14 Aug 2001
Hartebeest are patchily distributed in Kenya and are prone to local extinction. The team will examine the structure and history of hartebeest populations, and develop restoration plans.
Hartebeest are patchily distributed and are prone to local extinction. Kenya is home to two distinct taxa - "Coke's" occurring in the south and south-eastern areas of the country, and "Jackson's" which occupy the Ewaso region of central Kenya, and Ruma National Park near Lake Victoria.
Using diverse genetic markers, the team will examine the structure and history of hartebeest populations, emphasising the focal Ewaso population, thought to be endemic. If this proves to be the case, it will become a flagship species for the region, which is vast (20,000km2) and diverse but unprotected.
Results will guide restoration plans for hartebeest in Kenya, and emphasise the importance of biology in Kenya's conservation strategy.
In collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service, the work will be based at the Mpala Research Centre, located at the core of the Ewaso ecosystem, creating opportunities for Kenyan graduate students to work at a first class research facility.