Building a Reference Map
A Genetic Map from Dung DNA
Overall, scientists have collected over 2,000 dung samples from 81 distinct populations (only 70 are shown in the map) across Africa to generate a population-specific reference map of genetic profiles.
When a shipment of ivory is seized by officials, the first step is to isolate DNA from a representative portion of ivory samples to determine their genetic profiles. Scientists then look for the closest match between each ivory sample and all the elephant population profiles to map the ivory’s likely origin.