The Record Book Committee has concluded that for certain species such as the Roosevelt sable in the Niassa Province of Mozambique and new species such as Johnstone’s impala (which has not been added to a new category yet), DNA verification will be required by the hunter to add the entry into the record book. No Roosevelt sable taken in Mozambique will be accepted as a Roosevelt sable without DNA verification proving that it is in fact a Roosevelt sable and not a common sable or a hybrid (common sable and Roosevelt cross).
The Roosevelt sable is found in Tanzania and its distribution is primarily north of the Ruvuma River. DNA studies have concluded that the sable in Tanzania are pure roosevelti, and additional studies show that there are pure roosevelti in Northern Mozambique on the Niassa Reserve. DNA testing also shows that common sable are present in the Niassa Reserve as well as hybrid sable with both common (H. n. nigra) and Roosevelt (H.n. roosevelti) DNA. Without a specific identifiable trait to determine the difference between a Roosevelt sable and common sable with a photograph, the Committee voted to require a DNA test be completed for Roosevelt sable taken south of the Ruvuma River. Without DNA verification, all sable taken in Mozambique will be entered into the record book as the larger of the two species, which is common sable.
Additionally, the committee is aware of new species that are being pursued in which hunters and outfitters are requesting a new Record Book category be created. One example of this is the Johnstone’s impala, which is very similar to other impala species. Hunters wishing to create a new category or enter their Johnstone’s impala must have the DNA from their harvest analyzed and provide documentation to the committee to show that the Johnstone’s impala is in fact a separate species and that its entry is genetically pure for submission into the Record Book. Hunters who wish to get their animals tested will need to locate a lab of their choice that specializes in DNA analysis for wildlife species.–Brian Welker Record Book Committee Africa Co-subchair