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African Manatee Genetic Study

We hosted research scientist Lucy Keith Diagne from Sea to Shore Alliance and facilitated her African manatee research and monitoring workshop in Lambaréné in September 2013. With a permit from Gabon CENEREST, the OELO team collected seven genetic samples from manatee bushmeat which were exported to the US with a CITES permit for analysis. So far, Lucy has identified from these samples three distinct genetic markers for the Ogooué region, giving valuable new information about the population structure of African manatees in this area that has never previously been studied. In addition to facilitating the workshop and genetic study, OELO hosted two field excursions with trainees from Eaux et Forets, Direction de la Pêche, WWF, and OELO to learn manatee survey and sampling techniques and to visit hunting villages on Lake Ezanga.

In 2014, we continued to work with Lucy and Sea to Shore Alliance on environmental education activities and outreach related to African manatee conservation.