I am Hanna Rosti researcher, PhD student, from University of Helsinki, Finland.
This blog is created to share information and connect people interested in conservation of Taita mountain dwarf galago and Taita tree hyrax.
My research focuses on nocturnal mammals of Taita Hills. Important part of research is acoustic communication galagos and tree hyraxes. These nocturnal species are highly vocal.
Taita mountain dwarf galago may be new species for the science, and it is already almost extinct. Taita tree hyrax is also most likely new species and it too is almost extinct as indigenous forest are almost gone.
In the forests my assistant is Benson Mwachakola. He has been irreplaceable for me, as we have figured out numerous challenges with how to find animals, how to fix motorbikes, where to find places to charge batteries for flashlights and how to find back when we are lost.
I have background in primatology. In my Master studies I focused on evolution, behavior and especially communication of primates. I did my master thesis in Helsinki Zoo studying Goeldi’s monkey (Callimico goeldii) vocal communication.
Before I began this PhD project I worked as a high school biology teacher for years. I have also worked in Science Center Heureka, where I for example taught rats to play basket ball.
I first went to Taita to work as a volunteer in Lumo conservancy for a month in March 2018. Magical beauty of Taita made me decide that I would come back to work for the conservation of nature in the area. Finding forgotten dwarf galago was incredible experience.
In this blog I write articles about animals and nature of Taita Hills. I hope to create a way to share information researches have produced and combine it with local knowledge.
In Taita Hills future of the forest is connected to future of the people.
Conservation and reforestation leads to better water supplies for people in Taita Hills and surrounding lowlands and mitigates climate change.
These cute creatures are perfect cinderella species for conservation. Conservation of these species can bring good income for local people with sustainable ecotourism.
If you wish to contribute to this research, please see page How to help?
Professor Jouko Rikkinen, University of Helsinki
Professor Petri Pellikka, University of Helsinki, Director of Taita Research Station
Emeritus Professor Simon Bearder, Oxford Brookes University, Nocturnal Primates Research Group
James Mwang’ombe, Kenya Forest Service
If you are interested in buying any of the photographs, please contact me.