Genetic map to help curb ivory poaching
“Scientists have unveiled a new hi-tech weapon to help combat the illegal trade of ivory in Africa: a map.
The map describes how the genetic profiles of African elephants vary across the continent, from the dense forests of western and central Africa to the vast eastern savanna.
The team behind the map, headed by Samuel Wasser, a biologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, says it can be used to verify where collections of ivory originated, by allowing police and customs officers to link stocks of tusks to herds known to live in a specific region.
It could also help alert officials to the emergence of poaching hotspots, where law enforcement needs to be bolstered. ”
I thought that this was really interesting.