Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Project Description

I don't have an official written out project description. Yet. But this is the description that got this whole thing started:

Species mapping projects

Over the past 10 years various people in Denmark have been involved in the work of mapping species distributions in Africa. This has entailed producing maps of all species of birds, mammals, snakes and amphibians. And a selection of plants. This work has been concluded for the time being, but there are a number of potential student projects that would be good to see happening:

  • African reptile mapping. The distribution of snakes and chelonians has already been mapped in Denmark. But there are a large number of other reptile groups that are found in Africa and which are not yet mapped in any meaningful way. A number of Masters level projects could be devised that look at mapping the distribution of different reptile groups, and analyzing the distribution patterns that result, potentially comparing these to the patterns seen in other taxonomic groups. These projects would be based on the literature available and also on some data compilation work that has already been completed by Conservation International.

Since accepting this project, we have had a meeting with Conservation International. As it turns out, they are beginning a Global Reptile Assessment similar to the ones they have done with Amphibians and Mammals. The point of the project is to collect as much information about the various reptile families around the world and go through them species by species and assess the populations. The information will then be used by the Species Survival Commission to assess the threat level and add them to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

And what is the best part of all of this? My department and adviser have expertise in East Africa. And who has a massive collection of East African snake maps (like 400+ maps)? Copenhagen University. And where does IUCN need the help? East Africa. So if all goes as we plan we will be the experts for East African reptiles. Yehaw!

No comments:

Post a Comment