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Map Of Life

The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Laboratory at Gorongosa National Park is dedicated to research and education of a new generation of Mozambican scientists and conservation leaders. An important part of our mission is comprehensive documentation of all life of the park, the Gorongosa Map of Life. Our goal is ambitious – we aim to discover and document all species of eukaryotic organisms that live in the park, and understand the multiple connections among them. Ultimately, we hope to create a dynamic, multidimensional map of interactions and co-dependencies of species living in Gorongosa. This is going to take time, effort, and resources. But we are getting there – since 2012 we have increased the number of Gorongosa species from 1,122 to 5,723, and their numbers are growing daily. Most of the species that we find are poorly known but likely critically important to the functions of our ecosystem. After all, Africa is not just the Big Five and other “charismatic megafuana,” but thousands of hard-working species on which lions and elephants depend for their very lives. This series of species vignettes highlights some of our discoveries.