Gorongosa Map of Life
The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts.” – Alexander Leopold
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Species New To Science
We have decided to close down tourism in Gorongosa National Park until further notice. We want to play our part in reducing movement and transmission of this disease that has the potential to profoundly affect the communities surrounding the Park.
Why we need a map of life.
A complete map of all elements of a system is prerequisite to its understanding; we cannot effectively protect things that we don’t know exist.
No complete inventory of biological diversity has ever been attempted in any protected area in Africa.
An unparalleled potential for discovery of new life forms, behaviors, ecological interactions, and biological mechanisms.
Assessment and management of environmental and ecological change requires knowledge of baseline conditions.
An ideal platform for training and building scientific capacity in Mozambique.
Located at the intersection of two biogeographic realms, East and southern African – results will directly benefit biodiversity research and conservation across most of the continent.
A stable, well developed research environment with cutting-edge facilities and a network of experts.
A logical extension of an already existing program of long term surveys and monitoring of biodiversity, with a new focus on the least explored habitats and organisms.
A critically needed help towards rebuilding Mozambican science and research capacity for management of protected areas and other natural heritage, including the expanded Gorongosa NP.
What we know so far
Within the last 4 years our knowledge of Gorongosa biodiversity has tripled
Identified centers of exceptional richness and potential endemism within the Greater Gorongosa Ecosystem.
Discovered 99+ species new to science, including new mammals and reptiles.
Recorded 1,000+ species never before known from Mozambique and rediscovered multiple species that have not been seen within the last 100 years.
Goals of the Gorongosa Map of Life ATBI
Systematic and comprehensive documentation of all groups of multicellular organisms.
Comprehensive biological exploration of all habitats of Gorongosa.
Selective documentation of microbial and unicellular diversity.
Creation of a map of interactions among organisms, and a comprehensive database of genetic and ecological diversity of Gorongosa.
Action Plan for Gorongosa Map of Life
Expansion of the international network of taxonomic specialists and expansion of the existing Gorongosa training program for Mozambican biosystematists.
Improvements to the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Laboratory to include the ability for large scale documentation of genetic diversity, including rapid sequencing of DNA samples in the field
Expansion of the Gorongosa bioinformatics infrastructure, and development of protocols for large scale specimen documentation and identification.
Development of sampling methods that maximize species discovery rate e.g., acoustic monitoring, environmental DNA screening, remote sampling of forest canopies and deep cave habitats.
Systematic exploration of the least known habitats of Gorongosa, including the Cheringoma cave system, forest canopy and Afromontane communities of Mt. Gorongosa, soil biodiversity, and aquatic systems.
Taxonomic sampling to include all major groups of metazoan and plant diversity (focal groups); selected sampling of bacterial and protozoan diversity.
Documentation of multi-trophic interactions among organisms e.g., parasites and parasitoids, inquilines of social species, mycorrhizal interactions.
A comprehensive database of species of Gorongosa, supported by a modern synoptic biological collection and a database of genetic sequences
A detailed, dynamic map of interactions among species and ecological groups (plants-herbivores, hosts-parasites, prey-predators etc.) of Gorongosa
A significant contribution to understanding of the composition and function of African ecosystems
Creation of a new cadre of local, Mozambican biodiversity specialists
Advance an integrated multi-partner approach to conservation and to people-centred development. The Gorongosa Project protects the Park’s biodiversity and ecosystem services and unlocks its economic potential for the community inhabitants of the Gorongosa Buffer Zone, Sofala Province, Mozambique and further afield.
A thriving, biodiversity-rich, Greater Gorongosa conservation landscape, which supports Sofala Province as an engine for resilient and sustainable development enabling nature experiences and wellbeing for its people, enriching all of Mozambique and the world.
A Park for Peace
On 1 August, 2019 a historic ceremony was held in Gorongosa to celebrate the Cessation of Hostilities Accord between the leaders of the Government of Mozambique and the opposition Renamo Party. The accord established Gorongosa National Park (GNP) as a ‘Park for Peace’, delivering human development to the communities that share the greater landscape.