|Date||6 Oct 2015|
While the number of endangered species is increasing at global scale, habitat loss and effects of climate change continue to threaten the remaining wildlife species. On the other hand, large proportion of all living organisms remains uncharacterized by biologists (Baker and Bradley, 2006). Some of the species simply not yet studied by researchers and others remain cryptic species, where one or more species classified as a single nominal species because they are at least superficially morphologically indistinguishable. Given the uncertainties in species taxonomy and that only a few percent of species are assessed for their extinction risk, many species may likely have gone extinct without being noticed (Ceballos and Ehrlich, 2009).
One in particular example for cryptic species discovered during the last few years is the African wolf (Fig 1, Koepfli et al., 2015; Rueness et al., 2015). African wolf was formerly confused with golden jackal Canis aureus. Koepfli et al., (2015) propose all the African golden jackal Canis aureus belongs to the same African wolf species in contrary to the possibility of both African wolf and African golden jackal occurred in Africa (Gaubert et al., 2012). This study will further explore African canids’ taxonomic status in Ethiopia and other African countries.
With this study, we also aim to determine the validity of the current Suidae taxonomy in Africa, in particular Potamochoerus species. Bushpig (Potamochoerus larvatus; Fig 2A) has wide distribution range in Africa from Ethiopia to many countries down to South Africa. Its close relative, Red River Hog (Potamochoerus porcu) is distributed through the West and Central African rainforest belt where there is no confirmed record in Sudan, chad and Ethiopia (Querouil and Leus, 2008, Seydack, 2008; Fig 2B). Our preliminary results from DNA sequencing do not fit to this taxonomy. Hence, with this research we will use both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequencing for the taxonomy of the Suidae in the tropical rain forest of Ethiopia in 4 localities presented at Fig 3.
Read about Anagaw's previous project http://www.rufford.org/projects/anagaw_atickem_meshesha or for more information contact: