiest place to start is in your favourite national park, but it does not have to be restricted to them. In fact, the project is collecting data from the entire African continent. This will assist the team with important decisions when it comes to wildlife management.

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“Our database software generates online distribution maps of all recorded species,” says Megan Lategan, MammalMAP project coordinator at the Animal Demography Unit, University of Cape Town. This work is significant because it can help to determine whether ranges are expanding or contracting. According to Lategan, changes can act as an early warning system and is vital for proper biodiversity and landscape conservation. In addition it provides a great platform for public education when it comes to conservation challenges.

This kind of data is just as important within fenced-in conservation areas, she says. This applies to every single mammal roaming the park, even antelope that are in abundance. The Kruger National Park for example is made up of many grids. Some of these grids have impala and others do not. “For this reason we encourage everybody to submit as much as possible so that we can build our distribution maps.”

You can submit your recent images along with their locations and dates to the database. Visit www.mammalmap.adu.org.za and click on ‘get involved’ if you are not yet registered. If you prefer an app, visit www.wildafricalive.com and download it. All sightings will be submitted to the MammalMAP database.

Enquiries: [email protected] or +27-72-200-1216

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Photographs: Petro Kotzé and René de Klerk

Content courtesy of SANParks Times: www.sanparkstimes.co.za

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