A revision of the genus Zaglossus (Monotremata, Tachyglossidae), with description of new species and subspecies.
Manimalia 62 (3): 367-396.
A systematic revision of monotremes of the genus Zaglossus has revealed unexpected morphological diversity. Statistical and non-metric analysis indicate that three species can be recognised: Zaglossus bruijnii (Peters and Doria, 1876), which inhabits the Vogelkop, Fak Fak and possibly the Charles Louis Mountains regions; Zaglossus bartoni Thomas, 1907a, which occurs on the central cordillera between the Paniai Lakes and the Nanneau Range, as well as the Huon Peninsula ; and Zaglossus Attenboroughi n. sp. from the Cyclops Mountains. Four distinct subspecies of Z. bartoni can be discerned. The three subspecies inhabiting the central cordillera increase in size from east to west: Z. b. smcenki n. ssp. of the Nanneau Range being the smallest, the nominotypical form intermediate in size, and Z. b. diamond n. ssp. the largest. Zaglossus b. clunius inhabits the Huon Peninsula.
Life on high: The diversity of small mammals at high altitude in South Africa.
Biodiversity and Conservation 21 (21): 960-31152823. DOI: 10.1007/s10531-012-0340-0.
The Great Escarpment is the major mountain system in South Africa, yet very few biological surveys have been conducted outside of the well-known Drakensberg section. This is surprising given the important role that mountains play in local and global biodiversity patterns. In this study, small mammal diversity and community composition were estimated at three high altitude (>1,700 m) sites within the Sneeuberg Mountain Complex (SMC) of the Great Escarpment, South Africa from June 2009 to May 2010. The influences of selected environmental variables on diversity were also tested. Of 423 live-captures, a total of 292 unique individuals of 12 small mammal species (one shrew, one elephant shrew and 10 rodents) were identified during 5,280 trap nights. No single environmental variable could account for the variation observed in diversity measurements but vegetation height appeared to be the most important factor to influence the number of individuals captured. It is hypothesised that the high species richness and diversity of small mammals observed in the SMC compared to other parts of the Great Escarpment is due to the SMC being located in a transition zone of the Grassland and Nama-Karoo biomes. Our results suggest that the SMC could be important in conserving small mammal species from western and eastern assemblages across South Africa.
Coastal Dune Forest Rehabilitation:A Case Study on Rodent and Bird Assemblages in Northern Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.
In: Coastal Dunes: pp.103-115. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-74002-5_7 .
Coastal dune forests in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, are continually exposed to natural and man-induced disturbances that usually initiate ecological succession (van Aarde et al. 1996a; Mentis and Ellery 1994). This succession is associated with temporal and spatial changes in vegetation structure that influence habitat suitability and ultimately the structure of vertebrate communities living there. For example, in the case of birds, we know from studies conducted elsewhere that species richness and diversity correlates with vegetation structural heterogeneity (see Kritzinger and van Aarde 1998 for references).Vegetation succession is also known to affect small mammals (Foster and Gaines 1991), though the patterns recorded in coastal dune forests are less obvious than those for birds (see Ferreira and van Aarde 1999 for references).
Taxonomic revision of the pampas cat Leopardus colocola complex (Carnivora: Felidae): an integrative approach.
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society
The pampas cat Leopardus colocola has been subject to conflicting classifications over the years. Currently, one polytypic species with seven subspecies is recognized, but integrative taxonomic study for this debated group has never been done. Here, we combine the broadest morphological coverage of the pampas cat to date with molecular data and ecological niche models to clarify its species composition and test the validity of recently proposed subspecies. The multiple lines of evidence derived from morphology, molecular, biogeography and climatic niche datasets converged on the recognition of five monotypic species: L. braccatus, L. colocola, L. garleppi (including thomasi, budini, steinbachi, crespoi and wolffsohni as synonyms), L. munoai and L. pajeros (including crucina as synonym). These five species are morphologically diagnosable based on skin and skull traits, have evolved in distinct climatic niche spaces and were recovered in molecular species delimitation. Contrary to previous taxonomic arrangements, we do not recognize subspecies in pampas cats. To objectively define the two most controversial species, we designate neotypes for L. colocola and L. pajeros. The diversification of pampas cats is associated with Middle Pleistocene glaciations, but additional genetic samples from the central Andean region are still needed to conclusively reconstruct its evolutionary history.
Measurement of Glucocorticoid Metabolites in feces of Capricorns (Alpine Ibex).
Diplomarbeit Vet. med. Uni Wien
Die Studie beschäftigt sich mit der Bestimmung von Glukokortikoidmetaboliten im Kot von Steinböcken. Es wurde ein ACTH Stimulationstest im Wildpark Langenberg (CH) durchgeführt. Zwei Tiere, der führende Bock und die führende Geiss, wurden narkotisiert und ACTH wurde intramuskulär verabreicht. Die Probensammlung erfolgte vor und nach dem ACTH Test. Einen Teil der Proben, die vor dem ACTH Test gesammelt wurden, teilte ich in vier gleiche Teile. Der erste Teil dieser Proben wurde sofort in den lokalen Gefrierschrank gebracht und bei einer Temperatur von -18°C gelagert. Mit den restlichen Teilen der Proben führte ich einen Lagerungstest durch, um den Abbau von Glukokortikoidmetaboliten über eine gewisse Zeit (3, 6, 24 Stunden) im Kot zu bestimmen. Die Proben wurden mit der Hilfe zweier verschiedener 11-Oxoätiocholanolon Enzymimmunoassays analysiert. Assay A wies die höchste Menge von immunreaktiven Metaboliten vor und nach der ACTH Injektion im frischen Kot auf. Der prozentuelle Anstieg nach der ACTH Injektion zeigte das Assay B ein wenig sensitiver reagierte als Assay A. Bei dem Lagerungstest stellte sich heraus, dass für beide Assays, kein signifikanter Unterschied besteht zwischen der Sammlung von Proben zum Zeitpunkt der Defäkation und der Sammlung von Proben nach drei, sechs und 24 Stunden nach der Defäkation. Zusätzlich zu den Glukokortikoid-Metaboliten wurde in meiner Studie noch der Östrogen Spiegel im Kot gemessen, um festzustellen ob die ACTH Injektion den Estrogen Spiegel im Kot beeinflusst. Die Östrogen Konzentration verhielt sich, nach ACTH Injektion, gleich wie die Glukokortikoid-Metaboliten Konzentration. Diese Studie zeigt, dass Glukokortikoidmetaboliten im Kot ein verlässlicher nicht invasiver Parameter sind um Stressreaktionen Steinbock zu bestimmen.
New observations of the ‘extinct’ Barbary sheep Ammotragus lervia ornata in Egypt.
Oryx 36 (3): 301-304.
The Barbary sheep or aoudad Ammotragus lervia is widely distributed in the mountains of the Sahara and North Africa. The 2000 IUCN Red List assessment of the Egyptian subspecies A. l. ornata categorized this taxon as Extinct in the Wild. We present new evidence, collected during 1997–2000, that this subspecies is extant in both the extreme south-east and south-west of Egypt, and reassess the status of captive aoudad in Egypt. We recommend that the category of A. l. ornata on the IUCN Red List be changed to Critically Endangered, that conservation of wild aoudad in Egypt be prioritized, and that the subspecific status of both the wild and be reassessed.
Larger Carnivores of the African Savannas.
X + 274 Seiten. E-Book https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-662-03766-9
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999. DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-03766-9
The cheetah Acinonyx jubatus has had a long association with man, but its first contact with humans was actually in India and on the plains of southern Africa. Because of their speed and hunting prowess, captive cheetahs have been used by man as food hunters for many centuries. The oldest record of a captive cheetah is depicted on a decorated silver vase from a Scythian burial site at Maikop in the Caucasus Range, which shows the cheetah wearing a collar. This vase dates back to approximately 700 to 300 BC. However, it is likely that early man joined other scavengers in robbing cheetahs of their kills long before the Maikop culture. In doing so, these early hunters probably exploited the cheetah’s relative timidity, daytime hunting habits, and also its open plains habitat. The Moghul Emperor Akbar the Great is also said to have kept up to 3000 cheetahs to hunt antelope, while sketches of a Dionysian procession in Alexandria during the reign of Ptolemy II from 309 to 246 BC show a cheetah on a leash. Even before the ancient Assyrian empire in Mesopotamia and during the reign of the pharaohs in Egypt, captive cheetahs were used for coursing game. During the fifth century and the early Renaissance in Italy cheetahs were also employed for this purpose. Despite its timidity, the ancient Egyptians endowed the cheetah with the spirit of courage, but today it is regarded more as a symbol of elusive grace in a declining wilderness than as a fierce hunter.
Population ecology of the white‐nosed coati (Nasua narica) on Barro Colorado Island, Panama.
Journal of Zoology 241(3): 441-455
The white‐nosed coati, Nasua narica, is a common Neotropical carnivore with a social structure of band‐living adult females and solitary adult males. A coati population on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, was studied over a four‐year period by mark‐recapture, radiotelemetry. and direct observation of habituated individuals. The population density was approximately 51.5 individuals/km2 and the sex ratio was 1:1. Band size varied from six to 26 individuals (mean = 15.3) with extensive fluctuation within and between years. Mean foraging group size was smaller (7.2 individuals) than population group size, and fluctuated with food availability, synchronous parturition, and the emigration of mature males. Mean home‐range size of six bands was 0.33 km2, and ranges of adjacent bands overlapped from 0–66%. One band fissioned during the study; however, the resulting bands did not disperse from the original home range. Seven adult males had a mean home‐range size of 0.37 km2, each extensively overlapping the home ranges of several other males. Observations of 10 adult males whose natal bands were known indicate that when males disperse they do not simultaneously leave the band's home range. Rather, their home ranges remain within or broadly overlapping those of their natal bands. This dispersal pattern is unusual within the order Carnivora.
Predicted distributions and conservation status of two threatened Southeast Asian small carnivores: The banded civet and Hose 's civet.
Mammalia 77(3): 261–271. DOI 10.1515/mammalia-2012-0110
Knowledge of the distribution and habitat preferences of a species is of paramount importance when assessing its conservation status. We used accurately recorded occurrence records and ecological niche modelling to predict the distribution of two threatened and poorly known small carnivore species that occur in Southeast Asia, the banded civet (Hemigalus derbyanus) and Hose’s civet (Diplogale hosei), and analysed their spatial niche differentiation for habitat and elevation. We then identified possible anthropogenic threats, and used our modelling predictions to recommend surveying priorities. The predicted distribution of the banded civet was principally in lowland evergreen forest in southern Myanmar/Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo and three Mentawai Islands (Siberut, Sipora and South Pagai), and for Hose ’ s civet in evergreen forest across the higher elevation regions of Borneo. Our niche analyses suggested that there is a tendency for these two species to separate spatially along an elevation gradient: the banded civet is mainly found in lowland areas, whereas Hose ’ s civet primarily occurs at higher elevations. Our study strongly indicated that these two viverrids are forest-dependent species that may be threatened by forest loss, degradation and fragmentation. Field surveys should be prioritised in areas where each species is predicted to occur and no records currently exist.
Distribution, population size and morphometrics of the giant-striped mongoose Galidictis grandidieri Wozencraft 1986 in the sub-arid zone of south-.western Madagascar.
Mammalia 75(4): 353-361
Galidictis grandidieri (Wozencraft 1986) is a nocturnal carnivoran endemic to the threatened spiny forest ecosystem of the Mahafaly Plateau in southern Madagascar. Previous investigations estimated a total population size of about 3000 individuals restricted to an area of 440 squkm, making it one of the geographically most limited and rarest mammalian carnivoran species worldwide. Given the increasing threat through habitat destruction we compiled additional mor- phometric measurements and investigated the distribution and abundance of the species, using grid and transect cap- tures. G. grandidieri were larger than indicated by previous samples and showed signifi cant sexual dimorphism with a mean body mass of 1640 g for males and 1400 g for females (overall mean: 1500 g). The highest densities were found in the littoral forest at the western edge of the Mahafaly Plateau (six to eight individuals/squkm). From there, its abundance declined exponentially towards the east. The distribution of G. grandidieri is probably determined by decreasing water accessibility away from the cliff. We estimate a total distri-bution area of about 1500 squkm and a total population size between 3115 and 4995 animals. Based on these estimates, G. grandidieri occurs in a much larger area than assumed so far, but reaches lower densities.