Population Genomics and the Viability of the Endangered Sanje Mangabey (Cercocebus sanjei) in the Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania
The Sanje mangabey (Cercocebus sanjei) is a primate that is endemic to the Udzungwa Mountains in Tanzania. The species is listed as endangered due to its declining population, habitat loss and fragmentation. The species is divided between two small and isolated forest blocks; the well-protected Mwanihana forest in the Udzungwa Mountains National Park and the relatively unprotected Udzungwa Scarp Nature Reserve forest block.
My study aims to improve our understanding of the remaining Sanje mangabey populations and to investigate the underlying genomic structure and management status of the two forest blocks. This is being achieved by conducting a population survey for the first time in over 15 years using a more suitable acoustic method, and through genomic methods that are being used to analyse DNA from faecal samples to establish the diversity of the population and to elucidate any adaptive differentiation between the forest blocks.
The demographic and genomic results will be used to model population and habitat viability and potential conservation strategies. An informed management plan will be presented to local and national Tanzanian authorities in a series of dissemination workshops and the outcomes will contribute towards an action plan for the species.
NERC CASE Studentship (Bristol Zoological Society)