What started off as the 4x4 Eco Challenge during 2001, progressed into a campaign to create awareness of responsible use of 4x4 vehicles in sensitive environments.
With government subsidies for conservation and scientific research projects diminishing, the 4x4 Conservation Outreach supported the Wildlife College of South Africa visiting past students in remote parts of Southern Africa to asses future training needs for game rangers.
The Toyota Enviro Outreach supported the iBol project for the past five years with the gathering of DNA samples of all living species. This project has now progressed to the phase where data has to be collected forensically to stand as evidence in court. During 2014, we have started supporting smaller projects like Explore4knowledge, a project set on researching the water resources in the Western Cape.
Enviro Outreach Teams
Toyota Enviro Outreach 2013
Another very successful Toyota Enviro Outreach has come to an end. Yet again scientists from different backgrounds and fields of experience worked together as a group to achieve one goal – this time to document and DNA barcode the flora of the northern Cape. For the past two weeks we have been collecting plants in one of the most arid parts of the country to gain a better understanding of what’s growing in the region. A total of more than 600 species were collected, among them a few plants we did not expect, like the new species of Trachyandra found in the Gamsberg and Eragrostis sarmentosa collected at Raap en Skraap, which is the first distribution record for this species in the area. The scientific team will now spend the next few months sorting, identifying and DNA barcoding their plant collections.
Toyota Enviro Outreach 2012
An extremely successful Toyota Enviro Outreach has come to an end. What an amazing experience! Scientists from different backgrounds and areas of expertise worked as a group to achieve a common goal – to DNA barcode South Africa’s rich biodiversity, which forms part of the International Barcode of Life Project (iBOL). All the data generated will be uploaded onto the Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD), an online informatics platform, where it will become part of a growing reference library of DNA barcodes for South African plants and animals. This will eventually be freely available for use by the broader scientific and amateur naturalist communities. A total of more than 750 species representing approximately 1450 individuals were collected during this Toyota Enviro Outreach. Many thanks to the scientific team for all their hard work and dedication to the project; to witness your spirit and passion was fantastic.
Toyota Enviro Outreach 2011
A successful Toyota Enviro Outreach has come to an end. It was amazing to witness how scientists from different backgrounds and experience can work as one to achieve a common goal. The spirit and passion was fantastic. This year the scientific team consisted of specialists in the field of insects, plants, gastropods, fungi and fish identification, and was led by the University of Johannesburg. The team traveled to iSimangaliso Wetland Park to collect plant and animal specimens for DNA barcoding. A total of more than 1020 species representing approximately 2806 individuals were collected. Once the barcode for these samples is produced they will be uploaded onto the Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD), an online informatics platform, where it will become part of a growing reference library of DNA barcodes for South African plants and animals. This information will be freely available for use by the broader scientific and amateur naturalist communities.