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Kind appeal for assistance
date : 05/05/2008
  We are relaying an appeal for assistance issued by an american scientist who studies african mammals. Inhabitants of Katanga who are in possession of photos of the fauna of our province are solicited.

A kind appeal for assistance
We are searching for assistance on data collection, regarding an ongoing study devoted on the evolution of the pelage coloration of mammals. The study is based at Field Museum, Chicago, USA. In the study we are following the changes of the pelage coloration and patterns along the geographical and ecological gradients of several large mammal species, including steppe zebra, Equus quagga, leopard, Panthera pardus, lions, Panthera leo, spotted hyena Crocuta crocuta and baboon Papio cynocephalus. The documenting of the pelage pattern variation is by photographs. The photographs are used because of the necessity of large number of individuals per population/sample, to be included in the analysis and the large availability of material published. So we hope to accumulate large amount of photographs of individuals with known geographic origin and to cover with data and photos the entire distribution of the species included in the study. By this way we hope to understand the mechanism of the evolution/change and the adaptation of the pelage coloration of those wide spread large mammal species. Unfortunately the photographs are not available for any of the locations we are interesting in, as it is Katanga province of D.R. Congo. Katanga is area of special importance for the study, because we are expecting some very important transitional forms of the species in question to be found there. Also Katanga is one of the last major blank spots of Africa, concerning its biodiversity. But the data available for the zebras, leopards, lions, etc of Katanga are more than scanty. Few skins are in possessions to the World Museums and almost no photographs are available.
So we appeal for your kindness and would like to ask you for your assistance - if you have in possession any photographs of zebras, leopards (both life and skins), male lions, spotted hyenas, and baboons from Katanga, to provide to us those for the purpose of the study. The photographs will no be published anywhere and will be used only for the purposes of the study documenting and analyzing the pelage pattern variation of the species listed above.
Thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide

You can contact directly Dr Velizar Simeonovski at
or vsend a mail at who will transmit.

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