Genetic Architecture Detected by Microsatellite Screening of the Rothschild’s Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi) Population in Murchison Falls National Park

There are six recognized populations of Rothschild’s giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi) protected in Uganda and Kenya. Two populations in Uganda are at Murchison Falls National Park and Kidepo Valley National Park. Four populations in Kenya are at Lake Nakuru National Park, Ruma National Park, Giraffe Manor, and Yoder Flower Farm. The Kidepo Valley population in northern Uganda has experienced a rapid decline in numbers over the past years falling to only two original individuals. Reintroduction efforts have been initiated in cooperation with the Kenya Wildlife Service translocating six individuals from the Lake Nakuru population into Kidepo Valley. A question posed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority centered around the prospect of adding individuals from the Murchison Falls population to the combined population of natural Kidepo Valley inhabitants and the Lake Nakuru imports. The two populations, Murchison Falls and Lake Nakuru, were compared for the extent of differentiation that could be detected by genetic analysis. The differentiation was found to be significant which indicates that they are not closely related. This would be expected to increase the likelihood for success if the representatives of the two populations are commingled.

Last Updated
January 26, 2021
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