By Joseph Nashion
YAMBIO, 28 July 2012 [Gurtong] - The Biologists led by Dr Dee Ann Reeder, a Professor of Biology from Bucknell University in the United States, is exploring the largely undocumented animal networks found in South Sudan.
“We are interested in studying the animals of Western Equatoria State that have not been studied well. We are also trying to do some conservation work and education about animals”, said Reeder.
The Acting State Governor Sapana Abuyi welcomed the team and urged them to do their best and show the diversity of the area to the world.
Abuyi added that the research will help the local community to value wild animals and help in conservation.
Reeder said that Western Equatoria State lies at a crossroads in animal migration in Sub-Saharan Africa where rare interactions take place.
The team is also interested in studying diseases and to find out where deadly diseases like Ebola virus originate from, and how the virus manages to transfer from animals into humans.
Reeder said the research could help save lives if they can educate the local residents on which animals carry greater risks of spreading these dangerous diseases.
The researchers will also have a chance to discover different species that have never been documented before by scientists.
“We suspect that there are animals here especially mammals and some birds that are never described to science”, she said.
The team’s work will help people understand the unique diversity in Western Equatoria State and hopefully show the value in conserving the plant life and animal kingdom in the region.
Reeder stressed the need for the country to continue caring for the environment, saying through such efforts the area’s wildlife tourism industry will prosper.