Thomas M. Butynski & Yvonne A. de Jong
Primate Conservation: 31
Abstract: The Mount Kenya potto is currently considered a subspecies of the western potto (i.e., Perodicticus potto stockleyi). We argue that the Mount Kenya potto is a subspecies of the eastern potto (i.e., Perodicticus ibeanus stockleyi). This subspecies has not been observed alive for 79 years, and is assessed on the 2017 Red List as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct). We indicate priority field sites in which to search for P. i. stockleyi.
Figure 1. Geographic range of the three species of Perodicticus, type locality for the Mount Kenya potto Perodicticus ibeanus stockleyi, and location of Muguga. Based on Butynski and De Jong (2007), Oates (2011), De Jong et al. (2017), Svensson and Pimley (2017), and Svensson et al. (2017).
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Thomas M. Butynski, Ian Parker and Yvonne A. de Jong
Journal of East African Natural History 104 (1&2): 41–77 (2015)
Adult male Roosevelt’s sable antelope Hippotragus niger roosevelti. Drawing by
Jonathan Kingdon (Kingdon & Hoffmann, 2013).
Roosevelt’s sable Hippotragus niger roosevelti is one of Kenya’s most distinctive and threatened large mammals. Historically, sable herds occurred in the vicinity of Taveta, and in the miombo and Diospyros woodlands of the coastal hinterland from the Roosevelt’s sable Hippotragus niger roosevelti is one of Kenya’s most distinctive and threatened large mammals. Historically, sable herds occurred in the vicinity of Taveta, and in the miombo and Diospyros woodlands of the coastal hinterland from the Tanzania-Kenya border northward for at least 210 km. Most of the historic distribution of sable in Kenya lies 15–35 km inland from the coast at 100–200 m altitude where mean annual rainfall is 800–1200 mm. In terms of numbers, however, most sable occurred in the higher and wetter Shimba Hills (150–460 m; mean annual rainfall 1000– 1200 mm). Bachelor males sometimes moved >150 km inland. Much of the decline of the distribution and size of Kenya’s sable population occurred during 1950–1980. Sable in Kenya not reported outside of Shimba Hills National Reserve after 1994. Geographic distribution of sable herds in Kenya declined from roughly 5000 km² in 1884 to 70 km² today (>98% decline in 132 years). The number of sable in Kenya was already small as of 1884, when there were probably <400 individuals. Kenya’s sable population declined from >235 individuals in the mid-1970s to ca. 60 individuals in 2015 (>74% decline in 40 years). Given the low number, small distribution, and rapid decline, sable in Kenya qualifies as a nationally ‘Critically Endangered’ species. Recommendations for the conservation of sable in Kenya are provided.
The design and implementation of effective conservation measures for primates, warthogs and hyraxes requires an efficient, low cost, and accessible resource for the identification of species and subspecies. Although photographs cannot replace an adequate museum collection as a resource for assessing species variation, geotagged photographs are a relatively fast, inexpensive, convenient, and unobtrusive means for detecting and assessing phenotypic variation within a species/subspecies over large areas. The use of photographs to document phenotypic characters will become increasingly important as the collection of specimens for hands-on assessments becomes ever more difficult.