|Town/Region||Usambara Mountain Reserve|
|Country||Tanzania, United Republic of|
|Date||2 Feb 2002|
The genus Saintpaulia - the African Violet - hosts the most popular and globally significant plant species endemic to the biologically rich Eastern Arc Mountains in East Africa. Saintpaulia is a unique genetic resource of economic importance for the global horticultural industry and a potential tourist attraction in Tanzania.
However many of the 20 known species are endangered, due to the destruction of the forest where it grows. Little is known about species distribution because the plants grow on rock faces under forest canopy, often along streams and brooks. No monitoring programme is currently in place, and without a systematic mapping exercise, many of the species could become extinct in the near future.
This mapping and monitoring project will be located in Usambara Mountains, one of the Eastern Arc mountain chains in Northeastern Tanzania. The immediate objectives are to establish the actual distribution of the extant Saintpaulia and methodology of populations surveys, assess the conservation status, argument data collection for the taxonomic and conservation genetic resources, developing a GIS based methodology to predict localities of the species and strengthening collaboration between researchers, local institutions and private sectors to support long term conservation of this important species.
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