Invitation to a Public Lecture on the White Rhinoceros – A problem in Conservation

The Royal Academy of South Africa and the Academy of Science of South Africa invite you to a public lecture by Eric Harley, FRSSAf, Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town on ‘The White Rhinoceros. A problem in Conservation.’

This talk addresses not only the specific problem of salvaging the genetic diversity of the Northern White Rhinoceros (only 3 individuals remain) but also the more general topic of the definition of species concepts. The probable extinction of the last confirmed population of northern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) has ignited debate regarding its species status compared to the southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum), compounded by one report claiming the two to be different species. Using whole mitochondrial genome sequences from four northern and three southern white rhinoceros we have estimated the divergence time between the two mitochondrial DNA lineages to be between 0.46 and 0.97 million years ago. These results put into focus the ongoing debate regarding the consequences of species definitions in conservation management of endangered species and subspecies.  

Date:     Wednesday 17 May 2017

Time:    17h00 (Tea will be served from 16h30)

Place:    South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) Auditorium, Observatory Road, Observatory* 

*Directions to SAAO Auditorium : From the N2, turn off to the M57 – Liesbeek Parkway; turning in the direction of Cape Town and continue until the traffic lights with Hartleyvale (hockey and football) on your left. Turn right at traffic lights into Observatory Road, pass the River Club; the S A Astronomical Observatory is next on the left. Once through the security gates bear left following the SALT signs to the auditorium i.e. last building on the left (white with stoep & ramp).