This paper used an integrative approach to understand pan-african biodiversity at the genetic and biogeographic level, with generalizable implications for African conservation biology. They started by identifying haplogroup the African bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus) by sequencing a 516 bp sequence from the control region of the mitochondrial genome. When they matched the haplogroup diversity with phenotypic data, they found poor correlation between present taxonomic delineations and their own molecular data. They then looked at the relationship between haplotype structure and 58 previously described biogeographic regions. By integrating these data and testing a number of previously proposed models, they came up with 28 ecoregions that are ecologically heterogeneous and defined by genetic similarity of the bushbuck that inhabit them. By targeting these regions, it will be possible to conserve the entirety of bushbuck diversity. The authors posit that targeting these regions will be suitable for conserving most afro-tropical animals, especially generalist species.
Don't YOU want to save this bushbuck baby?!