East Africa is the major hotspot for diversity of native Oreochromis, the genus that dominated the $5b+ global tilapia farming industry. These unique populations may contain genes for disease resistance, environmental tolerances valuable for improvement of farmed tilapia strains. However, they are threatened by invasive strains stocked from fish farms which often outcompete native tilapia strains or genetically swap them through hybridization. Recent surveys have indicated that non-native often invasive species are now present in many water bodies, but assessing or ameliorating the threat has been hampered by lack of species identification capacity and difficulty in archiving and accessing distribution. Therefore, it is the aim of this project to identify remaining populations of native tilapias in Kenya and Tanzania, map distribution of introduced and invasive species. This will be done using TilapiaMap (http://tilapiamap.bangor.ac.uk), a cost effective smartphone app developed by Geosho (www.geosho.com) for Bangor University and the Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute (www.tafiri.go.tz). Data collected from the project will be made available in open access global repositories and it is envisaged that these data will inform policy on zonation of strains used in aquaculture and on importation of non-native species, ultimately helping to preserve the genetic diversity of East Africa’s native tilapia.
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|Bounding Coordinates||South West [-11.953, 29.268], North East [5.135, 41.924]|
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|Title||Mapping for Conservation of Native Tilapia Resources in East Africa (TilapiaMap)|
|Funding||This project is funded by JRS Biodiversity Foundation (http://jrsbiodiversity.org/grants/bangor-2017/). The mission of the foundation is to enhance knowledge and promote the understanding of biological diversity for the benefit and sustainability of life on earth. More information about the organisation may be found here (http://jrsbiodiversity.org/)|
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