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Black Rhino Population Genomics

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Black rhinos are one of the most endangered species in the world and have been extirpated from most of their historic range, making the species a major focus for many conservationists. Their conservation plan involves translocating rhinos back into areas where they have been poached to local extinction, but unfortunately, it's not uncommon for rhinos to die of unclear causes in many cases of these efforts.

The Petrov lab partnered with the Grumeti Fund to regularly collect fecal samples from 10 black rhino as they underwent a translocation from South Africa to Grumeti Game Reserve in Tanzania, in an effort to better understand all of the effects that a translocation might have on the rhinos: heightened stress levels, changes to parasite load, changes to microbiome, changes in sex hormones.