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  Projects

OUR PROJECTS

LepSoc Africa participates in a wide range of butterfliy and moth conservation and scientific projects, some initiated by LepSoc Africa and others in partnership. There are projects for all skill levels, from casual photographers to more serious scientific researchers. Many of the projects need you to be a member of the Society to take fully take part. The conservation projects are funded by the Brenton Blue Trust.


Lepidops / Lepibase

The development of this software programme by Bennie and Andre Coetzer began in 1998 It allows LepSoc Africa members to upload their collection and observation data into a databse, and to use collection curation tools such as specimen labels. Lepibase combines all these records and allows Lepidoptera distribution data to be stored and analysed to produce distribution maps.


COREL

The COREL (Custodians Of Rare and Endangered Lepidoptera) programme was initiated by LepSoc Africa in 2011 and aims to secure the survival of our threatened butterfly and moth species. It is funded by the Brenton Blue Trust.

For more information see:  www.brentonbluetrust.co.za/corel-programme/endangered-butterflies-and-moths/


Caterpillar Rearing Group

The Caterpillar Rearing Group (CRG) was launched in 2012 and combines the efforts of both expert lepidopterists and citizen scientists to discover the life histories of all Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) occurring in Africa. If you’ve found a strange caterpillar eating your plants and you want to know what it will become, this is the project for you. You don't have to be a LepSoc Africa member to take part, but if the "rearing bug" bites you will want to meet your fellow rearers and becoming a member is the best way to do this.


LepiMAP

LepiMAP is an African Lepidoptera mapping project. It is run jointly by the Animal Demography Unit of the University of Cape Town (ADU) and the LepSoc Africa. The aim of the project is to determine the distribution and conservation status of butterflies and moths in Africa. It combines the enthusiasm of citizen scientist (photographers) with the expertise of lepidopterists who can identify their pictures. You don't have to be a LepSoc Africa member to participate.


SALCA

SALCA (Southern African Lepidoptera Conservation Assessment) was initiated in 2015 by LepSoc Africa as a response to SANBI's call for experts to contribute to the five year National Biodiversity Assessment (NBA) programme. The project aims to assess the conservation status of southern African butterflies and moths, and is due for completion during 2017. This is a members only project, as it requires a high degree of expertise, and is funded by SANBI.


Karoo BioGaps Project

This project aims to fill biodiversity information gaps, to promote better informed development decision making in the Karoo, in order to conserve important biodiversity assets. The project was launched in 2016, and is funded by SANBI. Experts from thirteen "taxon groups" are contributing, and LepSoc Africa has been contracted to conduct surveys on 50 sites thoughout the so-called shale gas exploration area of the Karoo. Participants need to be members (permits are required), who are expert at butterfly identification, and the project will run until December 2018.


Butterfly Evolutionary Diversity

The Butterfly Evolutionary Diversity project (BED) is a three-year research enterprise led by SANBI. BED project seeks to map patterns of evolutionary diversity for butterflies across South African landscapes. It aims, through collecting DNA samples of all South African butterfly species, to identify areas not only of high butterfly species richness and conservation concern, but also areas of high evolutionary importance. LepSoc Africa will be the main collecting agency for this project, which will also provide the phlyogenetic analyses to enable us to resolve a number of taxonomic issues.


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