This website focuses on research and conservation of nocturnal mammals of Taita Hills.
Taita tree hyrax – undescribed mammal for the science
Taita dwarf galago – relict population of Kenya coast dwarf galago (Paragalago cocos)
Small eared greater galago (Otolemur garnettii lasiotis).
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This video shows the wonderful animals of Taita Hills and explains why their conservation is so important. Conservation of indigenous forests in the mountains is also important for the water security of the lowlands. Thus people, elephants and other wildlife is dependent on water raining down to these cloud forest.
Link to open access article on Diversity – journal with our latest article: Vocalization Analyses of Nocturnal Arboreal Mammals of the Taita Hills, Kenya
Website that contains most important findings and recordings from the article.
Article proposes that Taita tree hyrax may be new species for the science, and it also describes the songs it sings for the first time. This made international news, see the list about news stories it made here: Altmetrics
Taita tree hyrax is most likely undescribed species for the science
Tree hyraxes live by eating leaves and maybe fruits. These tree hyraxes are very vocal and loud. Calls of Taita tree hyrax are completely different than calls of other tree hyrax species in Africa. More about Taita tree hyrax.
Taita tree hyraxes have lost their habitat, indigenous cloud forests almost completely. Only two viable populations remain. These populations have been isolated for almost one million years, so they may have separated slighly also.
Tree hyraxes are dependent on tree hollows, where they sleep during the days. Only indigenous forest have these old trees that have many cavities. Even though remaining indigenous forest are conserved, their area is still shrinking little by little.
Taita dwarf galagos are Kenya coast dwarf galagos – atleast the other population
Unexpectedly dwarf galagos in Taita Hills are Kenya coast dwarf galagos (Paragalago cocos). This population may be relict population from once wider distribution of Kenya coast dwarf galago.
Kenya coast dwarf galago has not been found before above altitude 350 meters asl. In Taita Hills populations are living in altitudes 1550-1970 meters asl.
Remaining larger forest patches in Taita Hills are only about three square kilometers.
There is great urgency for conservation of forests and these endemic mammals.
However the other population may also be mountain dwarf galagos (Paragalago orinus), or some other species.
Taita mountain dwarf galago is nocturnal prosimian. It mainly feeds on insects. Animals live in family groups. They are very difficult to find. This is how they remained unknown for this long. In fact, they almost went extinct without noticing. Taita mountain dwarf galago was first described as possibly new species in 2002, but then it was forgotten. We found it again 2018 and published this news in Oryx 2020. More about Taita dwarf galago.
Photos from savannas of Taita, Natural reserve Lumo and forests of Taita Hills
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More pictures of nocturnal animals
Animals of Taita blog shares information about amazing, rare, endemic and endangered animals of Taita, research, observations, stories and photographs.
During years 2021 and 2022 this project will be funded by Kone Foundation