Strydom's yam (Dioscorea strydomiana)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 13257800
This project aims to enhance the limited conservation measures already in place for Dioscorea strydomiana by using innovative new technology and equipment (including an unmanned aerial vehicle [UAV, or conservation drone] and a differential GPS) to produce high precision maps of known populations. These maps will feed into existing fieldwork plans and will help to improve efficiency of future surveys by pinpointing target areas that are predicted to be suitable for Dioscorea strydomiana. Experts in the region suspect that there are further populations, but the steep terrain of this region makes fieldwork particularly difficult. The UAV circumvents this problem by easily accessing remote areas and providing high resolution imagery. Tests indicate that the size of the plant is large enough to be identified from this method.
In summary, we aim to both predict areas not yet surveyed that could contain further populations of this species and, if possible, locate additional population(s) and ascertain numbers of individuals. Additional populations can be conserved in situ, especially if they are relatively undamaged, but will also provide much needed material for ex situ conservation and sites for reintroduction under community protection. We aim to provide reports and material for awareness and communication purposes
Project 13257800 location - South Africa, Africa