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12 November 2018 Photo Johan Roux
December graduations to conclude the UFS academic year
UFS December graduations: three days and six ceremonies of paying tribute to hard work, persistence, and perseverance.

The University of the Free State (UFS) is looking forward to conferring undergraduate, postgraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees in all faculties during the upcoming end-of-year graduation ceremonies taking place in December 2018.

The UFS Bloemfontein Campus will host inspiring celebrations for graduates and their families in the Callie Human Centre on the dates specified below.
 
For more information about the upcoming ceremonies, visit the graduation home page, where graduating students can also access the graduation frequently-asked questions (FAQs).  Additional enquiries can be directed to graduations@ufs.ac.za
 
Graduation ceremonies for the different faculties will take place on the following dates:

4 December 2018

09:00 - Faculties of Economic and Management Sciences and Education

14:30 - South Campus: Open Distance Learning 

5 December 2018

09:00 - Faculties of the Humanities and Theology and Religion

14:30 - Faculties of Law and Natural and Agricultural Sciences

6 December 2018

09:00 - Faculty of Health Sciences (including School of Nursing)

14:30 - Master's and Doctorate degrees (all faculties)

News Archive

Africa's Black Rhino conservation strategy must change
2017-07-10

 Description: Black Rhino Tags: conservation strategy, black rhino, Nature Scientific Reports, National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, extinction, decline in genetic diversity, Prof Antoinette Kotze, Research and Scientific Services, Dr Desire Dalton 

The black rhino is on the brink of extinction. The study that was 
published in the Nature Scientific Reports reveals that the
species has lost an astonishing 69% of its genetic variation. 
Photo: iStock

The conservation strategy of the black rhino in Africa needs to change in order to protect the species from extinction, a group of international researchers has found. The study that was published in the Nature Scientific Reports reveals that the species has lost an astonishing 69% of its genetic variation. 

South African researchers took part 

The researchers, which included local researchers from the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa (NZG), have highlighted the fact that this means the black rhino is on the brink of extinction. "We have found that there is a decline in genetic diversity, with 44 of 64 genetic lineages no longer existing," said Prof Antoinette Kotze, the Manager of Research and Scientific Services at the Zoo in Pretoria. She is also affiliate Professor in the Department of Genetics at the University of the Free State and has been involved in rhino research in South Africa since the early 2000s.  

DNA from museums and the wild 
The study compared DNA from specimens in museums around the world, which originated in the different regions of Africa, to the DNA of live wild animals. The DNA was extracted from the skin of museum specimen and from tissue and faecal samples from animals in the wild. The research used the mitochondrial genome.

"The rhino poaching ‘pandemic’
needs to be defeated, because
it puts further strain on the genetic
diversity of the black rhino.”


Ability to adapt 
Dr Desire Dalton, one of the collaborators in the paper and a senior researcher at the NZG, said the loss of genetic diversity may compromise the rhinos’ ability to adapt to climate change. The study further underlined that two distinct populations now exists on either side of the Zambezi River. Dr Dalton said these definite populations need to be managed separately in order to conserve their genetic diversity. The study found that although the data suggests that the future is bleak for the black rhinoceros, the researchers did identify populations of priority for conservation, which might offer a better chance of preventing the species from total extinction. However, it stressed that the rhino poaching ‘pandemic’ needs to be defeated, because it puts further strain on the genetic diversity of the black rhino. 

Extinct in many African countries 
The research report further said that black rhino had been hunted and poached to extinction in many parts of Africa, such as Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Sudan, and Ethiopia. These rhino are now only found in five African countries. They are Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Namibia, and South Africa, where the majority of the animals can be found. 

 

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