Common impala

Rachel Crowhurst, Clinton Epps

Latin name: Aepyceros melampus

The common impala is a graceful antelope found widely across eastern and southern Africa. Impala are generally thought to be stable or increasing across their range.  In collaboration with researchers from the Sokoine University of Agriculture (Morogoro, Tanzania), Dr. Clinton Epps and Rachel Crowhurst conducted a population genetic study of impala across much of Tanzania. They quantified genetic structure among eight national parks and game reserves, identified landscape features that might limit gene flow across their range, and contrasted this with three other species of varying dispersal capabilities. This information provided managers with baseline estimates of historical connectivity across the landscape, and identified regions where measures to preserve gene flow would have the greatest effect.  

Did you know? Impala have fetlock glands, and when they do high leaps the glands excrete scents that may be used to lay trails for conspecifics (member of the same species) or to regroup after a predator scare.

Publications: 

Epps et al. 2011 (Diversity and Distributions), Crowhurst 2012 (MSc thesis)