Skip Navigation

African Wildlife Conservation

African Wildlife: Buffalo

What is Conservation Genomics?

Conservation genomics is a relatively new field of study that uses biotechnology for the conservation and restoration of biodiversity. Within species, the level of genetic diversity is directly proportional to a species' ability to adapt, survive and thrive.

To date, one of the most detailed conservation genomics studies of any wildlife species focused on American bison. This species experienced a well documented population decline between the years 1800 and 1900 that reduced its numbers by over 99%! The spectacular recovery to over 700,000 animals present today is a testament to their genetic constitution and is recognized as one of the most significant accomplishments in modern conservation biology.

Dr. James Derr

"We propose, using the bison studies as a model, to expand the use of these genomic technologies for the benefit of African wildlife species."

-Dr. James Derr, Professor
Texas A&M Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

Jerad Dabney with a Darted Rhino in South Africa

Jerad Dabney with a Darted Rhino in South Africa

Worldwide, the scientific community is realizing the value of collecting and preserving genetic material. Repositories are now being developed for humans, livestock, wildlife, insects, and plants.

African Wildlife: Oryx

Our Wildlife Conservation Project

Our project utilizes groups of hunting professionals, outfitters and veterinarians to collect genetic materials and health information from captured or killed animals and to archive this material with hunting organizations, museums, and universities. This archive of genetic material and health information will then form the foundation for a number of proposed genetic investigations of specific species.

Our professional partners will be provided with collection kits and training enabling them to properly gather and catalog DNA samples and health information from captured or harvested wildlife.