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Mammals of Tanzania Overview

MAMMALS OF TANZANIA

At least 340 species of Mammals have been recorded in Tanzania. Tanzania is a particularly important country for large mammals and supports the highest diversity of both ungulates and primates in continental Africa.The more common animals include Zebra, Elephants, Buffaloes, Hippos, Elands and Kudus. There are also many predatory animals, including  Hyenas, Wild dogs, Lions and Leopards, and bands of Chimpanzees in Gombe stream and Mahale Mountains National Parks. The following below is a list of species of Mammals in Tanzania. These page contents of Mammals of Tanzania have been prepared by Mr. Edgardo K. Welelo,  from different sources and references, specifically for his tourists around the world ( edgardowelelo@yahoo.com);

 

Giraffe
  • Kiswahili name : Twiga
  • Races/ Subspecies of Giraffes in Africa and its distribution /Range:
  • (1) Somali Giraffe / Reticulated Giraffe ( Giraffa camelopardalis Reticulata);
  • Usually found in North –Eastern Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. This is a subspecies/ races of Giraffe native to Somalia, also widely found in Northern Kenya. It can interbreed with other Giraffe subspecies.
  • (2) Angolan Giraffe/ Smoky Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis Angolensis)
  • Usually found in Angola and Zambia.
  • (3) Kordofan Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis Antiquoum)
  • They are usually found in western and south- western Sudan.
  • (4) Maasai Giraffe / Kilimanjaro Giraffe / Kenyan Giraffe ( Giraffa camelopardialis Tippelskirchi)
  • They are usually found in the central and southern Kenya and Tanzania. The biggest subspecies / races) of all 9 subspecies of Giraffes in Africa.
  • (5) The Nubian Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis camelopardalis)
  • They are usually found on the Eastern Sudan and North east Congo.
  • (6) Rothschild Giraffe / Baringo Giraffe/ Ugandan Giraffe ( Giraffa camelopardalis Rothschildi )
  • They are usually found in Uganda and North- Central Kenya. The Baringo Giraffe also known as the Rothschild Giraffe is the most endangered of Giraffe subspecies (races). They are easily distinguished from other subspecies. Colouring of the coat is the most obvious visible sign. Rothschild Giraffe display no markings on the lower leg, in addition giving the impression that it is wearing white stockings. Born with 5 horns, make it the only subspecies (races).
  • (7) The South African Giraffe ( Giraffa camelopardalis Giraffa)
  • They are usually found in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
  • (8) The Rhodesian Giraffe / Thornicrofti Giraffe ( Giraffa camelopardalis Thornicrofti )
  • Found in Eastern Zambia.
  • (9) The west African Giraffe / Nigerian Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis Peralta)
  • They are usually found in Niger and Cameroon.
  • Races ( Subspecies) of Giraffes in Tanzania
  • Maasai Giraffe / Kilimanjaro Giraffe ( Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi ) is the only subspecies ( races) found in Tanzania. This Giraffe subspecies only lives in Kenya and Tanzania due to loss of habitat and deforestation, though originally it lived throughout Africa. ( Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) is the biggest subspecies ( races) of Giraffes in Africa among of the 9 races / subspecies of Giraffes. In Kenya this subspecies of Giraffe is also known as Kenyan Giraffe.
  • Similar species: None.  Unlikely to be mistaken for any other mammal.
  • Sex differences: Female smaller, lighter coloured, with smaller horns which are pointed at the tip. Males have flat knobbed horns. Height in females is about 4.9 meters and in males 5.5 meters.
  • Colour: Dark brown blotches separated by a network of whiteline. Underparts light and faintly spotted.
  • Average weight: 950- 1,500 kilogram.
  • Habitat: Open bush country and light forest. Giraffes prefer areas enriched with acacia growth.
  • Habit / Behaviour:

Males and Females mix only for mating , otherwise they live in small herds separately;  old bulls often solitary.

  • Food; Leaves, twigs and thorns. The Giraffe’s only competitor at the lower levels is the Gerenuk while higher up only the Elephants, with its long, coiling trunk, can get anywhere near the same top most branches.
  • Gestation period: 14-15 months.
  • Average number of young; One and can weigh up to 70 kg at birth.
  • Life span: 20-30 years.
  • Predators/ Natural enemies:

Man and Lion. From 50 to 75 percent of calves fall prey to lions and spotted hyenas the first months, despite hiding and the mothers determined defense.

  • Distribution / Range in Tanzania:

Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi ( Maasai / Kilimanjaro Giraffe ) is easily seen in many National Parks including Arusha, Tarangire, Serengeti, Ruaha and Mikumi. Giraffes are widely distributed in northern, central and western Tanzania, with the Rufiji River in the Selous demarcating the limit to the specie’s distribution in the south of the country. They are found in all National Parks except for Udzungwa, Kitulo and Gombe. A population is also established on Rubondo Island in lake Victoria, having been introduced in 1960s.

Giraffes also occur in lake Natron, west Kilimanjaro, much of the Maasai steppe, Wembere wetland, South western Singida, Wami mbiki (WMA) and throughout the Miombo woodland between the Ruaha- Rungwe ecosystem and Moyowosi ecosystem. Also, there are populations in the north-west of the country in Burigi- Biharamulo and Ibanda-Rumanyika Game Reserves. Giraffes are absent from the floor of the Ngorongoro crater, although widely distributed across the rest of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA).

  • Giraffe’s population size in Tanzania

The population of Giraffes in Tanzania numbers approximately 25,000 animals, which is roughly 25 percent of the global population. The largest population is in the Serengeti ecosystem with approximately  12,000 animals, while other significant populations are found in the Ruaha ecosystem with 5,000-7,000 individuals, northern Selous Game Reserve and Mikumi National Park with 1,000-2,500 animals, and a further 1,000 individuals in Katavi National park. The Giraffe population in the Tarangire ecosystem declined from 4,000 animals in 1994 to 1,200 in 2011. There are approximately 500 Giraffes in Saadani National park and 400 in Mkomazi National Park. The population in Burigi- Biharamulo Game Reserves is very low, with less than 20 individuals recorded in 2000. The Giraffe population in Tanzania is mostly stable in protected areas, although is declining on community lands. As Tanzania’s national animal, Giraffes are protected throughout the country, yet poaching for meat remains a problem.

Plains Zebra / Common Zebra / Burchell’s Zebra / Quagga Zebra
  • Kiswahili name: Pundamilia
  • Races / Subspecies) of Plains Zebra / Common Zebra/ Burchell's Zebra / Quagga Zebra in Africa and its distribution/ Range.

According to experts in wildlife there are 5 extant subspecies ( races)being recognized ( or 7 by some authorities). Plains zebra / Common zebra / Burchell's zebra are found in Eastern and Southern Africa.

  • (1) Chapman’s Zebra ( Equus burchelli Chapmanni)

Chapman’s Zebra ( Equus burchelli chapmanni) is found in Southern Mozambique, Angola and Namibia South east to Transvaal and Natal ( South Africa) has dark brown stripes on buffground, stripes less distinct on hindquarters, often alternating with pale brown shadow stripes; legs only partly striped.

  • (2) Crawshay's Zebra ( Equus burchelli crawshayi/ chawshaii )

Crawshay’s Zebra ( Equus burchelli crawshayi / chawshai) is found in northern Mozambique, Tanzania, in Malawi and Eastern Zambia.

  • (3) Damara Zebra ( Equus burchelli antiquorum)

Damara Zebra ( Equus burchelli antiquorum) is found in Namibia and South Africa.

  • (4) The upper Zambezi Zebra ( Equus burchelli Zambeziensis)

The upper Zambezi Zebra ( Equus burchelli Zambeziensis) is found in the DRC, Angola, and western Zambia.

  • (5) Grant’s Zebra or Boehm’s Zebra (Equus burchelli boehmi)

Grant’s Zebra or Boehm’s Zebra ( Equus burchelli boehmi) occurs throughout ( East Africa) and the Horn of Africa ( Southern Sudan, Somalia south, Ethiopia, etc) to western Zambia. Grant’s or Boehm’s Zebra is boldly striped black on white, with wide bands separated by widespaces). Grant's  Zebra or Boehm’s Zebra also occurs in the upper Zambezi in the DRC and Angola.

  • (6) Selous Zebra ( Equus burchelli selousi)

Selous Zebra ( Equus burchelli selousi) is found in Eastern Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to Southern eastern Zimbabwe. This race (subspecies) has numerous narrow black stripes on white, ground).

  • Burchell’s Zebra ( Equus burchelli burchelli)

 

  • Races (Subspecies) of Plains Zebra / Common Zebra/ Burchells Zebra/ Quagga in Tanzania
  • (1) Grant’s Zebra or Boehm’s Zebra ( Equus burchelli boehmi) is a

race / subspecies  found in north and western Tanzania with very broad and well- defined body stripes. Plains Zebra ( Common Zebra) in Southern Africa are generally characterized by having shadow stripes overlaid on the white stripes but these are absent in central and East African races ( subspecies). Within any population, however, the striping is variable and certain populations are hybrids of two distinct races ( subspecies), this being pronounced in parts of Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana. Grant’s Zebra or Boehm’s Zebra (Equus burchelli boehmi) has the largest concentrations among the 5-7 races ( subspecies) of common zebra / plains zebra , exceeding half a million, being centred on Kenya and  northern Tanzania.

  • (2) Crawshay’s Zebra ( Equus burchelli crawshayi/ chawshaii)

Crawshay’s Zebra ( Equus burchelli crawshayi / chawshaii) is another race / subspecies of common Zebra/ plains Zebra in Tanzania, with narrow body stripes particularly in Selous ecosystem. Crawshay’s Zebra ( Equus burchelli crawshayi/ chawshaii) also occurs in northern Mozambique, in Malawi and Eastern Zambia.

  • Similar species: Hartmann’s Zebra in north- western Namibia, Grevy’s in Kenya.
  • Sex difference: Males larger than females and they have canine teeth used for fighting.
  • Colour: Whilte with dark stripes, broad and oblique on the hindquarters.
  • Average weight: 230-320 kg.
  • Habitat: Open grassland and wooded areas having grass such as the Serengeti plains and the Ngorongoro crater
  • Habit /Behaviour: Run in small family herds, consisting of an adult stallion, mares and their accompanying young, usually averaging four to six animals. Although much larger herds are frequently seen, these only stay together for short periods and family units retain their integrity. Sometimes they congregate into hundreds. They can be seen sharing the same habitat with wildebeest and hartebeest. In Serengeti National park they are slightly over 200,000 and they form part of the famous Serengeti Migration.
  • Food: Feed on grass and sometimes may eat leaves and shrub.
  • Gestation period: 12-13 months.
  • Average number of young: One.
  • Lifespan/Longevity; 20 years.
  • Predators/ Natural enemies: Man, Lion, wild dogs and hyenas.
  • Distribution / Range in Tanzania:
  • Plains Zebra/ Common Zebra/ Burchell’s Zebra’s races of ( Grant’s Zebra or Boehm’s Zebra) are among the most common mammals in many of Tanzania’s National Parks. Sightings are guaranteed in the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro crater, and are very likely in Ruaha, Mikumi and Arusha National Parks. In Tarangire National Park they are generally absent during the wet season/ rainy season but very common in the dry season.
  • Plains Zebras formerly occurred throughout Tanzania with the exception of the Eastern Arc and Livingstone mountains ranges, although they are now restricted primarily to protected areas. They are found in all of the mainland National parks except Gombe, Udzungwa, Rubondo and Kitulo, and are also widely distributed in most of the Game reserves, though extinct in the Ibanda- Rumanyika Game Reserves, though extinct in the Ibanda- Rumanyika Game Reserves. There are also populations  in the Wami- Mbiki (WMA) , the Yaeda valley, Wembere wetland, much of the Maasai steppe, and throughout lake natron and west Kilimanjaro.
  • Plains Zebra’s population size in Tanzania:
  • Latest counts suggest a population of nearly 250,000 plains Zebras in Tanzania. The Serengeti ecosystem has the largest population in Africa with 160,000 – 200,000 individuals, equivalent to almost 30 percent of the global population. There are a further 10,000 Zebras in the Rungwa- Ruaha ecosystem, 15,000 in the Tarangire ecosystem and 2,700 in the Katavi- Rukwa ecosystem.
  • In 2010, 3200 Zebras were counted during an aerial total count in the lake Natron area and a further 570 in west Kilimanjaro. In the Selous ecosystem, including the SELOUS GAME RESERVE and Mikumi National Park, there are approximately 20,000 individual subspecies ( races) Equus burchellii crawshayi/chawshaii ( crawshay’s Zebra) of the plains Zebra/ Common Zebra. There also small populations of 500-1000 individuals in each of Moyowosi- Kisigo Game reserves, Saadani and Mkomazi National Parks. Poaching for meat and skins poses a threat, particularly in the Tarangire and Katavi- Rukwa ecosystems where there have been significant population declines in the past ten years.
  • Loss of migration corridors as a result of agricultural encroachment has had a negative impact on populations in the Tarangire and west Kilimanjaro ecosystems.
Wildebeest

Kiswahili name; Nyumbu

  • Races/ Subspecies of wildebeest in Africa:
  • (1) Blue wildebeest or Brindled gnu or ( Connochaetes taurinus taurinus) of Southern Tanzania to north- east South Africa, Botswana, western Zambia and South – eastern Angola, has black beard and upstanding mane and tan lower legs.
  • (2) Cookson’s wildebeest ( Connochaetes taurinus cooksoni) of Luangwa valley in Zambia, has grayish- red coat.
  • (3) Johnston’s wildebeest or Nyassa wildebeest ( Connochaetes  taurinus johnstoni) of southern Tanzania south to central Mozambique, usually has fringe of light- coloured hair on face.
  • (4) Western white- bearded wildebeest ( Connochaetes taurinus mearnsi) of South – west Kenya and Northern Tanzania west of rift valley, is dark gray: smallest ( weight 160- 205 kg), with shortest horns, but most vociferous ( bulls sound like giant bull frogs). This race of the western white bearded wildebeests are so numerous in population among of all races wildebeests and they can be seen on view in Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation  Area Authority, and the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya.
  • (5) Eastern- white bearded wildebeest ( Connochaetes taurinus albojubatus) of south Kenya and Tanzania east of eastern rift valley, is light buffy gray, with black mane and whitish beard. In Tanzania, a good place to observe this race of Eastern- white bearded wildebeest is lake Manyara National Park and they are known as in Kiswahili language as (Nyumbu wa kijivu or Grey wildebeest).

Both Eastern –white bearded wildebeest and western- white bearded wildebeest are sometimes known as “ white – bearded race of East Africa ( Tanzania and Kenya), while Blue wildebeest/ Brindled gnu/  and Johnston's wildebeest are known as “Black- bearded race/ form of Southern and South  western central Africa. Cookson’s wildebeest race is independent and totally isolated which is concentrated along the  Luangwa valley of eastern Zambia.

  • Races/ Subspecies) of wildebeests in Tanzania:
  • (1) Western white- bearded wildebeest ( Connochaetes taurinus mearnsi)- west of the East African rift wall)- dark blue – grey coat.
  • (2) Eastern white- bearded wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus albojubatus) – east of the East African rift wall- light grey – brown body.
  • (3) Johnston’s wildebeest or Nyassa wildebeest( Connochaetes taurinus johnstoni)- Southern Tanzania; grey – brown body, black beard.
  • (4) Blue wildebeest/ Brindled gnu ( Connochaetes taurinus taurinus) of southern Tanzania to north- east South Africa , Botswana, western Zambia and South eastern Angola, has black beard and upstanding mane, and tan lower legs.
  • Similar species;

Black wildebeest of South Africa ( but true ranges do not overlap.

  • Sex difference: Females are smaller than males and have slender horns.
  • Colour: Body generally greyish to blackish- brown. Face, tail and mane black. Rump is brownish.
  • Average weight: 220-250 kilogram
  • Habitat: Short grass plains and open bush Savannah. They also penetrate into open woodland. Access to drinking water is essential.
  • Habit/ Behavior: Very gregarious. They occur in herds of usually up to 30 individuals, but much concentrations may be observed. One of the world’s greatest land migrations involves the movement of more than one million wildebeest in a circuit between feeding and watering grounds within the Serengeti ecosystem of East Africa. Single animal or groups of 10,15,30 with bulls etc, also may be encountered. Also bachelor herd and territorial herd as well as breeding herd with bulls. Territories are formed when females are on heat during rutting season. Require water regularly. Found in association with Zebra and Thomson’s gazelles. Diurnal by nature. Territorial bulls defend a zone around their cows, even when on the move, indicating that it is not the ground which is defended but the right of access to receptive females. A territorial bull may control between two and 150 cows with their accompanying young, although cows may move through the territories of a number of bulls and mate with more than one. Outside  the mating season the cow herds move freely and “ not herded” by dominant bulls. Bachelor herds are usually located around the edge of the main concentration during the rut. Most activity takes place during the day, shade sought in hottest hours.
  • Food: Feed on grass which includes Themeda triandra and pennisetum spp.
  • Gestation period: 8 months
  • Average number of young: one
  • Lifespan: 15-20 years.
  • Predators/ Natural enemies: Lions, hyena, wild dog and cheetah for newly born calves. Also prone to rinderpest. The chief wildebeest predator is the spotted hyena, which kills both fit and unfit adults and more calves than all other predators put together.
  • Distribution/ Range in Tanzania:

The Serengeti National park is famous for its large concentration of western- white bearded wildebeest ( Connochaetes taurinus mearnsi); vast herds can be seen from December to May on the short grass plains around Ndutu and the Southern Serengeti. They are commonly seen in the north of Tarangire during the dry season (July to November), while the race (subspecies) of  Johnston’s or Nyassa wildebeest ( Connochaetes taurinus johnstoni) can be seen all year in the northern Selous Game reserve, particularly around lake manze. The Eastern – white bearded wildebeest ( Connochaetes taurinus albojubatus) occur throughout the Tarangire ecosystem and from lake Natron to west Kilimanjaro. There is also an introduced herd in Saadani National Park. The western – white bearded wildebeest ( Connochaetes taurinus mearnsi) ranges throughout the Serengeti – Mara ecosystem; there is also a small population in the lake Eyasi plains. The  Johnston’s or Nyassa wildebeest ( Connochaetes taurinus johnstoni) is found south of the Wami River throughout the Selous ecosystem as far south as Muhuwesi FR, and may still occur in Liparamba GR on the border with Mozambique. Wildebeest also occur in the Wembere wetland, but the subspecies ( races) is unclear.

  • Wildebeest’s population size in Tanzania:

Tanzania has approximately 80 percent of the world's population of western – white bearded wildebeest ( Connochaetes taurinus mearnsi). The population in the Serengeti ecosystem increased substantially in number from 220,000 in 1961 to around 1.4 million in the 1970s following the elimination of the Rinderpest disease through a cattle vaccination programme. The population in the Serengeti has now stabilized at 1.0-1.3 million animals. Western – white bearded wildebeest numbers in the Tarangire ecosystem have decreased substantially from 25,000  in the mid- 1980s to approximately 8,000 in 2012 due to heavy poaching in their dispersal areas, particularly during the late 1990s. This population spends at least part of the year outside protected areas, making it vulnerable both to poaching and loss of migration routes due to agricultural expansion.

-There are approximately 2,000-2,500 animals in Saadani National Park, where numbers are stable or increasing. Numbers in west Kilimanjaro – Amboseli (Kenya) ecosystem declined precipitously from 10,000 to 800 individuals following a severe drought in 2008 to 2010.

-The  Johnston’s or Nyassa wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus johnstoni) sub- population, which is concentrated in the Selous Game Reserve, has declined in the past decade from about 50,000 to 35,000 individuals for reasons that are unclear

Buffaloe(s)

Kiswahili name: Mbogo/Nyati

  • Races/ subspecies of Buffaloes in Africa:
  • (1); Cape Buffalo/African Buffalo/Savanna Buffalo ( Syncerus caffer caffer);
  • The largest race ( subspecies) range from southern Sudan and Ethiopia south through central and eastern Africa to Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and North and East Africa.
  • Total length: 3,2 to 4, 4m
  • Tail length: more than 70 cm
  • Shoulder height: 1,4m
  • Weight:male 700 kg, female 550 kg;
  • (2); Red Buffalo/ Forest Buffalo ( Syncerus caffer nanus);

-. The smallest race adapted to west- African forest ( Senegal to Benin) as well as central African forest.

  • Total length: 2,9m
  • Tail length: 70cm
  • Shoulder height: 1-1,2m
  • Weight: male 320kg, female 260kg;
  • Buffaloe's identification pointers:
  • Cattle- like appearance; large size, heavy build; Savanna/ African/ Cape Buffalo race ( subspecies) massive horns and overall dark brown to black colour; Red/ Forest Buffalo race ( subspecies) smaller horns and reddish- brown coat. Both races ( subspecies) are mixed feeder, browsing and grazing on a variety of grasses, leaves,twigs and young shoots;
  • Similar species: Domestic cattle, domesticated Asian Buffalo.
  • Races (subspecies) of Buffaloes in Tanzania.

-. African Buffalo/Cape Buffalo/ Savanna Buffalo, is the only subspecies (races) of Buffaloes found in Tanzania.

  • Sex difference: Males are larger and the horns are heavier than in females and are bossed in the centre of the forehead; old bulls develop a dewlap.
  • Colour:Reddish brown to total black; sometimes it changes to grayish and old bulls do lose hair on the neck and forehead.
  • Average weight: Bull weigh up toa ton but average weight is 800kg. Females may weigh up to 600kg.
  • Habitat: Savanna race prefers open woodland savanna, with abundant food grasses and drinking water. It also occupies areas of montane forest. Also prefer reedbanks; Bushes, Miombo woodland areas with flooded plains. Determining factors are food, water and enough cover. In Marshy areas, particularly during the dry season, they feed on reeds and other aquatic plants.
  • Habit/ Behaviour: May be found in small herds of up to 10 animals; in open areas a herd of up to 2000 herd; bachelor herd/ group; drink water regularly; dangerous animal when cornered or wounded; solitary and sedentary. African buffalo/Cape Buffalo race ( subspecies) runs in herds of several score to several thousands. Large herds split  into smaller groups, rejoining the main body later. Within herds of mixed sex and age, adult bulls maintain a dominance hierarchy. Cows also establish a hierarchal system among themselves. Most feeding takes place at night. Usually drink in the early morning  and late afternoon, lying up in the shade in the heat of day. Old bulls are ousted from the herd and live alone in groups of 2 to 5 (Bachelor herd/ group). Usually the group of buffaloes is often led by an old females, but dominated by a mature bulls.
  • Food/Diet: About 80-90 percent of its food consists of grass. The rest consists of leaves, twigs and young shoots.
  • Gestation period: 11-11.5 month gestation in the family bovidae (Bovids),bIrth peaks come early and mating peaks later in the rainy season. Estrus lasts 2 to 3 days. Bulls mature at 8 to 9 years.
  • Average number of young: One
  • Lifespan/ longevity: 20 years.
  • Predators/ Natural enemies:
  • Man, Lions, diseases such as rinderpest, anthrax and tuberculosis. Spotted hyenas are main predator of young, diseased, or injured adults.
  • Distribution/ Range in Tanzania:
  • African Buffalo/ Cape Buffalo/ Savanna Buffalo race ( subspecies) are easy to see in many protected areas in Tanzania. Herds of over 2,000 can sometimes be observed on the ridge roads in Tarangire National park, while large herds are also common on the open plains in Katavi National Park and Mikumi National Park. In Manyara National Park they are often seen on the open plains close to Hippo pool, and in Arusha National Park there is always a small group present in the grassland before the waterfall by Momella gate. Another good location is the Ngorongoro crater, where several herds occupy the crater floor. Large bulls often graze in the grounds of the lodges on the crater rim, and among the buildings at the Headquarters.
  • The African Buffalo/ Cape Buffalo/ Savanna Buffalo race ( subspecies) is widespread across Tanzania. It is found in every National park except Rubondo National Park, and it is now extinct in Kitulo and Gombe National Parks. The species also occurs in nearly every Game Reserve in the Country, as well as in many lowland and montane forest reserve. In some parts of Tanzania, including the Maasai steppe and South of  Selous Game reserve, it is still widespread on village land outside protected areas.
  • Buffaloes population size in Tanzania:
  • The largest population of African Buffalo in Tanzania is in the Selous Game Reserve, with an estimated population over 100,000 individuals. There are also large populations in the Serengeti ecosystem with 32,000 counted in 2009, and in the Ruaha- Rungwa ecosystem with some 20,000 animals. The Katavi- Rukwa ecosystem had approximately 10,000 individuals in 2009, although numbers declined markedly in the preceeding decade.
  • Other notable populations include the Moyowosi Game Reserve with approximately 7,000 animals in 2001, where it is the dominant large Ungulate both interms of numbers and biomass, and Tarangire National Park, where numbers have remained steady at 5,000-6,000 over the past decade. African Buffalo/ Cape Buffalo/ Savanna Bufalo race ( subspecies) are also very common in the forests of Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), Arusha National Park and Kilimanjaro National Park. Numbers are declining in some areas including the Kilombero valley and Katavi National Park, although most of the large populations appear stable. The main threats are poaching for bushmeat and habitat loss.
Waterbuck(s)

Kiswahili name; Kuro

  • Races/subspecies of waterbucks in Africa and its distribution /Range:
  • (1); Common waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus ellipsiprymnus);

Common waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus ellipsiprymnus) occurs in south – eastern Africa, with East African population occurring almost entirely to the east of the great rift valley. Hybrids occur where the two races of waterbucks overlap, as in Nairobi National Park in Kenya, and Tanzania’s Ngorongoro crater and in parts of Zambia.

  • (2); Defassa waterbuck ( Kobus ellipsiprymnus defassa);

Defassa waterbuck ( Kobus ellipsiprymnus defassa) is restricted  almost entirely to the west of the great rift valley but then occurs in a broad belt westward from Ethiopia to Senegal.

Briefly , Defassa waterbuck lives west of the rift, Luangwa, and middle Zambezi valleys. Population of both species in East Africa overlap in a few locations in Kenya ( Nairobi National Park) and Tanzania’s Ngorongoro crater and in parts of Zambia. The highest known concentration is that of Defassa waterbuck in the lake  Nakuru National Park in Kenya.

  • Total length: 2,1-2, 74m
  • Tail length: 35 cm
  • Shoulder height: 1,3m
  • Weight: 250-270 kg ( male slightly heavier than female).
  • Horn length; ( Male only) average 75 cm; record southern Africa, 99,7 cm; longer horns recorded elsewhere, notably Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda.
  • Common and Defassa waterbuck’s identification pointers:
  • In the common waterbuck the overall body colour is usually grey- brown, with either grey or brown being dominant, and a broad white ring encircles the rump ( white ring around rump) ; the forehead hairs are often chestnut in colour.
  • The Dafassa waterbuck are usually more reddish in colour, although in some populations they are more grey brown, and the rump has a broad white patch ( white blaze on rump). Only the bulls carry the long, heavily ridged, forward- swept horns.
  • Ears are short and rounded, white on the inside and black on the tips. white markings of lesser or greater intensity are located on the throat, around the nose and mouth and above the eyes.
  • Similar species:
  • None; two (2) subspecies may be confused ( but separated on rump pattern and range).
  • Sex difference: Females have no horns
  • Colour: Hairs of the coat are long, grayish brown ( lighter or darker according to individuals and regions). Tip of the muzzle, inside the ears, crescent like ring across the rump and buttocks are white. The tail has a black  tip and limbs are darker.
  • Average weight: 200 kg
  • Habitat: Open areas; dense cover; hill country; woodland and clearing but water must be available for them. Befitting the name, they are always associated with water, preferring areas with reedbeds or tall grass as well as woodland. Open grassland adjacent to cover is usually utilized for grazing.
  • Habit/Behaviour: Live in small herds of up to 30 animals. Males are polygamous and have territorial behaviour. Have a musky odour. Live in association with bushbuck, warthog and baboon. Adult bulls establish territories through which nursery herds of cows and calves move freely, but during  the rut bulls try to hold cows for mating.

-. Younger  bulls form bachelor herds, but these are relatively unstable, atleast in some areas. Bulls establish their own territories at five or six years of age and once established these are very stable and held until the bull's position is taken by another animal.

  • Food/Diet: Entirely grazer.
  • Gestation period: 8 months to 8.5 months
  • Average number of young: one.
  • Life span/Longevity; 15 years.
  • Predators/Natural enemies:
  • Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Hyena and Wild dog. Waterbucks are thought to take refuge in cover at night , and mothers of young calves frequent woodland.
  • Races (subspecies) of waterbucks in Tanzania
  • All of these 2 races of waterbucks in Africa, are found in Tanzania.
  • (1); Common waterbuck ( Kobus ellipsiprymnus ellipsiprymnus);

East of the East African rift wall; distinctive white ring circling the rump.

  • (2); Defassa waterbuck ( Kobus ellipsiprymnus defassa)

West of the East African Rift wall; the all- white rump does not extend above the base of the tail. It is usually more rufous- brown than the common waterbuck.

  • Note and remember:

-. The range of the two subspecies overlap in some places, including Manyara National Park where individuals with intermediate characteristics have been recorded.

  • Distribution/Range of waterbucks in Tanzania:
  • This species is easily seen in many of the National parks in Tanzania. The common waterbuck ( Kobus ellipsiprymnus ellipsiprymnus) is reliably encountered in Tarangire, Arusha and Saadani National Parks, and the Defassa waterbuck ( Kobus ellispsiprymnus defassa) can be seen in Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) and in the Serengeti, Ruaha and Katavi National Parks.
  • Waterbucks are widely distributed across protected areas in Tanzania. They occur in most of the  Mainland National Parks, except for Rubondo and Kitulo, and they are now extinct in Gombe National Park. They are also present in most Game Reserves, although are historically absent from Swagaswaga Game Reserve.
  • Waterbuck’s population size in Tanzania:

-. Aerial counts suggest there are 6,700-10,900 waterbucks in major National Parks and Game Reserves in Tanzania, although these numbers may be under estimates as the animals often forage or rest in dense grass or riverine woodland and can be easily missed from the air. The largest populations are in the Selous Mikumi ecosystem with 3,500-5,000 individuals and the Serengeti ecosystem with 1,000-2500 individuals. Other significant populations are in the Ruaha- Rungwa ecosystem (1,000), Saadani National Park ( 300-1,000), Tarangire ecosystem (300-500), Moyowosi Game Reserve (100-500), Katavi ecosystem (200-300) and Ugalla Game Reserve (300).

-. There are also small populations in Burigi – Biharamulo Game Reserves and Wami- Mbiki WMA, and there are probably at least 100 individuals in Arusha  National Park. Illegal hunting and habitat loss pose the main threats to this species, but numbers in most National Parks and Game Reserves are currently stable.

Elephant(s)

Kiswahili name: Tembo/Ndovu

-. There are two elephant species in the world, one living in Asia and the other in Africa. Two species of Elephant exist today- the African Elephant and the Asian Elephant have a trunk, large ears and thick, gray skin. All Elephants belong to the order ( group) known as “ Proboscidea” ,  which comprises one family ( Elephantidae).

  • Races/ subspecies of Elephants in Africa and its distribution/ Range:
  • (1); Bush Elephant/ Savanna Elephant / African Elephant ( Loxodonta africana africana);

-. Bush Elephant / Savanna Elephant/ African Elephant (Loxodonta africana africana) is a largest race ( subspecies) of elephants in Africa. They live in Savanna ( areas of grassland with scattered trees). However, some live in forests or marshes and even mountains. Bush elephant/ Savanna elephant/African elephant occupied virtually all habitats in sub- Saharan, Africa within historical times, and up to some 1500 years ago still  occurred along the Mediterranean seabord of North Africa. Principal concentrations of Bush Elephant / Savanna Elephant are located in Central, East and the northern parts of southern Africa. The African bush elephant

( Loxodonta africana africana ) is bulkier and heavier than any other Elephant subspecies.

(2);  Forest Elephant (  Loxodonta africana cyclotis);

-   The forest elephant ( Loxodonta africana cyclotis) is the smallest African subspecies/ races. Its size enables it to move easily through the trees. Generally, its ears are small and rounded, and its tusks are less curved than those of other African elephants.

- The forest elephant (Loxodonta africana cyclotis) are found in the forests of west and central Africa. These forest elephants of central and west African forests are in small numbers and isolated. Some authorities  consider forest elephant as a full species rather than subspecies ( races).

(3);  Desert Elephant of Namibia:

-. This subspecies/ races is very closely related to the African bush Elephant/ Savanna Elephant / Bush Elephant, but it has longer legs. This is the second in size after the African Elephant/ Bush Elephant. Desert Elephants of Namibia have to walk long distances to find food and water. Scientists think that this is why they have longer legs than any other subspecies/races;

  • Note and remember:
  • Subspecies ( Races) of Elephants in Africa each look a little different from one another and are named after their HABITATS;
  • (1); Savanna Elephant/ Bush Elephant /African Elephant;
  • Total length: (Male) 7-9m/ (Female 6,5-8,5m)
  • Shoulder height: (Male) 3,2-4m. (Female) 2,5-3, 4m;
  • Weight: (Male) 5000-6300kg ( Female) 2800-3500kg.

 

  • (2); Forest Elephant ( Loxodonta africana cyclotis);
  • Shoulder height: (Male) 2,35m (Female) 2,1m;
  • Weight: (Male) 2800-3200kg (Female) 1800-2500 kg;
  • Bush Elephant and Forest Elephant Identification pointers:
  • Long trunk, usually tusks; large ears.
  • Unmistakable.
  • Similar species: None;
  • Races ( subspecies) of Elephants in Tanzania;
  • Bush elephant/ Savanna elephant/African elephant (Loxodonta africana africana) is the only subspecies (races) found in Tanzania.
  • Sex difference; Males are larger and heavier than females; the female's tusks are much smaller and slender.
  • Colour: Coat almost naked except for a few bristles scattered about the trunk, and two hard, thick, hairy tufts at the tip of the tail; however, coats’ colour is iron grey, some elephants being darker than others.
  • Average weight: Male up to 6 tons and female up to 4 tons.
  • Habitat; Rain and Montane forests, Miombo woodland, forested savannah, sub desert country. Elephants can subsists in virtually any habitat that provides adequate quantities of food and water.
  • Habit/ Behaviour:
  • An elephant family group is made up of related females and their offspring. Each family is led by an older, dominant female known as the Matriarch (Female leader). She makes all the decisions for group. Her experience, learned over many years, is very important in keeping the family healthy and safe. Female elephants never leave the matriarchal unit unless it becomes too big. Then smaller groups (subgroups) break away and are led by the eldest daughters.
  • Bulls ( male elephants) leave their family group when they are between 10 and 16 years old. When they are adults, only the strongest males mate with the females. Bulls spend most of their lives in small, all- male groups ( Bachelor herd/group which is always temporary) comprising two or three animals or wander on their own. Also in Elephants, solitary animals of both sexes is found. An elephant family can stay together for as long as 40 years. Each family group has close links with up to five other families in the same area.
  • Food/Diet; Mixed feeder; feeds on leaves, twigs , terminal shoots, bark, roots, and fruits; they also take grass and may destroy crops such as banana trees, cassava, maize and even sugarcane. Also like salt licks. Requires about 150 to 300 kg of food a day. That is why elephants spend most of the time- about 16 hours a day in feeding for food. They also need to drink a lot of water and bathe to cool off. Elephants sleep twice a day, once for a few hours at noon and again in the early hours of the morning. They usually sleep standing up, but sometimes they lie on their sides.
  • Gestation period: 22 to 24 months
  • Average number of young: One, occasionally twins
  • Life span/ Longevity; : 60 to 70 years
  • Predators/Natural enemies: Man and diseases. Lions and spotted hyenas, perfectly capable of taking baby elephants, are treated as enemies.
  • Distribution/Range of Elephants in Tanzania:
  • Savannah Elephants/Bush Elephants/African Elephants are easily seen in many of the national parks with savanna habitat, including Mikumi, Ruaha, Serengeti and Tarangire, as well as the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) and Selous Game Reserve. Tarangire National Park is one of the best places in Africa to see large herds of elephants, with many hundreds congregating along the Tarangire River between August and November. The Ngorongoro crater can be a good place to see mature males with large tusks- a few individuals reside there throughout the  year. Savanna elephant /Bush elephant/African elephants are still remarkably widely distributed in Tanzania. They are found in every Mainland National Park except Kitulo and Gombe and also occur in most Game Reserves ( Apart from Mpanga- Kipengere and Ibanda Game Reserves), and in a surprising number of Forest Reserves.
    • Elephant’s population size in Tanzania:
    • The Selous Game Reserve had an estimated population of 39,000 elephants in 2009, although by 2013 this number had plummeted to 13,000 animals as a result of poaching. Other important populations include the Ruaha ecosystem (with approximately 20,000 individuals), Katavi ecosystem ( 6,000), Serengeti ecosystem (3,100) and the Tarangire ecosystem ( 2,500).
    • Ivory poaching represents a significant threat to elephant populations. Loss of migration corridors between protected areas due to agriculture and the establishment of settlements is another significant threat.
Topi(s)

Kiswahili name: Nyamera/Topi;

  • Races/subspecies of Topi in Africa and its distribution/range;
  • (1); Tsessebe Topi/Sassaby Topi ( Damaliscus lunatus lunatus)

Is found in South East Congo- Kinshasa (DRC) to South Africa. Tsessebe topi/Sassaby Topi form seasonal herds numbering in the thousands on the  Bangweulu flood plains in north east Zambia. They are also found in Malawi, Mozambique, Botswana and Angola.

The tsessebe/sassaby is sometimes given full species status on the basis of amongst others, horn structure and certain behavioral differences.

  • (2); Tiang Topi ( Damaliscus lunatus tiang);

Is found in southern Sudan to lake Turkana, northern Kenya. Also border region of Ethiopia, northern Cameroon and Chad.

  • (3); Jimela Topi( Damaliscus lunatus jimela)

Is found in E Africa, SW Kenya, NW Tanzania, NE Rwanda, E Congo- Kinshasa). Also in Burundi. Jimela is sometimes known as ( Topi) and in East Africa occurs in isolated populations scattered through the region.

  • (4); Topi ( Damaliscus lunatus topi)

Is found in SE Kenya ( coastal region of E. Africa from S.Somalia ( from about Mekka  2o  N) to S.E Kenya (Malindi).

  • (5); Korrigum Topi (Damaliscus lunatus korrigum)

Korrigum Topi ( Damaliscus Lunatus Korrigum) sometimes is known as West African Korrigum ( Korrigum).

The Korrigum ( Korrigum) is limited to a small area of west Africa.

It is found from Senegal, Gambia, to Northern Nigeria, Lake Chad, and N.W. Darfur, between 11o OR 14o and

19 o N.

  • Note and Remember: According to some authorities, there are about 9 races of Topi (s), apart from those 5 races already mentioned.
  • Races/Subspecies of Topis inTanzania;

-JimelaTopi  (Damaliscus lunatus jimela ) is the only subspecies (races) found in Tanzania.

  • Similar species:

-Hartebeest races/ subspecies ( but separated on horn structure.)

  • Topi’s identification pointers:

-Similar body form to hartebeest, shoulders higher than rump; all races dark facial blaze; reddish- brown colour with darker patching.

  • Total length: 2.1m
  • Tail length: 45cm
  • Shoulder height: 1.2m
  • Weight: ( Male)140kg (Female) 126 kg
  • Horn length: average 34cm; in other races up to 72 cm. record tsessebe/sassaby 46. 99cm.
  • Sex difference: Females have black horns which are generally shorter and less deeply ridged; males’ horns are heavier and ash- like and usually females have lighter colour than males.
  • Colour: Reddish brown to purplish red; dark bluish patches on upper legs, face; tail short and black.
  • Average weight: 90-140kg;
  • Habitat & Behaviour/ Habit; Short grass plains with scattered patches of bushes; swampy flood plains with short grass and will sometimes venture into thickets. It is highly gregarious; herd size may consist of one animal to a thousand animals; family groups with a bull from 5 -15 animals and bachelor groups also present; stamping ground may be established when there are many animals, hence territories in the stamping ground will have several bulls; Territories are marked by defecating, digging in the ground and by using the secretion of the ant orbital gland. Only the centre of the territory is marked. Outside the rut bulls move freely without holding territories.
  • Food/Diet; Purely a grazer and prefer short grass. When an area is burnt, they will appear after a few days when the grass starts to emerge.
  • Gestation period: 7 months- 8 months.
  • Average number of young: One.
  • Life span/Longevity; Up to 15 years.
  • Predators/Natural Enemies:

-Lions, Cheetah and Wild dog. They are susceptible to “foot and mouth” diseases.

  • Distribution/Range of Topis in Tanzania:

-The central and western sectors of the Serengeti National Park are excellent areas to see Topi, with sightings of large numbers virtually guaranteed. In Katavi National park, single males or small groups of Topi are regularly seen on the open floodplains around the main lodges. Topi are mainly restricted to northern and western Tanzania.

- There are isolated records from the very west of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), and they are rare in Loliondo and the Maswa Game Reserve. There are populations in the Katavi- Rukwa ecosystem including Lukwati and Chunya west, and throughout the Moyowosi- Kigosi, Burigi- Biharamulo and Ibanda- Rumanyika Game Reserves.

- There is also one record from the eastern section of the Mahale Mountains National Park. Topi formerly ranged  between southern Ruaha National Park and Mpanga- Kipengere Game Reserves, although they are now restricted to a small population in the Usangu plains in Ruaha National Park which represents the southernmost extension of the species distribution in Tanzania.

  • Topi's population size in Tanzania:
  • The largest population of Topi in Africa occurs in the Serengeti ecosystem, where there are some 27,000-38,500 individuals. Other large populations occur in the Moyowosi- Kigosi Game Reserves with 4000-5000 individuals and the Ugalla Game Reserve with 1,000-2,000 animals. There were 5,500 Topi in the Katavi- Rukwa ecosystem in 1998, although by 2009 only 560 were counted, a decline probably linked to poaching. In the Burigi- Biharamulo Game Reserves, the Topi population has declined precipitously from over 2,000 individuals in 1990 to less than 50 in 2000 when the latest count was conducted.
  • There are small populations in Ibanda- Rumanyika Game Reserves, where it is easily seen. The population in Usangu, which now forms part of Ruaha National Park is also small. The population in the Serengeti ecosystem is stable, while those in the west of Tanzania are declining.
Hartebeest(s)

Kiswahili name; Kongoni;

  • Races ( Subspecies) of Hartebeest in Africa and its distribution/range;
  • (1); Coke’s hartebeest /Kongoni (Alcelaphus buselaphus cokei/cokii);
  • Coke’s hartebeest or Kongoni ( Alcelaphus buselaphus cokei/cokii) is the principal East African race but restricted to adjacent areas of ( Kenya and Tanzania).
  • (2); Red hartebeest ( Alcelaphus buselaphus caama);
  • Red hartebeest ( Alcelaphus buselaphus caama) is the only race ( subspecies) occurring in southern Africa ( Botswana, Namibia, South Africa).
  • (3); Tora hartebeest ( Alcelaphus buselaphus tora);
  • Tora hartebeest ( Alcelaphus buselaphus tora) only occurs in limited areas of adjoining ( Ethiopia and Sudan) as well as in Eritrea.
  • (4); Swayne’s hartebeest (Alcelaphus d. swaynei);
  • Swayne’s hartebeest ( Alcelaphus d. swaynei) has an equally limited range in ( Ethiopia and in adjacent Somalia.)
  • (5); Jackson’s hartebeest ( Alcelaphus buselaphus jacksoni);
  • Jackson’s hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus Jacksoni) occurs in Uganda.
  • (6); Lelwel hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus lelwel) occurs in Uganda, west of Nile.
  • Races/Subspecies of Hartebeests in Tanzania:

Coke’s hartebeest or Kongoni (Alcelaphus buselaphus cokei/cokii) is the only race (subspecies) found in Tanzania.

  • Similar species: Tsessebe, Topi/Korrigum/Tiang;
  • Hartebeest's identification pointers:
  • Shoulders much higher than rump; long, narrow face; horns in sexes, races (subspecies) identified by their shape and structure;colouration varies with race.
  • Total length; 2,3m
  • Tail length: 47 cm
  • Shoulder height: 1,25m
  • Weight: (Male) 150 kg (Female) 120 kg; Record Horn Length; 74,93cm;
  • Sex difference: Female has less robust horns than male. Stomach in females form a smooth curve. In the male stomach forms a wide v below.
  • Colour: Back reddish brown (rufous) contrasting with light greyish- brown (fawn) flanks and whitish rump. There is a dark stripe on the front of the legs, and also dark blaze on the middle of the face.
  • Average weight: 120 to 150 kg.
  • Habitat: occupy open savanna country and wooded grassland, extending into semi- arid country and into desert fringes after rain.
  • Habit/Behavior;
  • Herd composition may consist of a bachelor herd with a bull. Establish territories in open areas. Territory is marked by urine and dung (only the centre is marked), and also by horning of the earth which is then marked by using the secretion from its ant orbital glands. Males fight a lot during the rutting season. Generally they are sedentary. Found in association with Zebra, Eland, Roan and Wildebeest. Most activity takes place during the day but nocturnal feeding also take place.
  • Food/Diet; Grazers and drink water regularly.
  • Gestation period: 8 months
  • Average of number of young & Longevity;  One. Longevity is about 15 years;
  • Natural enemies/ Predators: Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Wild dog and Hyena. Jackals occasionally prey on hidden calves.
  • Distribution/Range of Coke's Hartebeest or Kongoni in Tanzania.
  • Coke's Hartebeests can be reliably seen in the Ngorongoro crater, and around Seronera and much of the central Serengeti National Park.
  • Coke’s Hartebeests are restricted to north and central Tanzania. Their main stronghold is in the Serengeti ecosystem, with smaller populations in Tarangire National Park, the lake Natron area and Mkomazi National Park. There are still a few individuals in west Kilimanjaro and occasional sightings from the Yaeda valley. The population in Swagaswaga Game Reserve represents the Southern most edge of its distribution in Tanzania.
  • Coke’s Hartebeest’s population size in Tanzania;
  • There are approximately 18,000 coke’s Hartebeests in Tanzania, with largest population in the Serengeti ecosystem estimated at 16,000 individuals. Numbers in the Tarangire ecosystem have steadily declined from 4,000 in the early 1990s to around 1,100 individuals in 2011 as a result of unsustainable hunting pressure outside the National Park.
  • There are approximately 1,000 coke’s Hartebeests in Mkomazi National Park, and the species is now rare in west Kilimanjaro. The main threats to this species include illegal hunting and loss of habitat and migration corridors.
Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest (Alcelaphus lichtensteinii)

Kiswahili name: Konzi/Kongoni;

  • Distribution/Range of Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest (Alcelaphus lichtensteinii) in Africa.
  • Selous Game Reserve ( Tanzania), Kafue National Park ( Zambia), South- eastern Zimbabwe ( considered to be threatened in Zimbabwe) , Mozambique, Malawi ( Endangered in Malawi), Congo (DRC), and South Africa (Particularly at Kruger National Park, a stock brought in from Malawi). Also to north east Angola.
  • The largest National population is located in Tanzania, with about 50,000 animals. In Tanzania, good place to see is Saadani National Park.
  • Similar species:
  • Tsesssebe, Topi (Separated on colouration and horn structures).
  • Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest (Konzi/Kongoni) Identification pointers:
  • Higher at shoulders than at rump; yellow- tawny – body colouring, paler legs and rump; no distinctive markings; characteristic horn structure ( Thick and strongly ridged at the base forming 0 when viewed from front). Is distinguished by the chestnut brown patch behind the foreleg;
  • There is some justification for including this as a subspecies of the coke’s hartebeest, while others consider it s full species.
  • Total length: 2.01-2.5m
  • Tail length: 48cm
  • Shoulder height: 1.25m
  • Weight: (125-204 kg) both sexes. (Male) 170 kg (Female) 165 kg.
  • Horn length average: 52cm; record male 61.92 cm.
  • Habitat: Miombo woodlands; open plains; Bush, and wooded grasslands, with drinking water apparently essential.
  • Habit/Behavior:
  • Small herds of up to 10 individuals form but on occasion larger, temporary herds occur. A territorial bull stays with a group of cows and their young within a fixed range, which usually incorporates the best grazing, with bachelor herds utilizing less favourable areas. In one study it was found that territories extended just over 2,5 square kilometres. A hierarchy exists amongst group females, which appear to be age- related. Although mainly active in the day time, some nocturnal feeding takes place. Males defend sizable territories within which small herds of related females and young.
  • Food/Diet; Almost exclusively grass (grazer) but on rare occasions some browse is taken.
  • Reproduction:
  • 1 calf born after gestation period of 8 months (240 days). Seasonal breeders, with most births taking place in September in the south of their range. A single calf birth weight is about 15 kg. Calf can follow mother soon after birth (precocial), but usually lies up between feeds, making no attempt to hide.
  • Distribution/Range of Lichtenstein’s Hartebeests ( Konzi/Kongoni) in Tanzania:
  • The Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest can be found in the tourist section of the Selous Game Reserve in the dry season, particularly the eastern section around Mtemere  and around lake Manze. It is also frequently seen around Mwanyembe springs in Ruaha National Park during the dry season. In Katavi National Park, it is commonly observed along the sand ridge running from Kavuu to Ngolima plain.
  • The Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest is widespread in Miombo woodland in western Tanzania, occurring in a mostly un interrupted swathe from the Ruaha- Rungwa ecosystem to the Moyowosi- Kigosi Game Reserves, including Ugalla Game Reserve and the Katavi- Rukwa ecosystem. There is still a small population in the Burigi- Biharamulo Game Reserve and it is also found in the eastern section of Mahale Mountains National Park. The species is widespread throughout the Selous Game Reserve, Mikumi National Park, the Selous- Niassa corridor and Muhuwesi Forest Reserve , and is occasionally found in the Kilombero valley. It may also occur in low numbers on community land to the South and South-east of the Selous Game Reserve. There are populations in the Wami- Mbiki WMA and Saadani National Park, which are now probably isolated from the Selous population.
  • A population of hartebeest, which is likely to be Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest, has been reported from the Wembere wetland, suggesting a possible extension of its northern Miombo woodland range.
  • Lichtenstein’s hartebeest population size in Tanzania:
  • The Selous Game Reserve is the main stronghold for lichtenstein’s hartebeest in Africa, with approximately 17,000-18,000 individuals. They are now rare in the adjacent Kilombero valley. Other important populations include the Ruaha -Rungwa ecosystem ( 1,300 animals), Saadani National Park (1,500) and Ugalla Game Reserve (1000). The Moyowosi- Kigosi Game Reserves and the Katavi- Rukwa ecosystem both have smaller populations of around 700 animals. The species is now rare in Burigi- Biharamulo Game Reserve where only three animals were counted in 2000. The main population in Selous Game Reserve is probably stable.
Roan Antelope(s)

Kiswahili name: Korongo

  • Races (Subspecies) of Roan Antelopes in Africa and its distribution/range;
  • There are approximately 6 races/subspecies of roan antelope, which vary in colouration from gray to reddish- brown. The overall body colour is greyish-brown, with west African animals in particular usually having a more reddish tinge and other races (subspecies) being based on other slight pelage colour variations ( some five (5) have been described on this basis).
  • Roan Antelopes in Africa are presented in about 30 countries ( Africa, South of the Sahara). In Africa the Roan antelope is surpassed in size only by the two eland species.
  • (1); Langheldi Roan or East African Roan ( Hippotragus equinus Langheldi); - is found in East Africa ( Pale – brown sh-red). Occurs in Burundi, northern DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda ( Eastern Africa).
  • (2); Koba Roan (Hippotragus equinus koba);

Koba Roan (Hippotragus equinus koba) is found in Gambia to Cameroon (yellowish-brown) . Also, Koba are found from Senegal to Benin.

  • (3); Scharicus Roan (Hippotragus equinus scharicus) ;

Scharicus Roan (  Hippotragus equinus scharicus) is found around lake Chad and Shari region ( Ochreous- red). Also occurs in Cameroon, Central African Republic, and Eastern Nigeria.

  • (4); Bakeri Roan (Hippotragus equinus bakeri);

Bakeri Roan (Hippotragus equinus bakeri) is found in Western Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Uganda (Fallow-brown to umber).

  • (5); Equinus Roan /Southern Race (Hippotragus equinus equinus);

Equinus Roan/Southern Race (Hippotragus  equinus equinus ) is found in Southern African Countries ( upperside of body grey). Occurs in Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

(6); H.e.cottoni)  -occurs in Angola,Botswana,  Southern DRC, Republic of Congo, Central and Northern Malawi, Zambia.

  • Races/Subspecies of Roan Antelopes (Korongo) in Tanzania;
  • Langheldi Roan/East African Roan (Hippotragus equinus Langheldi) is the only races ( subspecies) found in Tanzania. Roan Antelope (Korongo) is the second largest antelope in Tanzania after the common Eland.
  • Similar species: Sable antelope (Separated on coloration), Oryx.
  • Roan Antelope's identification pointers:
  • Large ; overall greyish –brown, west African races with reddish tinge, black and white facial markings; heavily ridged, sweptback, curved horns; long, narrow, pointed ears with tufts.
  • Total length: 2,26-2,89m
  • Tail length: 54cm
  • Shoulder height: 1,1-1,5m
  • Weight: 220-300 kg (male heavier than female)
  • Horn length: Male average 75cm, record southern race ( equinus) 99,06 cm.
  • Sex difference; Horns smaller in females and less heavily ringed than in males. Females paler than male.
  • Colour: Grey to fawn: underparts white; head dark brown, muzzle and area between eyes and forehead white; ears tipped with black hairs. Mane with dark tips on back. Legs brownish, with black patches.
  • Average weight: 230-280 kg;
  • Habitat: open woodland, drybush, savanna, near water. Also found in Miombo woodland with Combretum and in rocky hill country in wooded areas.
  • Habit/Behavior:

Herds usually number between five and 12 individuals, with each unit normally led by an adult bull. On occasion larger herds of up to  80 animals are recorded but these might not be stable and involve temporary gatherings close to water or favoured food supply. Herds consisting of adult cows and young occupy fixed home ranges which are defended by dominant bulls, which drive off  intruding bulls.

-Unlike most other territorial antelope, the dominant bull is not defending a piece of ground but the nursery herd over which he has control.

- Herd range size is variable, being largely dictated by quality of food and access to water; up to 100 km2 has been recorded. The actual herd is usually led by a cow that establishes dominance over the other animals. This cow selects feeding and resting locations. The territorial bull is also responsible for inseminating receptive cows.

- At two years of age bulls are driven away from the herd by the dominant bull and these form small bachelor herds. At five to six years of age bulls leave the bachelor groups to live solitary lives, or to take over control of nursery herds.

  • Food/Diet; Over 90 percent of its diet consists of grass. A small portion of the food content may consist of leaves and fruits.
  • Gestation period: 9 months to 9.5 months.
  • Average number of young & Longevity; One, and longevity/ lifespan is about 15 years;
  • Natural enemies/ predators; Wild dog and Lion. Calves vulnerable to spotted hyenas , Leopards and Wild dogs.
  • Distribution/Range of Langheldi Roan /East African Roan (Hippotragus equinus langheldi) in Tanzania.
  • Katavi National Park provides the best opportunities for seeing Roan Antelopes in Tanzania. Good places to try are around the Katuma River where it leaves the Katisunga floodplain, and the series of springs between there and Ikuu Ranger post, where they drink from mid- morning to early afternoon during the dry season.
  • The Ngolima floodplain is also worth a try. In Ruaha National Park, small herds can  be seen in the Lunda area in the eastern corner of the National park, in the vicinity of Malindi springs, and  on the road between the National park entrance and Msembe. Two or more days of searching may be necessary to encounter this species.
  • Roan Antelopes are concentrated in the central and the western parts of Tanzania, with small populations in Maswa Game Reserve and Singida District in the north. They are found in Swagaswaga Game Reserve, the Ruaha – Rungwa ecosystem, the Katavi ecosystem, across Ugalla Game Reserve, the Malagarasi swamp and Moyowosi and Kigosi Game Reserves. There are small populations in the Miombo woodland of Mahale Mountains National Park, in Burigi- Biharamulo Game Reserves, and in Ibanda- Rumanyika Game Reserves, although it has disappeared from large parts of Tabora District.
  • In the Serengeti ecosystem, the loss of Combretum- dominated woodland has greatly reduced the range of this antelope, and it is now restricted mainly to the Maswa and Grumeti Game Reserves, and occasionally the western corridor in the Serengeti National Park.
  • Small groups sometimes pass through the Yaeda valley. It is extinct in Tarangire National Park, where it was last recorded in 1960. There are still small pockets of Roan Antelopes in the Kondoa open area and in the woodland bordering the Wembere wetland.
  • Langheldi Roan/East African Roan Population size in Tanzania.
  • The largest concentration of Roan Antelopes is in the Ruaha- Rungwa ecosystem, with approximately 1,000-1,500 individuals, with a further 1,200 animals spread across Ugalla and Moyowosi Game Reserves and around Lake Sagara. There were approximately 450 individuals in the Katavi- Rungwa ecosystem in 2009. They are rare in the Serengeti ecosystem and Burigi- Biharamulo Game Reserve. This species occurs at low densities throughout its range and is particularly vulnerable to human disturbance and habitat change;
Sable Antelope(s)

Kiswahili name: Palahala/Mbarapi

  • Races (Subspecies) of Sable Antelopes in Africa and its distribution/ range;
  • (1); Giant sable/ Royal sable (Hippotragus niger variani);
  • The giant sable (Hippotragus niger variani) is the largest race of sable Antelopes and is found only in north- western Angola. This race / subspecies has longest horns (164,7cm), and is one of the most endangered antelopes.
  • (2); Roosevelt sable/ Shimba sable/ Eastern sable (Hippotragus niger roosevelti);
  • Roosevelt sable (Hippotragus niger roosevelti) is found from south- eastern Kenya ( Shimba hills), Tanzania to Southern African Countries ( Mozambique). Roosevelt sable is the smallest subspecies/ races.
  • (3); Kirk’s sable/ West-Tanzanian sable/ West- zambian sable (Hippotragus niger kirkii);
  • Kirk’s sable ( Hippotragus niger kirkii) is found in Tanzania to Southern African countries ( Zambia, Angola, Malawi, DRC, etc). They are also known as Zambian sable, or West-Tanzanian sable, but also known as West- Zambian sable.
  • (4); Southern sable/ Black sable (Hippotragus niger niger);
  • Southern sable (Hippotragus niger niger) is found in Southern African countries ( South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia).
  • Note and Remember: The most important population centres of Sable Antelopes in Africa is found in Zimbabwe , Zambia and Tanzania. A small, isolated population is located in the Shimba Hills National Reserve in extreme South- Eastern Kenya. The Giant sable (race) is only found in north – western Angola. In South Africa, the populations are restricted to reserves and game farms.
  • Races/Subspecies of sable Antelopes (Palahala/ Mbarapi ) in Tanzania;
  • (1); Roosevelt sable (Hippotragus niger roosevelti)
  • Is found in coastal and Southern Tanzania;
  • (2); Kirk’s sable (Hippotragus niger kirkii);
  • Is found in west of Eastern Arc Mountains.
  • Similar species: Roan antelope ( separated on coloration).
  • Sable Antelope's identification pointers:
  • Large; black and white facial markings; black, dark brown or chestnut upperparts, white underparts, long, curved, transversely ridged horns; no ear tufts.
  • Total length: 2,3-2,56m
  • Tail length: 50 cm
  • Shoulder height: 1,35m
  • Weight: 180-270 ( average 230 kg)
  • Horn length: Male average 102 cm, record south Africa 127, 6cm, Angola ( Giant race) 164, 7cm).
  • Sex differences: Males have more massive scimitar- like horns than females; the latter has shorter and less curved horns. Male heavier than female.
  • Colour: Glistening black coat; underparts white; face mostly white ,with a broad blaze from the forehead to the nose and a black stripe from below the eye to muzzle. There is also a well- developed mane of long stiff hairs from the top of the neck to the shoulder.
  • Average weight; 180-250 kg;
  • Habitat: Deciduous forest, mixed bush and grassland; near edges of short grass plains and in a hill country. They avoid dense woodland and short grass savanna but drinking water is essential.
  • Habit/ Behaviour;
  • Live in small herds of up to 20 individuals or up to 80. A bull leads the herd accompanied by youngsters, females and sub adults.
  • Territorial bulls establish territories that overlap the home ranges of one or more nursery herds of cows and young animals. The home ranges of the nursery herds are stable and fixed and in studies undertaken in different parts of their range, averaged only 0,2 to 0,4 square kilometres;
  • During the rutting season territorial bulls try to hold the nursery herds within their territories. An adult cow establishes leadership over a nursery herd and usually directs movement to feeding and resting areas. Young bulls join bachelor herds until their fifth or sixth year, when they move away to establish their own territories. Territorial bulls use display to intimidate intruding bulls and if, this fails, serious fighting can result. Most activity take place in the early morning and late afternoon hours.
  • Food/Diet; Mainly grazers (ie 90 percent of their food is made of grass) but feed also on leaves. Drink water regularly.
  • Gestation period: 9 months
  • Average number of young: One
  • Life span/ longevity: 15 years.
  • Natural enemies/ predators: Lions, Leopard, Wild dog and Man.
  • Distribution/Range of Sable Antelopes ( Palahala/ Mbarapi) in Tanzania.
  • Sable Antelopes are not easy to see in Tanzania. The best chance is in Ruaha National Park in the dry season (August- November) when they frequently come down from the Miombo escarpment to drink at the Makindi springs in the middle of the day.
  • The same pattern occurs at permanent water sources in the Lunda area. It may take several visits to see this species in Ruaha. In the Selous Game Reserve it can occasionally be sighted on the main road between sable lodge and Matambwe during the wet season ( November- May). It may also be seen in the north of Saadani National Park.
  • Sable Antelopes are distributed across much of the south and west of the country. They are widespread in the Selous ecosystem, occurring in Mikumi National Park, the Selous Game Reserve, the Kilombero valley, the Selous- Niassa corridor, Muhuwesi Forest Reserve and in the Miombo woodland east of Liwale town. They are also found in the Ruaha- Rungwa ecosystem, Katavi National Park, Rukwa, Ugalla, Moyowosi, Kizigo, Burigi and Kimisi Game Reserves, and in the Wembere wetland. There are no recent reports from the eastern Mahale National Park, although they may still occur there.
  • They were formerly distributed throughout the coastal areas from the Kenya border as far south as Lindi,but are now restricted to small pockets in Saadani National Park, Wami- Mbiki WMA and Msumbugwe Forest Reserve near Pangani, where a small herd was sighted in 1998.
  • Sable Antelope's (Palahala/ Mbarapi) population size in Tanzania:
  • The largest concentrations of Sable Antelopes are in the Selous Game Reserve and Selous- Niassa corridor, with an estimated 3, 400- 5,500 individuals. They are uncommon in Mikumi National Park and are now very rare in the Kilombero valley. There are approximately 2,400 individuals in the Ruaha- Rungwa ecosystem. They are common in Ugalla Game Reserve where 900 individuals were counted in 1996, and numbers in the Moyowosi Game Reserve have remained relatively constant over the past 30 years at around 1,000 individuals. They are uncommon in Katavi National Park but are reported to be relatively common in Rungwa and Rukwa Game Reserves and the adjacent areas of Piti, Lukwati and Chunya. Other populations include 200-400 in Saadani National Park, 40 in the Wami- Mbiki WMA, and less than 100 in the Burigi – Biharamulo Game Reserves.
Oryx/Oryxes
  • Races ( Subspecies) of Oryxes in Africa and its distribution/ range;
  • There are 3 races (subspecies) of oryxes.
  • (1); Gemsbok oryx/ The southern subspecies gazella ( Oryx gazella gazella);
  • Gemsbok oryx or the southern subspecies gazella ( Oryx gazella gazella) is found from south west Zimbabwe and south west Angola through Botswana and Namibia to Northern Cape province ( South Africa). Good places to see it( Kalahari- Gemsbok National Park, central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana; Etosha National Park, Namibia). Gemsbok oryx/ the Southern subspecies gazella ( Oryx gazella gazella) has an extensive distribution in western, central and north – western southern Africa.
  • The Gemsbok oryx/ the southern subspecies gazella is most extensively marked with black, having a broadside stripe separating upperparts from white underparts and patches on upper legs and top of the rump. The Gemsbok oryx is the largest race among oryxes.
  • (2); Fringe- eared oryx (Choroa)/ Subspecies callotis (Oryx- gazella callotis);
  • Fringe- eared oryx ( Choroa) or subspecies callotis ( Oryx gazella callotis) has the most limited distribution, overlapping the Kenyan and Tanzania border in east ( This is found only in southern Kenya to Tanzania). Good places to see it in Kenya are ( Tsavo  National Park) while in Tanzania

( Tarangire National Park and Mkomazi National Park).

  • Fringe- eared oryx (Choroa) or Subspecies callotis is distinguished by long tufts of hair growing from tips of ears: Calves are plain fawn; lack black body markings.
  • (3); Beisa oryx/ Subspecies beisa (Oryx gazella beisa);
  • Beisa oryx or subspecies beisa (Oryx gazella beisa) is widespread but populations are fragmented in north- eastern Africa (it is found in Somalia- dry zones as from Eritrea to Somalia to Northern east of Kenya). Also in Ethiopia.
  • Note and Remember:
  • Both Fringe- eared oryx/ Subspecies callotis and Beisa oryx /Subspecies beisa are known as “ the northern subspecies” and the black stripe on the side is narrower.
  • Races (Subspecies) of Oryxes in Tanzania:
  • Only Fringe- eared oryx (Choroa) or subspecies callotis (Oryx gazella callotis) is found in Tanzania.
  • Similar species & Oryxe's identification pointers; Roan antelope ( Distinguished by horns, body markings); Large size, short heavy neck; distinctive black markings, particularly face;  horse- like tail; long, rapier- shaped horns both sexes.
  • Total length: 1,98-2,16m
  • Tail length: 46cm
  • Shoulder height: 1,2m
  • Weight: (Male) 240 kg (Female) 210 kg
  • Horn length: Average 85 cm, record Kalahari 125, 1cm
  • Sex difference: Although very often horns in females are longer than in males, they are generally speaking, more slender than male's horns.
  • Colour: Sandy fawn with a black spinal stripe; another black stripe separating the lower flank from the white underparts. Head white a black patch on the forehead; black stripe across the eye. Ears with black tip. Forelegs with a black ring above the knee but generally white. Buttocks are white.
  • Average weight: 130-200 kg
  • Habitat: Dry open bush and short grass Savannah. Water is not essential. Also in desert. The oryx is one of the most perfectly desert – adapted large mammals, capable of subsisting in waterless wastelands where few other ungulates cannot survive.
  • Habit/ Behaviour:
  • Live in herds of up to 40 animals or more, often in association with Grant’s gazelle and Zebra. Solitary bulls.
  • Food/ Diet; Feed on grass and browse on thorny shrubs;
  • Gestation period: 9 months
  • Average number of young: One
  • Life span/Longevity; 18 years
  • Natural enemies/ predators:
  • Lion, wild dog and other large predators.
  • Distribution/Range of Fringe – eared oryx (Choroa) in Tanzania.
  • In Tarangire National Park, Fringe- eared oryx are frequently seen on the road between Silale Swamp and Loiboserit Ranger post, and a small herd is occasionally seen on the open grass plains around lake Burungi during the dry season. In Mkomazi National Park, a herd is regularly seen around Kavateta, and small groups can be seen on the short- grass plains south of lake Natron.
  • Fringe- eared oryx (Choroa) are closely associated with arid areas in northernTanzania. In the Tarangire ecosystem, they are found around lake Burungi, south Lolkisale Game Controlled Area and Makame WMA, as far south as the Kitwai plains. They occur on the eastern shores of lake Natron, concentrated around Gelai and northern Lolsimongori Mountains, in parts of west Kilimanjaro and in Mkomazi National Park. They occasionally migrate into the eastern Serengeti National Park, to around Gol and Barafu kopjes, and to the Salei plains in Loliondo. They are now extinct in the Yaeda valley and Manyara National Park. A small herd was reported in 1988  on Mkwaja Ranch, now part of Saadani National Park, and another small group was seen regularly just north of Saadani National Park in 1995 -97.
  • Fringe –eared oryx (Choroa) population size in Tanzania;
  • Fringe- eared oryx ( Choroa) numbers have declined in the Tarangire ecosystem in recent years, dropping from 2,500 animals in 1994 to roughly 300 in 2011. They are now uncommon in Tarangire National Park, although groups of over 20 individuals are seen regularly in Loiboserit village ( east of the National Park).
  • A herd of 147 animals was observed in the Kitwai plains in the southern Masai steppe in 2009. In Mkomazi National Park, numbers are increasing and there were an estimated 250 animals in 2007.
  • The largest population now occurs around lake Natron, although these animals probably spend part of the year in southern Kenya.
  • A herd of 75 individuals was recorded there in 2008, and there are reports of 250 animals being seen in one day. Fifteen (15) animals were recorded on the Salei plains in Loliondo in 2011. The population on west Kilimanjaro is now very small, with only 8 individuals counted in 2010. Fringe- eared oryx is typically associated with dry, open grasslands, which makes them particularly vulnerable to illegal hunting by vehicle. This species is now highly threatened in Tanzania.
Bushbuck(s)

Kiswahili name: Pongo/Mbawala

  • Races ( Subspecies) of Bushbucks in Africa and its distribution /range;
  • The most widely distributed of the African tragelaphines, with an extensive sub- Saharan range, but absent from much of western and central southern Africa,  the Congolean forest block and horn of Africa.
  • There are 9 races/ subspecies of Bushbucks, but according to some authorities, there are as many as 29 subspecies have been described.
  • There are considerable variations in colour and markings, both regionally and even within specific populations. General coat colouring ranges from almost black to reddish- yellow, white markings are very abundant and prominent is some races ( subspecies) but barely discernible in others.
  • The most northerly and western forms fall within the so called “Harnessed bushbuck” group (which are generally chestnut to reddish with very clear markings). Eastern forms are usually browner in  colour and most  white lines are broken down into a series of spots, while the Southern most animals tend to be darker, with poorly defined white markings.
  • Within these broad race distributions there are pockets of differently coloured animals, including the almost black meneliki and powelli found in Ethiopia. Although rarely present, a white chevron between the eyes can occur, and there  are two large, distinct white patches on the throat. In  Africa, Bushbucks are still widespread and abundant but habitat changes and hunting have reduced some populations and possibly caused several local extinction.
  • Races ( Subspecies) of Bushbucks ( Pongo/Mbawala) in Tanzania:
  • (1); Fasciatus Bushbuck ( Tragelaphus scriptus fasciatus)
  • Tragelaphus scriptus fasciatus (Fasciatus Bushbuck) is found in northeast coastal forests ( Males are grey- ochre, occasionally with distinct white Longitudinal stripes.
  • (2); Dama Bushbuck ( Tragelaphus scriptus dama)
  • Tragelaphus scriptus fasciatus (Dama Bushbuck) is found in western Tanzania (Males are small, mostly red, with distinct white spots on the rump).
  • (3); Delamerei Bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus delamerei)

Trageraphus scriptus delamerei ( Delamerei Bushbuck) is found in central and southern Tanzania (Males are large and dark brown above).

  • Similar species: Nyala, Sitatunga.
  • Bushbuck’s identification pointers;
  • Vertical whites stripes and spots, but variations in pelage colour, extent and clarity of markings in different races/ subspecies, short, bushy tail, dark above, white below; ram carries short, almost straight horns with slight spiral and ridge.
  • Total length: (Male) 1,36-1,66m, (Female) 1,3-1,5m
  • Tail length: 20cm
  • Shoulder height: (Male) 80 cm (Female) 70 cm
  • Weight: (Male) 45 kg (Female) 30 kg
  • Horn length:( Male only) average 26 cm, record 52 cm. Horns in male appears at the age 10 months. Horns are fully developed at 3 years.
  • Sex difference: Horns found in males only; males are larger and darker than females.
  • Colour: Males are dark brown and their underparts are black; females are light brown; white spot on the cheek and two white patches on the throat; 7-8 transverse and vertical white spots on the sides of the rump.
  • Average weight: Males weight between 45 to 80 kg and females 35-60 kg.
  • Habitat: Forest thickets; dense bush riverine forest and clearings. They don’t stay very far from water. It often emerges onto adjacent open areas to feed but never wanders far from cover. The Bushbuck is a forest Antelope. It eats tender new grass but is predominantly a browser on herbs and shrubby plants. Bushbucks are also fond of figs, other fruits and flowers.
  • Habit/ Behaviour: Live in small parties, singly or in pairs. Nocturnal but also diurnal in areas where not disturbed; Wary and shy taking to the thickest cover on being disturbed.
  • Generally solitary, but pairs and small, loosely knit groups of ewes and lambs are commonly observed. Size home ranges varies considerably, records range from 0,25 to 6 km2 and possibly higher. Home ranges overlap considerably but each adult usually has a restricted area in which it lies up.
  • Whether or not there is some seasonal variation in home range largely depends on water permanence and abundance and quality of food. Males exhibit an age hierarchy, but territoriality is apparently absent. Ewes in oestrus (Heat) are closely attended by dominant rams, being displaced by higher ranking rams in the area. Is the only strictly solitary tragelaphine.
  • Bushbucks do not herd togethers and the only regularly associated individuals are a female and her latest offspring. On the other hand, bushbucks do not actively avoid one another, their home ranges overlap extensively and sometimes completely, and when individuals meet they often approach, interact in a friendly way,  and remain proximity for hours while feeding.
  • Food/Diet; Browsers, feeding on leaves, tender shoots and Acacia pods; dig up tubers and roots; feed on grass when it is young. In some areas they cause considerable damage to agricultural crops.
  • Gestation period: 7 months. Birth weight of young is about 3,5 to 4,5 kg. For the first few months of life (up to four) young lie up in dense cover before moving around with mothers.
  • Average number of young: One.
  • Life span/ Longevity: 17 years
  • Predators / Natural enemies: Leopards and Pythons.
  • Distribution/Range of Bushbucks (Pongo/Mbawala) in Tanzania;
  • Bushbucks (Pongo/Mbawala) are easily seen in many National Parks. A reliable place to look is the Seerengeti Ndogo ( Little- Serengeti) in Arusha National Park, a small, open patch of grassland just north of the main Ngurdoto Gate. In Mahale Mountains National Park they  are frequently seen on the beaches around the lodges and in Ruaha and Serengeti National Parks they are commonly encountered along the main rivers in the early morning and late afternoon.
  • The Bushbuck (Pongo/ Mbawala) is one of the most widely distributed ungulates in Tanzania, occurring in all of the mainland National Parks and Game Reserves in the country. The species has been camera trapped in more locations than any other species of Mammal in Tanzania. Its ability to withstand heavy hunting pressure allows it to live in areas of high human density,  including on the outskirts of major cities such as Arusha.
  • Bushbuck’s population size in Tanzania.
  • The Bushbuck is probably one of the most abundant Ungulates in Tanzania. Camera trap surveys recorded extremely high densities in the forests of Gelai Mountain, and it is also abundant in Arusha National Park and in Mbarangandu WMA in the Southern Selous ecosystem. The Bushbuck is common in Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), and Kilimanjaro, Saadani, Mahale, Mikumi and Rubondo National Parks. The main threat to this species is habitat loss.
Impala

Kiswahili name: Swala Pala

  • Race (Subspecies) of Impala (Swala pala) in Africa and its distribution/ range.
  • Impala (Swala pala) has a wide distribution in the north – east of Southern Africa, extending through central into East Africa, reaching its northern- most limits in central Kenya. An isolated western population, the black- faced Impala ( Aepyceros melampus petersi) is located in north – western Namibia and marginally into South –western Angola.
  • Impalas are generally abundant, at least 500,000 animals occur in East Africa and probably  an equivalent number elsewhere. The black- faced race / subspecies ( petersi) probably numbers fewer than 3000 but is secure for the present, being conserved in  the Etosha National  Park, Namibia.
  • According to some authorities, there are probably six (6) races/ subspecies of Impala (Swala pala) having been recognized, although they are only separated in the field with difficulty, with the possible exception of the black- faced ( petersi), which has distinctive black facial blaze and somewhat bushier tail. The rams or males of some East African populations carry exceptionally long horns but otherwise resemble Southern Africa populations.
  • Subspecies/ Races of Impala (Swala pala)
  • (1); Black- faced Impala (Aepyceros melampus petersi);
  • Black – faced Impala (Aepyceros melampus petersi) is found in South Angola and North Namibia ( Has black facial blaze and very bushy tail).
  • (2); Rendilis impala (Aepyceros melampus rendilis);
  • Aepyceros melampus rendilis ( Rendilis impala) range from Kenya and Uganda to central Tanzania ( Are bright rufous and have the largest horns).
  • (3); Melampus impala (Aepyceros melampus melampus) /Southern Impala.
  • Aepyceros melampus melampus ( melampus impala) or (Southern impala) lives from Zambia and Southern Tanzania South to Swazland ( is duller with smaller horns).
  • Races/ subspecies of Impala ( swala pala) in Tanzania.
  • Aepyceros melampus melampus ( melampus impala) or Southern Impala is the only subspecies found and identified in Tanzania, apart from Aepyceros melampus rendilis ( Rendilis impala) which range from Kenya and Uganda to central Tanzania, with their bright rufous and largest horns.
  • Similar species: None
  • Impala’s identification pointers
  • Black tuft of hair above hoof on rear surface of hind leg; thin black line down centre of white- haired tail, vertical black line on each buttock; Ram/male has long, lyrate horns.
  • Total length: 1,6-1,72m
  • Tail length: 28cm
  • Shoulder height:90 cm
  • Weight: (Male) 50kg (Female) 40kg
  • Horn length: (Male only) average 50cm; record southern Africa 80,97 kg
  • Sex difference: Male with horns and are larger than females.
  • Colour: Rich reddish- brown coat which is somewhat lighter on the flanks and turns to white on the belly and hindquarters; chin and upper throat white.  Coat merges to perfection with the dappled light of the background vegetation, camouflaging the  animal from predators.
  • Average weight: 65-70kg. Large – males may weigh up to 90kg.
  • Habitat: Acacia savannah; open bush bordered zone of thick bush to open grassland; light woodland. Generally, Impala range over Acacia savannah and light woodland, avoiding open grassland unless scattered bush cover is available, with access to drinking water essential. Impalas with access to green vegetation can go without drinking.
  • Habit/Behaviour:
  • Gregarious, each harem with 15-20 or up to 100 animals; bachelor group; breeding herd; solitary males; sometimes male loses weight because it takes little food as it is busy guarding its territory and mating; drinks water regularly. The home range of a breeding herd of ewes and their accompanying young may overlap with territories of several territorial rams.
  • Food/Diet; Mixed feeder; grazes on short grass and eats fruits; browsers- leaves of trees and bushes. Dependent on water but can survive on dew for long periods.
  • Gestation period: 6-7 months. A single lamb, weighing about 5 kg, is born at the beginning of the rainy season. In East Africa most births occur year round in December.
  • Average number of young: One
  • Life span/ longevity: 14-15 years
  • Natural enemies/ Predators:
  • Leopard, Cheetah, Wild dog, and sometimes Lions. Also man, Hyena and Python. Fawns are small enough to be carried off by martial eagles.
  • Distribution/Range of Impalas (Swala pala) in Tanzania.
  • In the northern National Parks, Impala sightings are almost guaranteed in the Serengeti, Manyara, Tarangire and Mkomazi. In the South, they are also easily seen in Mikumi, Ruaha, and Katavi National Parks and the Selous Game Reserve.
  • Impalas are widely distributed in Tanzania. They are historically absent from the coastal area, the eastern shores of lake Tanganyika, and the highland areas of South western Tanzania. There is a population in the very south of the country in Lukwika Game Reserve, although they are absent from much of the Selous- Niassa corridor.
  • They are also found across the Selous- Mikumi, Ruaha- Rungwa and Katavi- Rukwa ecosystems, as well as Ugalla, Burigi- Biharamulo and Ibanda -Rumanyika Game Reserves in the far north west of the country.
  • In northern Tanzania, Impalas are widespread in the Serengeti ecosystem, the Yaeda valley, Tarangire and Manyara National Parks, and occur in scattered populations from lake Natron to west Kilimanjaro, in Mkomazi National park and across much of the Maasai steppe, including the Suledo Forest.
  • Impala’s population size in Tanzania:
  • Tanzania has a large, stable population of Impala, numbering approximately 150,000 animals. The largest populations are in the Serengeti ecosystem with 70,000-90,000 individuals, and the Selous ecosystem with about 45,000 animals. Other important populations occur in the Ruaha- Rungwa ecosystem with 6,000-8,000 individuals, Tarangire  with 5,000-7,000 animals, and Mkomazi  National Park where ground counts suggest there are at least 5,000 individuals. Ugalla Game Reserves and the Katavi- Rukwa ecosystem have populations of 2,500 and 1,400, respectively.

 

  • The main threats to Impala populations are agricultural expansion and unregulated hunting, particularly outside protected areas;
Klipspringer(s)

Kiswahili name: Mbuzi mawe/Ngurunguru;

  • Races (Subspecies ) of Klipspringers (Mbuzi mawe/ Ngurunguru) in Africa and its distribution/range;
  • Klipspringers (Mbuzi mawe/ Ngurunguru) are still common throughout much of its range (but habitat bound), although certain isolated populations may be under threat. They are widely distributed in southern and eastern Africa and North to the Red sea. There are two widely spaced and separated populations, one Central African Republic and the other on the jos plateau in Eastern Nigeria.
  • Races (Subspecies) of klipspringers in Africa can be summarized according to their particular geographical range as follows.
  • (1); Eastern Africa races/ subspecies ( For example, the schillingsi race/ Schillingsii (Oreotragus oreotragus schillingsi/ schillingsii) and Oreotragus  oreotragus aceratos (Aceratos klipspringer);
  • (2); Southern Africa races/ subspecies.
  • (3); North to the Red sea subspecies / Races (For example, the Somalicus race);
  • (4); Central African Republic races/ subspecies;
  • (5); The jos plateau races/ subspecies (In eastern Nigeria).
  • Good places to see klipspringers in Africa are Tsavo, Aberdares, and Mt. Kenya National Park (Kenya), Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Serengeti National Parks (Tanzania), Luangwa National Park ( Muchinga Escarpment), Zambia; Nyika, Kazungu, and lake Malawi National Park (Malawi), Matobo National Park (Zimbabwe), Augrabies and Kruger National Park ( South Africa), and Namib- Naukluft National Park (Namibia).
  • Races (Subspecies) of Klipspringers (Mbuzi mawe/ Ngurunguru) in Tanzania:
  • (1); Oreotragus oreotragus schillingsii (west and northern Tanzania (Females often have horns);
  • (2); Oreotragus oreotragus acerates ( Southern Tanzania south of the Rufiji River ( Females lack horns);
  • Similar species: Beira Antelopes (but separated on appearance)
  • Klipspringer’s identification pointers:
  • Stocky; short muzzle; walks on hoof tips; rocky habitats ( Rocky outcrops/ kopjes)
  • Total length: 80-100cm
  • Tail length: 8 cm
  • Shoulder height:  60 cm
  • Weight: (Male) 10kg (Female) 13 kg, slightly larger in some subspecies/ races.
  • Horn length: (Male only) average 8 cm; record South Africa 15, 9 cm ( some populations/ races have horned female).
  • Sex difference: Females are a bit heavier than males and have no horns. However, in certain localities, both males and females carry horns.
  • Colour: Olive yellow but coat’s hair has different colouring: At the base it is white, middle black and tip brown. Muzzle is brownish and crown sometimes blackish. Ears are bordered with black. Underparts and chin are white. Throat brownish- yellow and there is a black ring above the hooves.
  • Average weight: 12-20kg
  • Habitat: Open bush country; adapted to living in dry, rocky or stony areas , but may move short distances on to the plateau to feed, and in altitude, from coastal hills to 4500 m on the summit of Mount Meru in Northern Tanzania.
  • Habit/ Behaviour:
  • Live in pairs or in small parties/ groups. May be seen standing on top of rocks which may act as observation points. The ram/ male being territorial. Communal dung heaps, or middens, are scattered, generally on flat sites, through a group’s home range and probably act as markers.
  • Both sexes mark their twigs with a secretion from the pre orbital glands. They are active in the morning and cooler afternoon hours but throughout the day when overcast or cool. The size of the home range is strongly linked to rainfall and consequent abundance of food, and size of 8 to 49 ha have been recorded.
  • Food/Diet; Feeds on grass,  herbs and shrubs that  grow among the rocks.
  • Gestation period: 7 months. Give birth at anytime of the year, although there is some evidence of seasonal peaks, at least in some regions. The birth weight is about 1 kg, and the young remains hidden for two to three months after rain.
  • Average number of young: One
  • Life span/ longevity: 12 years
  • Predators/ Natural enemies:
  • Leopards and larger birds of prey. Calves vulnerable to eagles and baboons. Other predators are jackals and spotted hyena.
  • Distribution/Range of Klipspringers ( Mbuzi mawe/ Ngurunguru) in Tanzania.
  • Klipspringers are commonly encountered in the Serengeti National Park in the hills of the Mbuzi Mawe Camp (north of Seronera) and on many kopjes (Rocky outcrops) in northern Serengeti National Park, including around Lobo lodge. They are also frequently seen along the escarpment in Manyara National Park. In Ruaha National Park they can be seen at Kimirimatonge Hill.
  • Klipspringers are widely distributed in mainland Tanzania, they are found in all mainland National Parks, except for Gombe, Rubondo, Saadani, Mikumi and possibly udzungwa. There are also historical records from parts of Singida region, where the species may still be present.
  • Klipspringers population size in Tanzania

 

  • There are no population estimates for this species and the status of the Tanzanian population is unclear. Klipspringers are restricted to rocky areas, and may be locally common in suitable habitat within a small section of a National Park, but otherwise absent from the rest of the National park.
  • They are common in areas of favourable habitat across much of western Tanzania, in the Serengeti ecosystem, lake Natron and the surrounding  mountains, and Manyara National Park. This species is uncommon in Tarangire and Ruaha National Parks and much of the Selous Game Reserve, mainly because of limited habitat, and is rare in Arusha and Kilimanjaro National Parks.
Duikers/ African Forest Antelopes

DUIKERS/ AFRICAN FOREST ANTELOPES;

  • Duikers are restricted to Africa, south of Sahara, and African rainforests are home to more than 16 species of duikers. They are a distinctive group of small to medium sized antelopes that dominate the rainforest, subsisting mainly on fallen fruits, the most abundant food resource on the forest floor.
  • The word duiker is derived from Afrikaans language, meaning divers, so named for their habit of diving into cover when disturbed. That means they rely on bushes and other dense forest thickets which make them hard to be seen by their predators. That is why they are called cover- dependent antelopes.
  • Duikers have the largest brains relative to body size of all antelopes. The sexes are similar in appearance, although females are often up to 4 percent longer than males. The coat is often reddish, but in some species it is blue- gray, black or striped. Gestation period vary, 4,5,7 months, and calves are precocial as in other member of the Bovidae family and they are very shy antelopes seldom seen as they inhabit in thick forest.
  • Duikers are not gregarious and are usually seen alone (solitary) or in pairs (monogamous/ pair bond). In the wild the Blue duiker is truly monogamous, pairs seem to mate for life and reside in small 2-4 ha (5-10 acre)- stable territories which are actively defended against other members of the same species by both male and female. In monogamous social systems, which are comparatively rare in mammals, males sometimes provide a great deal of care for the young, and the young remain in the social group for extended periods during which they often help to care for their younger siblings (Obligate monogamy). However,  in other monogamous species, males leave most responsibility for the care of the young to the female and young disperse from the social group before the birth of their younger siblings (Facultative monogamy) .
  • Duikers have a wide gap, mobile lips, and long pointed tongues- adaptations for eating fallen fruit, for which they dig and root in the forest floor.
  • Duiker's food/diet;
  • Duikers are unique in the antelope world, not only feeding on plant parts but also including animal food in their diet; further,  they are also known to hunt actively. The bulk of their diet of most species  is made up of a wide range of wild fruits, including those of many tree species. These animals are able to open their mouths considerably  wider than most antelopes can, thus enabling them to chew even relatively large fruits; large fruit pips, or seeds, are usually not swallowed but are spat out. They also eat leaves, twigs tips, bark, flowers, pods, fungi and resin.  There are numerous records of different duikers eating a great variety of insects, other invertebrates, small mammals, frogs, reptiles, fish (scavenged) and carrion. They have been observed hunting for birds up to the size of domestic hens. Unlike other antelopes, their digestive systems copes very efficiently with this animal food.
  • CLASSIFICATION OF DUIKERS;
  • Duikers are placed into two genera:
  • (1); Genus- (Sylvicapra). The genus (Sylvicapra)  includes only one species, the common duiker, which is the  only species typically found in the savanna and open bush country. Other names of common duiker are (Bush duiker/ Grey duiker/ Crowned duiker/ Grimm’s or Grimmia duiker/ Savanna duiker) in different parts of its range/ distribution;
  • (2); Genus- (Cephalophus). Most duikers are forest duikers of the genus (Cephalophus). The name (Cephalophus) refers to the crest of long hair between the horns. The genus ( Cephalophus) has more than 16 species or sometimes as many as 18 species, according  to some authoriries. These species are as follows;-
  • (1); Blue duiker (Cephalophus monticola);
  • (2); Maxwell’s duiker (Cephalophus maxwellii)
  • (3); Aders' duiker (Cephalophus adersi)
  • (4); Peter’s duiker (Cephalophus callipygus)
  • (5); Red duiker ( includes, Cephalophus natalensis, Ruwenzori red duiker, Cephalophus natalensis rubidus) and Harvey’s red duiker, Cephalophus harveyi).
  • (6); Red- flanked duiker (Cephalophus rufilatus)
  • (7); Black- fronted duiker (Cephalophus nigrifrons)
  • (8); Bay duiker (Cephalophus dorsalis)
  • (9); White- bellied duiker (Cephalophus leucogaster)
  • (10); Ogilby’s duiker (Cephalophus ogilbyi)
  • (11); Zebra duiker (Cephalophus zebra)
  • (12); Black duiker ( Cephalophus niger)
  • (13); Yellow- backed duiker (Cephalophus silvicultor)
  • (14); Abbott’s duiker ( Cephalophus spadix)
  • (15); Jentink’s duiker (Cephalophus jentinki).
  • SPECIES OF DUIKERS IN TANZANIA;
  • In Tanzania, Duikers are widespread throughout the country, but vary locally in body size, horns, colour and thickness of coat.
  • (1); Bush Duiker/ Common Duiker/ Grey Duiker/ Crowned Duiker/ Savanna Duiker/ Grimm’s or Grimmia Duiker( Sylvicapra grimmia );
  • Kiswahili name: Nsya.
  • Races (Subspecies) of Bush Duiker/ Common Duiker in Africa and its distribution /range.
  • Bush duiker/ Common duiker/Grey duiker is the most widespread of all duiker species, with an almost complete sub-Saharan range, although it is absent from the lowland equatorial forests and true deserts. They are abundant and widespread, and even though it is hunted widely, it is often found in close association with human habitation.
  • Common duikers can survive in almost any habitat from scrub country to open grassland. The male establishes a fiercely defended territory. At night they browse on leaves and twigs, (standing on their hind legs to reach them) and also eat fruit, berries, termites, snakes, eggs and guinea fowl chicks. Usually found alone or in pairs, they may form small groups in the breeding season, which varies throughout the range and appears to be linked to the rains. The female produces 1 young after a gestation of 4 to 4.5 months; normally 2 young are born each year;
  • Races/ Subspecies of Bush duiker in Africa:
  • According to some authorities, there are some 18 subspecies/ races have been described, based almost entirely on pelage coloration, while other authorities agreed that there are as many as 19 races/ subspecies which varies geographically.
  • Races/ Subspecies of Common duiker in Tanzania;
  • (1); Hindei bush  duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia hindei)
  • Sylvicapra grimmia hindei (Hindei bush duiker) is found in north eastern Tanzania.
  • (2); Nov bush duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia nov)
  • Sylvicapra grimmia nov (Nov bush duiker) is found in mount Kilimanjaro;
  • (3); Orbicularis bush duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia orbicularis).
  • Sylvicapra grimmia orbicularis (Orbicularis bush duiker) is found countrywide.
  • Similar species:
  • Oribi (separated on habitat)
  • Common duiker’s identification pointers.
  • Crest of long hair on top of head; often black facial blaze; narrowed snout where preorbital glands are located. Compared with forest duikers, Common duiker/ Bush duiker has longer, more evenly developed limbs, with less- rounded back and longer ears.
  • Total length: 90-135 cm
  • Tail length: 10-22 (average 12 cm)
  • Shoulder height: 50 cm
  • Weight: (Male) 18 kg (Female) 21 kg (some records indicate weights as low as 10 kg but whether this refers to a distinct race/ subspecies or isolated individuals is not known.
  • Horn length: Male only, average 11 cm. The male has sharp horns, which the female does not always have.
  • Colour: Varies geographically as there are as many as 19 subspecies / races in Africa.
  • Average weight: (15-25 kg), female heavier than male
  • Habitat: Very wide habitat tolerance, showing a clear preference for savanna woodland, thickets and open bush country, and found up to relatively high altitudes where there is adequate cover. Open country is avoided completely.
  • Behaviour / Habit:
  • Usually solitary but not uncommonly encountered in pairs and in areas of high density several individuals may be seen feeding in close proximity to each other. Rams or males are intolerant of each other and establish, mark and hold territories. They usually associate with the one female that remains within their range, and she readily drives off other females entering it. Small heaps of droppings are deposited in close proximity to each other at several locations within the territory and both sexes marks twigs with secretions from the preorbital glands.
  • They are active mainly at night but frequently feed in the cooler morning hours and may emerge an hour or more before sunset. When feeding they may maintain close proximity to other species including savanna baboons, larger antelope and domestic stock, especially cattle and goats. They are independent of drinking water but will drink on occasion when  it is available. The most successful males may be polygynous, the rest monogamous.
  • Food/Diet; Feed on a wide variety of browse, including flowers, shoots, leaves, fruits, seeds, pods and fungi, and also a wide range of cultivated crops, for which they are considered a nuisance in some areas. Animal foods are also taken, such as termites, other insects, small vertebrates and carrion, and if the opportunity presents itself they will attempt  to catch birds up to the size of the domestic hen. Prey captured is well chewed. They also use the front hoofs to excavate for bulbs, tubers and roots. This  very wide dietary tolerance perhaps helps to explain their success and wide distribution.
  • Gestation period: Gestation estimates range from 3 to 7 months; 5 to 6 months seems reasonable. Birth weight, averaging 1.6 kg. Young are active soon after birth but for the first part of life they lie undercover, frequently moving their location.
  • Average number of young: One. Females may produce 2 young per year.
  • Life span/ longevity:
  • Up to 10 years
  • Predators/ Natural enemies:
  • All meat eaters (carnivores ) to the size of martial eagles, which carry off young calves.
  • Distribution/Range of Common duiker/ Bush duiker in Tanzania:
  • Common duiker or Bush duiker is easy to see at Simba farm on the lower slopes of west Kilimanjaro and above the tree line on the road leading up to the shira plateau in Kilimanjaro National Park. It can also be found in bushland at the edge of swamps in Katavi National Park.
  • The bush duiker/ common duiker is one of the few ungulates that can survive in areas with relatively intensive human agriculture, and is widespread in Tanzania. It is found in all mainland National Parks except for Rubondo National Park.
  • Bush Duiker’s population size in Tanzania:
  • The Bush duiker is one of the most common and widespread ungulates in Tanzania. Camera trap surveys have shown it to be very common in many protected areas, including Moyowosi, Burigi- Biharamulo and Ugalla Game Reserves in the west, Swagaswaga Game Reserve in north central Tanzania, the Muhuwesi Forest Reserve in the southern Selous ecosystem, and on the high moorland on mount Kilimanjaro, where camera trapping rates were second only to Suni.
  • The Bush Duiker was also among the most frequently recorded animal species in the Lukwika- Lumesure and Mbangala Game Reserves on the border with Mozambique. It is, however, un common in several of the northern National Parks, including Arusha and Tarangire and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area  Authority (NCAA) , and absent from most of the Serengeti National Park plains where the habitat is too open for its liking.

(2);  Blue Duiker (s)

  • Kiswahili name: Ndimba/ Paachesi.
  • Distribution/ Range of Blue Duikers in Africa and its races/ subspecies:
  • Blue Duikers (Ndimba/ Paachesi) are very widely distributed in central Africa (DRC, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and central African Republic), with substantial population centres in East Africa, mainly Uganda and Southern and Eastern Tanzania. In the south, populations are limited to the coastal plain and to a narrow strip of the adjacent interior. For this reason, races/ subspecies of Blue duikers in Africa are related to the particular geographical/areas in which they are living or inhabiting. Many different races have been explained.
  • Blue Duikers are probably the most abundant of all duikers, despite very heavy hunting pressure for their meat, particularly in central Africa. They occupies probably the widest range of forest and wooded habitats of any other duiker, which in part explains its success, utilizing rain forests to coastal sand-dune forest, riverine and montane forest, even certain plantations.
  • Races/ Subspecies of Blue Duikers in Tanzania:
  • (1); Cephalophus monticola lugens (Lugens Blue Duiker)
  • Cephalophus monticola lugens (Lugens Blue Duiker) is found in Southern Highlands and Mahale (dark blue- grey upperparts and whitish – grey underparts, individuals can be very dark or entirely melanistic.
  • (2); Cephalophus monticola schusteri (Schusteri Blue Duiker)
  • Cephalophus monticola schusteri (Schusteri Blue Duiker) is found in Eastern Arc mountains (Fawn- grey), although individuals can be very dark.
  • (3); Cephalophus monticola sundevalli ( Sundevalli Blue Duiker)
  • Cephalophus monticola sundevalli (Sundevalli Blue Duiker) is found in coastal Tanzania and Tanzania islands (Grey or grey- brown).
  • (4); Cephalophus monticola musculoides (Musculoides Bule Duiker)
  • Cephalophus monticola musculoides (Musculoides Blue Duiker) is found in north west Tanzania (Light brown, grey- brown to deep blue- grey).
  • Blue Duiker’s identification pointers:
  • Small (bigger than Bate’s pygmy antelope; overall body colour light slate to dark brown, most shades between; leg colour slightly different to body.
  • Total length: 62-84cm
  • Tail length: 7-12 cm
  • Shoulder height: 35cm
  • Weight: 3-6kg
  • Horn length: average 3cm ; record 7.3 cm
  • Predators/ Natural Enemies:
  • They are preyed on by Golden cat ,Leopard and Baboon. Also crowned hawk eagle.
  • Gestation period: Only around 4 month
  • Average number young: One
  • Longevity/ Life span: 8-12 years.
  • Distribution/Range of Blue Duikers in Tanzania:
  • This species can be seen along the forest paths around the bungalows and lodges in Mahale Mountains National Park, although it is shy and sightings are often fleeting. Try walking very quietly along the trails or sitting in one place for a while.
  • Blue Duikers have a scattered distribution on mainland Tanzania, and are also present on the islands of Zanzibar, Mafia and Pemba. They are well- distributed in pockets of forest throughout the coastal region including Saadani National Park and in Mtwara Region.
  • In western Tanzania they are restricted to densely forested areas of lake Victoria, including Burigi- Biharamulo Game Reserves and Minziro Forest Reserve, and along the eastern shores  of lake Tanganyika, including Lwafi Game Reserve and Gombe and Mahale Mountains National Parks, inland  as far east as Issa near Ugalla Game Reserve. They are also found in the Uluguru and Udzungwa Mountains, and the East Usambara Lowlands, although records from the west Usambaras need to be verified.
  • In the Southern highlands they occur on mount Rungwe, and are also found in Ufipa and Ukinga. Blue Duikers are absent from the northern and central parts of the country and from most low- lying inland areas in south and central Tanzania. In Zanzibar, they occur in the Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park, and Ukorongoni, Mtule, Muongoni and Mtende Forest Reserves.
  • Blue Duiker’s population size in Tanzania:
  • Blue Duikers are abundant in Mahale Mountains National Park; over one- third of all camera trap photographs obtained during a survey were of this species. Also common in the forests of Burigi –Biharamulo Game Reserves and in dense, undisturbed thicket on Zanzibar.
  • Blue Duikers are uncommon in Saadani National Park, most coastal forests, the southern highlands and the Eastern Arc Mountains. They are rare in Udzungwa mountains National Park and the surrounding forests.

(3);  Ader’s Duiker (s) / Cephalophus adersi

  • Kiswahili name: Paa Nunga
  • Distribution/Range of Ader’s Duikers in Africa;
  • Ader’s duikers (Cephalophus adersi) are restricted to islands of Unguja, Zanzibar, Tanzania, and forest pockets along Kenyan coast. They are threatened by habitat loss and hunting. May be extinct on mainland of Tanzania. Most limited distribution of all duikers.
  • Coastal forest , woodland and thickets are their main habitats. Ader’s duikers are among of the threatened species of antelopes. Some authorities believe it to be a subspecies of the red duikers (natalensis/ harveyi) but others feel that it justifies its own identity;
  • SIMILAR SPECIES; Red duiker (separated by lack of buttock band)
  • Ader’s Duikers identification pointers:
  • White band across buttocks; white spotting on legs.
  • Colour: Overall tawny red colour becoming greyer on the neck, but easily identified by the white band around the buttocks.
  • Total length: About 75 cm
  • Tail length: 9-12 cm
  • Shoulder height: 30-32 cm
  • Weight: 6-12 kg
  • Horn length: 3-6cm
  • Distribution/Range of Ader’s Duikers in Tanzania:
  • With patience and luck, Ader’s Duikers can be seen in the Mtende Forest in the South of Zanzibar. Trips can be arranged  with the Mtende village leaders, who will take small groups to areas frequented by the duikers in the coral rag thicket. Because the vegetation is very dense, it is best to sit quietly in one place and wait for them to  pass. Ader’s duikers can also be easily seen on Mnemba Island, although the island is privately owned and accessible only to guests of the lodge.
  • Ader’s duikers are known only from a few locations on Zanzibar, with the main populations occurring in the Kiwengwa forest, the Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park and the Mtende Kichongoni thicket. Between 2000-2005, a few individuals were introduced to Chumbe and Mnemba Islands. There are reports of a small population on the mainland, South of Dar es salaam, but as yet there are no confirmed records from this area.
  • Ader’s Duikers population size in Tanzania:
  • The population of Ader’s Duikers (Paa Nunga) on Zanzibar has declined rapidly in recent decades, from approximately 5,000 individuals in 1982 to only 600 in 1999. There have been no recent counts, and numbers are thought to be very low. The highest densities are found in Mtende Forest in the south of the Island. In February 2000, five (5) Ader’s Duikers were introduced to Chumbe Island, joining a female that had been moved  there three years earlier; this population appears to be increasingly slowly. A further five (5) individuals were introduced onto Mnemba Island in 2005 and these are breeding well, with the population now up to 18 animals. However, Mnemba Island is small (11 ha/27 acres) and has limited potential for further population growth. Ader’s Duikers are protected in Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park, but much of the vegetation in the National Park is unsuitable habitat and the National Park supports less than 10 percent of the total Zanzibar population.
  • The stronghold for this species is the Boni-Dodori Forest in northeast Kenya, where Camera trapping surveys have shown it to be abundant.  Hunting and habitat destruction have had a severe impact on Ader’s Duiker numbers;

(4);  RED DUIKERS;

  • Distribution/Range of Red Duikers and its races/ subspecies in Africa;
  • Red Duikers, to a large extent they are restricted to the coastal plain and adjacent interior from eastern South Africa to Kenya and Somalia, and in a few locations extending inland, usually in conjunction with riverine forest. There is an apparently isolated in the South of the Ethiopian highlands but its exact identity has  not been established.
  • Red Duikers are in general secure, despite there being a number of isolated populations. Most forest types and associated thickets within its range, are their main habitats.
  • Races/ Subspecies of Red Duikers and its distribution/ range in Africa.
  • Races/ subspecies of Red Duikers are related to the particular geographical areas in which these Red Duikers are inhabiting or living. Here are a few of subspecies of Red Duikers.
  • (1); Harvey’s Red Duiker (Cephalophus natalensis harveyi)
  • Harvey’s Red Duiker (Cephalophus natalensis harveyi), Ngarombwi/ Kiduku or Funo in Kiswahili Language , is a common red duiker of East African highlands, usually found near water ( There is a black facial blaze, the centre of the crest is black, which may extend on to the upper neck, and the legs may be somewhat darker. The tail is tipped in black and white). Also, it has narrow, reddish –brown stripe along spine.
  • (2); Natal Red Duiker (Cephalophus natalensis natalensis)
  • Natal Red Duiker (Cephalophus natalensis natalensis) is restricted to southern African countries, particularly Kwazul Natal, in South Africa.
  • (3); Ruwenzori Red Duiker (Cephalophus natalensis rubidus)
  • Ruwenzori Red Duiker (Cephalophus natalensis rubidus) is restricted to the Ruwenzori Mountains in Uganda. Ruwenzori Red Duiker is sometimes recognized as a full species on the basis of the belly being white, the hair being thicker and minor colour differences.
  • (4); Peter’s and Weyn’s Red Duikers
  • Peter’s Red Duiker (Cephalophus callipygus) and Weyn’s Red Duiker (Cephalophus weynsi) are apparently occurs only within a few a degrees of the equator, westward from the eastern DRC to the Atlantic, with weyn’s duiker said to occur from the DRC, extending into southern Uganda and marginally into Kenya, and Southward along the eastern shore of lake Tanganyika.
  • They are probably abundant in the lowland tropical forests but numbers are low in the most eastern parts of the range. Also, both Peter’s and Weyn’s Red Duikers are sometimes treated as a full species, instead of subspecies/races as per the other authorities.
  • Races/Subspecies of Red Duikers in Tanzania:
  • (1); Cephalophus natalensis robertsi (Robert’s Red Duiker)
  • Cephalophus natalensis robertsi (Robert’s Red Duiker) is found in southern Tanzania along the Ruvuma River ( The upper body is a uniform rufous –red and the underbelly is a paler tawny- red. May have some black on the front and inner sides of the legs).
  • (2); Cephalophus natalensis harveyi (Harvey’s Red Duiker) or Ngarombwi or Funo/ Kiduku in Kiswahili Language, occurs in north, east and central Tanzania (deep red on  the back and haunches, mostly black on the lower  part of the legs and a black nape that extends down to the shoulders and neck in some individuals. Has a distinct black stripe running from the forehead to the nose.
  • Note and Remember: There is considerable debate over the status of the Harvey’s Red Duiker, with some authorities listing it as a separate species; further research is required to determine its status.
  • Similar species: Peter’s Red Duiker and Weyn’s Red Duiker
  • Red Duiker’s identification pointers
  • Rich reddish- brown to deep chestnut overall; black and white tipped tail; many variations.
  • Total length: 80-110cm
  • Tail length: 9-15cm
  • Shoulder height: 45cm
  • Weight: 10-16kg
  • Horn length: Average 6cm; record 10.48 cm
  • Sex difference: Differentiated by looking sexual organs.
  • Colour: Uniform reddish brown to brown colour all over; somewhat paler on the underparts. Chin and upper throat are whitish. Tail tufted with black and white hairs.
  • Average weight: up to 15 kg
  • Habitat: Montane forest; woodland and dense bush; gallery forests and coastal forest- savanna transition zones.
  • Habit/ Behaviour:
  • Usually, it is a solitary animals and sometimes in pairs. It may also occur in small groups. Head is carried low when walking in thick vegetation. The animal is nocturnal and spends the day hidden in the forest. When surprised, it utters a sharp whistle.
  • Food/Diet; Feeds on leaves, young shoots, bark, buds, seeds and fruits; may also eat grass to a very limited extent.
  • Gestation period: 4 months
  • Average number of young: one fawn.
  • Life span / Longevity: 8-10 years
  • Natural enemies /predators:
  • Birds of prey such as the crowned eagle, wildcat and leopard.
  • Distribution/Range of Red Duikers in Tanzania:
  • Regularly seen in Arusha National Park on the Ngurdoto crater road. Sometimes found on the road leading up to the Shira plateau on mount Kilimanjaro, particularly in the transition zone between the forest and the heather zone. Occasionally seen at the Mbega Forest Camp in the Selous Game Reserve.
  • Red Duikers are widely distributed across most of northern, central and southern Tanzania. Found in many National Parks including Arusha , Kilimanjaro, Manyara, Mkomazi, Saadani, Udzungwa, Mikumi and Ruaha. They are distributed throughout the Eastern Arc Mountain range, except for the Uluguru Mountains where they have now disappeared. There are populations in the Livingstone Mountains and Loasi- Kalambo Forest Reserves and a record from Kwimba Mountain from the mid- 1990s. In northern Tanzania, these animals occur on the Mountains of Meru, Monduli, Burko and Ufiome, with scattered populations in dense thicket on the south Maasai steppe.
  • They are also found in Swagaswaga and Kizigo Game Reserves. Distribution is sporadic in the Selous ecosystem, with areas of concentration in dense “ msitu” thicket. A typical subspecies robertsi form is found in the far south in Lukwika- Lumesule Game Reserve and Mbangala Forest Reserve.
  • Red Duiker's population size in Tanzania:
  • Abundant in Arusha National Park and Ufiome Forest Reserve south of Babati, and common in Swagaswaga Game Reserve, in the Zoraninge Forest in Saadani National Park, in parts of Udzungwa National Park, on the  upper slopes of Kilimanjaro National Park and in the thicket areas of Mkomazi National Park. They are also common in Forest Reserves adjacent to the Mozambique border including Mbagala Forest Reserve and  Lukwika Game Reserve, although they are uncommon in Mikumi National Park and rare in Manyara and Ruaha National Parks, and are uncommon or rare across most of the Selous Game Reserve.

(5);  Abbott’s Duiker (s)

  • Kiswahili name: Minde
  • Distribution / Range of Abbott’s Duikers (Minde) in Africa;
  • Abbott’s Duikers (Minde) are restricted ( endemic) to the Uluguru/Udzungwa, Rungwe and Usambara Mountains, and Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. It is also suspected to be present on Mount Meru at Arusha Ntional Park in Tanzania. They are not believed to be threatered, despite the fact that they live in isolated montane pockets, but at certain locations hunting and habitat loss are possibly having adverse impacts.
  • Abbott’s duiker is the third largest forest duiker in Africa after yellow- backed duiker and Jentink’s Duiker, with a dark chestnut- brown to black coat without any markings.
  • Similar species: Yellow- backed duiker (separated on rump patch)
  • Abbott’s Duiker's identification pointers
  • Large; dark chestnut- brown to black; no distinguishing markings; restricted distribution (only in Tanzania).
  • Total length: 1,1-1.3m
  • Tail length: 8-12cm
  • Shoulder length: 50-65cm
  • Weight: up to 60kg
  • Horn length: 10-12cm
  • Habitat: Dense mountain forest;
  • Distribution/Range of Abbott’s Duikers (Minde) in Tanzania
  • There are no reliable sites for seeing Abbott’s Duiker. They may occasionally be seen in Matumbu and Ndundulu Forests (Udzungwa Mountains) by walking very quietly through the forest at dusk and dawn. However, the logistics of getting to these sites are best organized through a safari company.
  • On Mount Kilimanjaro they are very occasionally observed in the forest on the Machame route and at night or early morning on the farms adjacent to the forest on the slopes of west Kilimanjaro.
  • The Abbott’s Duiker is endemic to Tanzania. It was formerly found in the Eastern Arc Mountains and parts of northern Tanzania, but has now disappeared from the Uluguru, East Usambara, Pare and Nguru Mountains, and from the Mfrika scarp. The population in the Nou forest reserve near Babati was last recorded in 1951 and may now be extinct. The last recorded sighting in the west Usambaras was in the early 2000s and its current status there is unknown.
  • The species is currently known from Mount Kilimanjaro, Udzungwa Mountains,the southern highlands and the southern Rubeho Mountains. It occurs in many of the forests within the Udzungwa Mountains, including Luhombero- Ndundulu, Mwanihana, Iwonde and Matundu, as well as the Udzungwa scarp, Kising’a – Rugaro, Nyumbanitu, New Dabaga- Ulang’ambi and Ukami Forests. Its current status in the Kiranzi- Kitungulu Forest is unknown;
  • In the Southern Highlands it is known from Mount Rungwe, the living forest in the Kitulo plateau National Park and the Ndukunduku Forest on the southeast border of Kitulo Plateau National Park.
  • Abbott’s Duiker's population size in Tanzania:
  • The main stronghold for this species is in the Mwanihana, Luhomero- Ndundulu and Ukami Forests of the Udzungwa Mountains, where it is locally common and has been recorded at densities of approximately 1 individual per square kilometres (3 individuals per mi2). It is scarce in Nyumbanitu Forest and rare in the other Udzungwa Forests. It is very rare in the Southern Highlands, with an estimated total of 40 individuals on Mount Rungwe and in the Livingstone Forest, while a population recently discovered in Ilole Forest in the Southern Rubeho Mountains may have a further 50 individuals. Numbers on mount Kilimanjaro are not known, although it likely that the population there is growing due to better protection of the Kilimanjaro forest since its incorporation into the Kilimanjaro National Park in 2005.
Thomson’s Gazelle(s)/Gazella thomsonii

Thomson’s Gazelle (s) /Gazella thomsonii

  • Kiswahili name : Swala Tomi
  • Distribution /Range of Thomson’s Gazelle (Swala Tomi) in Aftrica
  • There are two population “centres” of Thomson’s gazelles in Africa that are recognized.
  • One population of Thomson’s gazelles, straddling the Kenya/Tanzanian border, and extending slightly north and south
  • Second population of Thomson’s gazelles, occurring in South eastern Sudan and South- western Ethiopia.
  • Despite very limited distribution, this is by far Africa’s ( and the world’s ) most abundant gazelle.
  • Good places to see Thomson’s gazelles in Africa are Masai Mara National Reserve, Amboseli, Nairobi, and Nakuru Nationa Park (Kenya),  and in Tanzania are Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority  (Ngorongoro Crater), and Serengeti National Park.
  • Thomson’s gazelles are the common small gazelles of East Africa plains. They are common in dry plains of East Africa to Southern Sudan. Largely restricted to the high plains and Acacia Savanna of East Africa.
  • Today, according to some authorities, Thomson’s gazelles are placed in the Genus (Eudorcas) instead of (Gazella).
  • Races/ subspecies of Thomson’s Gazelles in Africa:
  • Races /subspecies of Thomson ’s Gazelles in Africa are closely related to the distribution of Thomson’s Gazelles at their particular geographical range. For example, the subspecies/races (Mongalla) or albonotata which are approximately 300,000 of Southern Ethiopia and Sudan differs in having a white eye ring extending to the forehead, white forehead patch and horns turned slightly in ward at the tips, but it is otherwise easily recognizable Thomson’s. There are almost 1 million Thomson’s gazelles in Africa, of which approximately 300,000 make up the Mongalla population (subspecies/races).
  • Some authorities said that there are about 15 races /subspecies of Thomson’s gazelle which show only minor variations of coloring or horn size, but it is otherwise easily recognizable Thomson’s;

 

  • Races/Subspecies of Thomson’s Gazelle in Tanzania
  • No races/subspecies of Thomson’s gazelles in Tanzania, and instead it is otherwise easily recognizable Thomson’s.
  • Similar species: Grant’s gazelle (Swala Granti)
  • Why are they called Thomson’s Gazelles?
  • Thomson’s gazelles are sometimes referred to as “Tommy” (plural Tommies) within its range, and this gazelle was named after the Scottish explorer, joseph Thomson who explored Africa in 1890.
  • Thomson’s Gazelle’s identification pointers:
  • Small; broad black lateral stripe separating white underparts from yellowish- fawn upperparts; distinctive white eye ring; short- haired tail constantly flicking; Ram (male) horns well developed, almost parallel, well ringed.
  • Total length: 1-1,38m
  • Tail length: 20-28 cm
  • Shoulder height : 55-65cm
  • Weight: 15-25kg (rarely more than 28kg)
  • Horn length: (male)25-43cm
  • Sex difference: Males are larger than females. Horns heavily ringed in males while in females they are much smaller, sometimes very small and of irregular shape. Male /Ram gazelles are called “bucks” and female /ewe gazelles are called ‘does” .
  • Colour: A black stripe extends from below the eye to the light – coloured muzzle. A black band along the flank, separating the reddish back from the white belly. There is a white patch on the rump, bordered by a blackline, and the black tail ends in a tuft.
  • Average weight: (Males) weigh 20-39kg (Female) weigh 18-25 kg.
  • Habit/Behaviour:
  • Form small herds consisting of up to 60 animals which led by an old female, and accompanied by a single mature male. The herds are not stable and there is considerable emigration and immigration.
  • During the peak mating periods territoriality in rams reaches its highest point but at other times large numbers of the smaller herds congregate on feeding grounds and may number tens of thousands.
  • Non- territorial rams may gather in herds of Several hundred individuals. During the mating season the territorial rams establish and defend small areas with diameter of between 100 and 300 m, attempting to mate with any receptive ewe that enters his area. Centre of territory is heavily marked by the secretion from the ant orbital gland.
  • Since animals (different compositions) stay in the herd together, it is difficult to locate their territorial male. Another significant identifying character is the constant flicking of the very short, black tail.
  • Food/Diet; Grazer; over 90 percent of its food consists of grass. However the dry season they may take fruits and shoots.
  • Gestation period: 5.5 to 6 months. Well – nourished females produce 2 young a year, conceiving again 3 weeks after calving. Main birth peak after short rains (Dec/Jan); secondary birth and main mating peak after long rains (June/July).
  • Average number of young: One
  • Life span /Longevity: 12 years
  • Predators/ Natural enemies:
  • Jackals, spotted hyena, Lion, Cheetah and Wild dog. The preferred prey of Cheetahs and Wild dogs , the Tommy relies on vigilance, speed, ability to change direction suddenly, and the presence of other Tommies to elude capture.
  • Distribution/ Range of Thomson’sGazelles (Swala Tomi) in Tanzania.
  • Sightings of this species are guaranteed throughout the year on the short- and long grass plains of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) and the Serengeti National Park, as well as within the Ngorongoro crater itself.  Scattered individuals are occasionally seen in the open plains south of lake Natron.
  • Thomson’s Gazelle is restricted to a narrow area of northern Tanzania. It is found throughout the Serengeti ecosystem, with the largest numbers concentrated on the short- grass plains.
  • There is a small population in the Yaeda valley and in the Wembere wetland, although the full extent of its distribution in the Wembere is not known. A population that formerly occurred in Shinyanga has now disappeared. It is also found on the open plains of Manyara National Park, Manyara Ranch, occasionally in the very northern tip of Tarangire National Park, and from Mto wa mbu village up to lake Natron. It occurs widely on the Simanjiro plains to the east of Tarangire and across much of west Kilimanjaro, where high cattle densities create the species's preferred short- grass feeding conditions.
  • Thomson’s Gazelle’s population size in Tanzania:
  • The largest concentration of Thomson’s Gazelles occurs in the Serengeti ecosystem, although numbers there have fallen from approximately 600,000 in 1970 to 328,000 in 1996. This decline is probably linked to the increase in the number of common wildebeest, which are competitors for food, although the gazelle population now appears to have stabilized. Numbers in other parts of their range are much lower. An aerial count in 2010 recorded 345 individuals around lake Natron and 213 individuals in west Kilimanjaro, where they are becoming increasingly uncommon.
  • There is a small population on Manyara Ranch, while the population in the Simanjiro plains probably numbers in the low hundreds. There are no figures for the Wembere wetland population , which is believed to be small and declining.
Grant’s Gazelle/Gazella granti

Kiswahili name: Swala Granti;

  • Today, Grant's Gazelles are placed in the genus (Nanger), instead of the former genus (Gazella).
  • Why are they called Grant’s Gazelles?
  • Grant’s Gazelle was named for a 19- century Scottish explorer, Lt col Grant.
  • Distribution /Range of Grant’s Gazelle (Swala Granti in Africa)
  • Grant’s Gazelles (Swala Granti) occur in East Africa, mainly in northern Tanzania and Kenya, but spilling over into Ethiopia and Marginally in South Eastern Sudan, north- eastern Uganda and Somalia. They are probably more than 350,000 animals.
  • Good places to see Grant’s Gazelles in Africa are Tsavo, Amboseli, Nairobi, Sibiloi, and Meru NP, Masai Mara, Samburu- Isiolo, and Shaba NR (Kenya); Ngorongoro conservation Area Authority (NCAA), Serengeti and Tarangire National Parks (Tanzania).
  • In northern Kenya and Ethiopia, Grant’s Gazelles inhabit sub desert. They prefer arid zones which are water less as they are water independent. Sometimes they migrate in the opposite direction coming to the short- grass plains when other ungulates are leaving these plains due to drought.
  • Races/Subspecies of Grant’s Gazelles in Africa:
  • Several races/ subspecies of Grant’s Gazelles have been recognized, based on the form of the horns, but these races/subspecies are closely related to distribution or Geographical range in which Grant’s Gazelles are living or occupying. A few examples of these races/subspecies are as follows:
  • Robert’s gazelle (Gazella gazella robertsi)
  • Raineyi gazelle (Gazella gazella raineyi) of northern Kenya and Somalia.
  • Peter’s gazelle (Gazella gazella petersi)
  • Northern Grant’s Gazelle ( Gazella gazella lacuum)
  • Southern Grant’s Gazelle ( Gazella gazella granti) or Grant’s gazelle.
  • Bright’s gazelle (Gazella gazella brighti);
  • Races/Subspecies of  Grant’s Gazelle in Tanzania:
  • Robert’s Grant’s Gazelle (Gazella gazella robertsi)
  • Robert’s Grant’s Gazelle ( Gazella gazella rubertsi) is found west of East African Rift wall ( Horns splay sharply outwards and slightly backwards about one- third of the length from the base. Black side- stripe on females often faint or absent).
  • Southern Grant’s Gazelle/Grant’s Gazelle (Gazella gazelle granti)

-Southern Grant’s Gazelle/ Grant’s Gazelle ( Gazella gazella granti) is found east of East African rift wall (Horns have a lyrate shape, gradually curving  outwards and then sharply in wards at the tip).

  • Similar species: Thomson’s and Soemmering’s gazelles;
  • Grant’s Gazelle's identification pointers:
  • Large; uniform fawn upper parts; white underparts and white buttocks with black vertical streak at outer edge; lateral bodyline faint to very faint; long, well- ridged horns.
  • A circle of white hair surrounds the eye and extends as a white stripe to the snout.
  • Total length: (Male) 1.5-1.8m (Female) 1,2-1,4m
  • Tail length: (Male) 25-35cm (Female) 25-30cm
  • Shoulder height: (Male) 85-95cm (Female) 80-85cm
  • Weight: (Male) 55-80kg (Female)35-50kg
  • Horn length: (Male) 55-81cm. Horns in males are arguably the most magnificent within the genus; those of the Ram (Male) are long, robust, well ringed and slope slightly backwards, then outwards, then points finally inward; those of the ewes (females) are considerably shorter and very slender.
  • Sex difference: Female has a dark band along the flank and has smaller horns than a male.
  • Colour: Light grayish-brown; facial stripes white. The rump is white but is bordered on the thigh by a black peal band. The underparts are white and the tail has a black tuft.
  • Average weight: 45-80kg
  • Habitat: Sub deserts and short grass-plains to tall grass savannas and scrub woodlands.
  • Habit/ Behaviour:

-Lives in small herds of up to 30 animals. A territorial male may have up to a dozen females. Do not require water regularly (wide habitat tolerance). Younger and non-territorial rams may form into bachelor groups that move around the edges of territorial ram/male ranges.

- In some areas they tend to be nomadic, with larger temporary herds forming at certain times of year, but in others they do not move out of fixed home ranges. This is largely a measure of the level of rainfall in a given area. Mingle freely with other ungulates.

  • Food/Diet; They are browsers and grazers( Mixed feeder) depending on seasonality. They browse during the dry season and graze during the wet season.
  • Gestation period:
  • 6 to 6.5 months and females conceive at 1.5 years, re-entering estrus within weeks of giving birth. Males begin breeding at 3 years if they can win a territory.
  • Average number of young: One
  • Lifespan/Longevity; 12 years
  • Predators/Natural enemies:
  • Spotted hyena, Cheetah, Leopard, and Wild dog. Jackals prey on fawns only. Water- independence and perhaps greater height make Grant’s less vulnerable to ambush than Thomson’s gazelle.
  • Distribution /Range of Grant’s Gazelle (Swala Granti) in Tanzania:
  • Grant’s Gazelles (Swala Granti) can be reliably seen throughout the year around Ndutu, Naabi Hill and Seronera in the Serengeti ecosystem. In Tarangire National Park, small groups are commonly observed on the open plains a few Kilometres south of the main bridge. In Ruaha National Park they are frequently seen along the River drive.
  • Grant’s Gazelles are concentrated in the north of the country with the exception of one small, isolated population along the Ruaha River in Ruaha National Park. They are widely distributed in the Serengeti ecosystem, lake Natron, west Kilimanjaro, Mkomazi National Park and most of the Tarangire ecosystem, including Tarangire National Park and occasionally Manyara National Park. They extend across much of the Maasai steppe as far south as the Kitwai plain. There is a record from 2010 from Ngori, east of Singida.
  • Grant’s Gazelles population size in Tanzania:
  • The largest population of Grant’s Gazelle in Africa is in the Serengeti ecosystem, with counts suggesting 35,000-55,000 animals. Most of these are concentrated on the short –grass plains of Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority  (NCAA) and Serengeti National Park, and in central Loliondo, with smaller numbers occurring in the western Serengeti. A count in the Tarangire ecosystem in 2011 recorded 4,300 individuals, mostly  concentrated in the Simanjiro plains and the open grasslands north of Mto wa Mbu village, with smaller  numbers in Tarangire National Park.
  • In 2010, 905 Grant’s Gazelles were counted in the lake Natron area and 136 across west Kilimanjaro, and a further 440 were recorded in Mkomazi National Park. The species is uncommon in Ruaha National Park and habitat loss and poaching has reduced populations in west Kilimanjaro and the Maasai steppe. Fortunately, the largest concentration, on the plains of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), is well protected and the overall population is stable.
Gerenuk (s)/Litocranius walleri:

Kiswahili name: Swala Twiga.

  • This unique antelope was only discovered as recently as 1878. It’s name derives from Somali language meaning “giraffe necked” and for its long legs.
  • The naturalist Victor Brooke was the first person to have described Gerenuk in 1878. Gerenuk are also known as Giraffe gazelle.
  • The Gerenuks are found in the Somali- Maasai arid zone from Eastern and Central Ethiopia through Somalia and Kenya to north western Tanzania. Gerenuk are the antelopes of the desert, surviving without water, drawing all the liquid they need from their vegetarian diet.
  • Distribution/ Range of Gerenuks (Swala Twiga) in Africa.
  • Gerenuks (Swala Twiga) are restricted to the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Somalia) and extending westward into Ethiopia, and southward through Kenya to north –eastern Tanzania to the east of the Great Rift Valley. More than 80,000 animals, with the most important protected populations centred on Kenya. They prefer Arid thorn scrub and thicket.
  • Races/Subspecies of Gerenuks (Swala Twiga) in Africa:
  • There are two (2) races/subspecies of Gerenuks (Swala Twiga) in Africa that are recognized;
  • (1); Sclater’s gazelle/Northern gerenuk (Litocranius walleri sclateri)
  • Its range extends from north- western Somalia (Berbera District) westward to touch the Ethiopian bordered Djibouti.
  • (2); Waller’s gazelle/ Southern generuk (Litocranius walleri walleri)
  • Its range extends from north- eastern Tanzania though Kenya to Galcaio (Somalia). The range lies north of the shebelle River and near Juba River.
  • Races/ Subspecies of Gerenuks (Swala Twiga) in Tanzania:
  • Waller’s gazelle/ Southern gerenuk (Litocranius walleri walleri) is the only subspecies/ races found in Tanzania.
  • Similar species:
  • Dibatag ( separated on length of legs and neck)
  • Gerenuk’s identification pointers:
  • They have very long slender neck and legs; similar colour to Impala; white eye ring, line extending towards snout; ram distinctive horns.
  • Total length: 1.8 -1.95m
  • Tail length: 25-35cm
  • Shoulder height: 95-100cm
  • Weight: 30-50kg
  • Horn length: (Male only) average 30 cm; record more than 44 cm.
  • Sex difference: Males have horns; Females with a dark patch on the crown.
  • Colour: Coat reddish brown with a darker band along the back. Belly white. A white ring around the eye, extending as a streak towards the muzzle. Tail terminating in tuft of black hairs.
  • Average weight: 45-55kg
  • Habitat: Desert, dry thorn bush.
  • Habit/Behaviour:
  • Live singly or in small groups. Can survive in very dry conditions. Singly or solitary (particularly the adult ram, but small mixed groups with a single ram/ males are common).
  • Also ewe and Lamb groups, as well as single ewes with their lambs. Up to eight animals may be seen together but they are usually spaced several metres apart when feeding or lying up. The home range of a single animal may vary from 2 to 6 km2, largely dependent on local conditions, and rams are strictly territorial (2 to 4 km2), driving away intruding males. Territorial rams tolerate sub adult rams as long as they remain subservient, with non- territory holding animals forming into loose groupings. They are resident in specific areas and are not migratory.
  • Food/Diet; Strict browsers, selecting new leaf growth, buds, fresh twig tips and the flowers of a wide variety of tree and bush species, particularly Acacias. They are independent of drinking water.
  • Gestation period: Year- round; gestation 6.5 to 7 months; females reproduce at 8 to 9 month interval (Birth interval). Birth weight of the young is about 3 kg. With births coinciding with the rainy seasons.
  • Average number of young: One
  • Life span/longevity: 10-12 years
  • Predators/ Natural enemies:
  • Wild dog, Cheetah, Leopard, Lion and Jackals (on fawns)
  • Distribution/Range of Gerenuks (Swala Twiga) in Tanzania;
  • Gerenuks can be reliably seen in west- Kilimanjaro, particularly in the Enduiment Wildlife Management Area (WMA) or around Ndarakwai Ranch. They are also regularly seen from the main road between Arusha and Namanga, just south of Longido town, and on the dirt road between Longido and Gelai towns. They are not as easily seen in Mkomazi National Park because of the comparatively thick bush, although a good place to try is the area between Ndea to Kamakota hills in the northwest of the National Park.
  • The Gerenuk is restricted to areas of arid bushland and thicket in the north of the country. It occurs across a swathe of land stretching from the eastern shores of lake  Natron to the lower western slopes of mount Kilimanjaro, and south as far as the northern slopes of Mount Meru. It is distributed throughout Mkomazi National Park and in the drier parts of the Tarangire ecosystem, including the southern half of Tarangire National Park, the Mkungunero Game Reserve and the Maasai steppe as far south as Kitwai. There is also a population in the Lalatema Mountains. The extent of its distribution in the eastern section of the Maasai steppe is unclear;
  • Gerenuk’s population size in Tanzania:

There are no accurate figures for other areas, although Gerenuks are common in parts of the lake  Natron area, particularly around Gelai and between Kitumbeini and Longido Mountains. They are also fairly common throughout west Kilimanjaro, particularly in the wooded savannas and the edges of the open plains.

Reedbucks/Genus –Redunca;

Kiswahili name: Tohe

  • Reedbucks belong to the genus (Redunca). The genus (Redunca) has 3 species: Each species has had its own subspecies/ races. Tanzania is represented by all 3 species.
  • (1); Bohor Reedbuck (Redunca redunca)
  • (2); Mountain Reedbuck (Redunca fulvorufula)
  • (3); Common Reedbuck /Southern Reedbuck (Redunca arundinum);
  • Although Reedbucks are sometimes solitary (singly), Reedbucks normally move around in pairs or small family groups, with young males forming bachelor herds of no more than three to four.
  • The common Reedbuck/ Southern Reedbuck and Bohor Reedbuck are lowland species which occur in the southern and northern savannas respectively. Seldom far from water, they are typical inhabitants of flood plains and in undated grasslands. They are particularly active at night, emerging from dense cover to feed on open lawns, to the accompaniment of much whistling and bouncing.
  • The Mountain Reedbuck is particularly sedentary; the females and young either live within the territories of single resident males or range over a small number of neighboring territories.

1: BOHOR REEDBUCK (Redunca redunca)

  • Kiswahili name: Tohe /Forhi
  • It was first described by German zoologist and botanist Peter Simon Pallas in 1767.
  • Distribution/Range of Bohor Reedbucks (Tohe) in Africa;
  • Bohor Reedbucks (Tohe/ Forhi) occurs across the west African Savanna zone, extending widely through southern Sudan and Ethiopia. In East Africa it is widespread but of somewhat patchy ( limited) distribution. Within west Africa it has an extensive, although very fragmented, distribution and numbers are considerably higher in East Africa, with perhaps as many as 100,000 in that regions.
  • Bohor Reedbucks are closely tied to river flood plains, reedbeds as well as seasonally flooded grassland. Good places to see Bohor Reedbucks are ( Akagera National Park -Rwanda), Lake Nakuru, Meru National Park (Kenya) and Tanzania;
  • Races/Subspecies of Bohor Reedbucks in Africa;
  • 5 subspecies/races of the Bohor Reedbucks have been recognized. Other authorities said that there are about 7 subspecies/Races.
  • (1); Redunca redunca bohor (Abyssinian/Ethiopian bohor Reedbuck)
  • It occurs in south western, western and central Ethiopia, and Blue Nile (Sudan).
  • (2); Redunca redunca cottoni (Sudanese subspecies)
  • It occurs in the sudds (Southern Sudan), north eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and probably in northern Uganda (This subspecies/ Races has long, thin horns, with a widespread between the tips).
  • (3); Redunca redunca nigeriensis;
  • This subpecies/races occurs in Nigeria, northern Cameroon, southern Chad and Central African Republic.
  • (4) Redunca redunca redunca;    Its range extends from Senegal east to Togo. It inhabits the northern Savannas of Africa. The relationship of this subspecies to Redunca redunca nigeriensis is not clear.
  • (5); Redunca redunca wardi/wardi Bohor Reedbuck;
  • Redunca redunca wardi/Wardi Bohor Reedbuck is found in Uganda, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) and eastern Africa.
  • Races/Subspecies of Bohor Reedbuck (Tohe) inTanzania
  • Redunca redunca wardi/ Wardi Bohor Reedbuck is the only subspecies/races found in Tanzania.
  • Similar species:
  • Common and Mountain Reedbuck
  • Bohor Reedbuck's identification pointers;
  • Yellowish to pale red-brown upperparts, white underparts; male has short, stout, forward- hooked horns. There is a bare, grey patch below each ear.
  • Total length: (Male) 1-1,7m (Female) 1,3-1,5m
  • Tail length: (Male) 20-25cm (Female) 15-23cm
  • Shoulder height: (Male) 70-90cm (Female) 65-80cm
  • Weight: (Male) 45-65kg (Female)35-55kg
  • Horn length: (Male only) average 25cm, up to about 42cm.
  • Sex difference: Females have no horns
  • Colour: Bright yellowish or grayish- brown with white underparts. Greyish patch of bare skin below the ear.
  • Average weight: 35-80kg.
  • Habitat: Swampy grassland and reedbanks of the rivers. Normally not far from the water.
  • Habit/Behaviour:
  • Live in pairs; female and a calf; bachelor herd of 4-5 animals and sometimes herds may join together to form a group of anything up to 200 individuals. Lie in reeds during daytime.
  • Up to five ewes and their fawns may live within the breeding territory of a ram: larger groupings are occasionally seen, but these usually indicate a response to a particularly favorable supply.
  • The male territory varies in size according to region but one study undertaken in Serengeti it was found to range between 25 and 60 ha, with each ewe utilizing a home range of some 15 to 40 ha.
  • Rams defend access to ewes, rather than entire territories. Bachelor groups are generally tolerated by territory- holding rams but they are chased off when ewes are in vicinity. Most activity takes place at night.
  • Food/Diet; Feed on grass (Grazers)
  • Gestation period; 7 months to 7.5 months
  • Average number of young: One
  • Life span/Longevity: 10 years
  • Predators/Natural enemies:
  • Lion, Leopard, Spotted hyena, Cheetah and Wild dog.
  • Distribution /Range of Bohor Reedbucks (Tohe) in Tanzania:
  • Bohor Reedbuck is frequently seen in the Tarangire River in Tarangire National Park in the dry season, along the river roads south of the main bridge. Other good places to look include Seronera River in Serengeti National Park. Large groups of this species can be found around the National Park headquarters in Saadani National Park. In Katavi National Park they are easily seen in all of the large swamps.
  • Bohor Reedbuck has a scattered distribution in northern, central and western Tanzania. They are still widespread in the west, occurring in Burigi- Biharamulo Game Reserves, Moyowosi- Kigosi Game Reserves, lake Sagara, Ugalla Game Reserve, the Wembere wetland, the Katavi National Park, and in the Usangu wetland in Ruaha N.P
  • In the South they are found in northern Selous Game Reserve, Mikumi National Park and Kilombero valley. There is a population along the coast in Saadani National Park and in the Wami- Mbiki WMA. In the North, they occur in Tarangire and Manyara National Parks, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) , Serengeti National Park, Maswa Game Reserve and Mkomazi National Park. They are also found on the lower, western slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro and occasionally in the northern grasslands in Arusha National Park.
    • Bohor Reedbuck’s population size in Tanzania:
    • Bohor Reedbucks are very common in some protected areas in the west including Moyowosi- Uvinza Game Reserves, Ugalla Game Reserve and Katavi National Park. Ground counts suggest a population of approximately 5,000 individuals in Saadani National Park. Aerial counts indicate a population of 3,000 in the Serengeti National Park, while in Tarangire National Park they are common along the main river. The species is uncommon in Mkomazi National Park and rare in Arusha National Park and the Selous Game Reserve. There is still a small but stable population in the Burigi –Biharamulo Game Reserves of around 100 individuals.

    2: COMMON REEDBUCK/ SOUTHERN REEDBUCK (Redunca arundinum)

    • Kiswahili name: Tohe Ndope/ Tohe ya kusini
    • Common Reedbuck/Southern Reedbuck was first described by Pieter Boddaert, a Dutch physician and naturalist, in 1785.
    • The Southern Reedbuck/ Common Reedbuck is larger than other species in Redunca.
    • The Southern Reedbuck/ Common Reedbuck have a wide distribution, stretching from Gabon and Tanzania to south Africa. Their range seems to extend to the Miombo woodlands on the north. They inhabit moist grasslands with tall grass, reeds, sufficient cover, and water nearby, such as floodplains, pastures, woodlands and valley.
    • It is native to Angola, Botswana, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Gabon, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
    • Distribution/Range of Common Reedbuck/ Southern Reedbuck in Africa
    • Common Reedbucks/Southern Reedbucks are found across central Africa, extending into Tanzania and then southward into the extreme northern and eastern reaches of southern Africa. They are still widespread and locally abundant. They require areas with tall grass and reedbeds and the close proximity of permanent water. Good places to see Common Reedbucks in Africa (Kazungu National Park (Malawi), Kafue, Lukusuzi, and Mweru Wantipa National Park (Zambia), etc.
    • Races/Subspecies of Common Reedbucks in Africa
    • Races/ Subspecies of Common Reedbucks/ Southern Reedbucks are closely related to the distribution of Common Reedbucks at their particular geographic areas in which they inhabit. Several races have been described and recognized.
    • Races/ Subspecies of Common Reedbucks in Tanzania:
    • Redunca arundinum occidentalis (is the only subspecies/ races found in Tanzania.
    • Similar species
    • Bohor and Mountain reedbucks (separated on habitat)
    • Common Reedbuck’s identification pointers
    • White, bushy underside of tail prominent when fleeing: dark lines on front faces of forelegs, ram has forward- curved horns.
    • Total length; (Male) 1,6-1,8m (Female) 1,4-1,7m
    • Tail length: 25cm
    • Shoulder height: (Male) 95cm (Female) 80cm
    • Horn length: Average 30cm, record 46, 68cm
    • Weight: (Male) 43-68kg (Female) 32-51kg
    • Habitat: Open plains, hill country, with light cover near water.
    • Behaviour/Habit:
    • Normally occur in pairs or family parties, but larger numbers may be observed feeding in close proximity. Territories are defended by the ram/ male.
    • Common Reedbucks/ Southern Reedbucks emit frequent whistles when communicating.
    • Food/Diet; Predominantly grasses, but also browse.
    • Gestation period:
    • In the south there is a distinct summer birth peak which coincides with rains. A single fawn of about 4,5 kg is born after gestation of 220 days and remains hidden for up to two months in dense grass or other vegetation, with the ewe returning to suckle it once or twice per day. After each suckling session the fawn moves to a new lying- up location.
    • Predators/Natural enemies:
    • Lion, Leopard, spotted hyena, Cheetah, and wild dog.
    • Distribution /Range of Common Reedbucks/ Southern Reedbucks in Tanzania.
    • In Ruaha National Park, Southern Reedbucks/ Common Reedbucks can be commonly seen in open areas in the Miombo woodland to the west of the National Park, including around Magangwe, although there are few roads in this area and it is seldom visited by tourists. In Katavi National Park it is occasionally seen in the Miombo woodland on the road between the Ikuu Ranger post and Sitalike.
    • Southern Reedbucks/ Common Reedbucks are found in open areas of Miombo woodland throughout the south and west of the country. They occur throughout he southern Selous Game Reserve ( although their presence in the photographic area is unclear) and parts of the Selous- Niassa corridor, including the Muhuwesi  Game Reserves. They are also found in Kitulo plateau National Park.
    • In Ruaha National Park, Southern Reedbucks are distributed in the Miombo woodland habitat, but are replaced by the Bohor Reedbucks in the Usangu wetland. They are present throughout the Rungwa- Kisigo Game Reserves, in Katavi  National Park, and in the Rukwa, Lwafi, Ugalla, Moyowosi and Uvinza Game Reserves, and the Sitebe- Sifuta Mountains.
    • Southern Reedbucks population size in Tanzania:
    • There are no accurate population estimates for this species. It is common throughout much of western and southern Tanzania including the southern Selous ecosystem, Chunya, Lukwati, Piti, Rungwa, Ugalla and Moyowosi Game Reserves, although it is less common in Moyowosi- Uvinza. In Ruaha National Park it is relatively common in the western plateau of the National Park. It occurs in low numbers in the Rukwa Game Reserve and Katavi National Park and is rare in Kitulo Plateau National Park.

     

    3: MOUNTAIN REEDBUCK/ Redunca fulvorufula

    • Kiswahili name: Tohe Milima;
    • The Mountain Reedbuck (Redunca fulvorufula) is an antelope found in mountainous areas of much of sub- Saharan Africa. The Mountain Reedbuck is the smallest of the reedbuck species.
    • The Mountain Reedbuck occurs in three separate geographic areas, each containing a separate subspecies/ Races. The Southern Mountain Reedbucks inhabits an area from the eastern cape province (South Africa) to south eastern Botswana. Chanler’s Mountain Reedbucks occurs in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, and Ethiopia. The Adamawa Mountain Reedbuck has only been found in Cameroon.
    • The current total population of all subspecies/races has been estimated at some 36,000 animals.
    • Distribution/ Range of Mountain Reedbucks in Africa:
    • Mountain Reedbucks are found in three very widely separated populations in Africa. In the south they are restricted to south Africa for 90 percent of their range. The highly fragmented population (Chanler’s) occurs at lower densities than in the south. The Cameroon population is totally isolated. They are still fairly abundant in the south. The Cameroon population is considered to be endangered.
    • Good places to see Mountain Reedbucks are (Aberdares and Tsavo National Park (Kenya), Kilimanjaro National Park (Tanzania), Willem Pretorius Game Reserve, Giant’s castle, Hluhluwe-Umfulozi Game Reserve, Doornkloof National Reserve, Mountain Zebra National Park (South Africa).
    • Races/Subspecies of Mountain Reedbucks in Africa
    • There are three (3) recognized subspecies /Races
    • (1); Redunca fulvorufula adamauae (Adamawa Mountain Reedbuck)
    • (2); Redunca fulvorufula chanleri (Chanler’s Mountain Reedbuck)
    • Redunca fulvorufula chanleri (Chanler’s Mountain Reedbuck) named for William A. Chanler). William Astor Chanler was a soldier, explorer, and politician who served as U.S. Representative from New York. After spending several years exploring East Africa, he embarked on a brief political Career. He was born in June 11, 1867 New port, Rhode island, United States. He died in March 4,1934 (aged 66) menton, Alpes- Maritimes, France.
    • (3); Redunca fulvorufula fulvorufula (Southern Mountain Reedbuck)
    • Races/Subspecies of Mountain Reedbucks in Tanzania:
    • Chanler’s Mountain Reedbuck (Redunca fulvorufula chanleri) is the only subspecies found in Tanzania. In Tanzania, they are found in the wet mountains slopes of Kilimanjaro, Meru and Ngorongoro highlands;
    • Similar species; Common reedbuck, grey rhebok (separated on size and appearance), Bohor reedbuck.
    • Mountain Reedbuck’s identification pointers:
    • Grey- fawn upperparts, white underparts, bushy tail, and grey above, white under, latter showing when animals is running away; ram short ,forward hooked horns.
    • Total length: 1,3-1,5m
    • Tail length: 20cm
    • Shoulder height: 72 cm
    • Weight: 30kg
    • Horn length: (Male only) average 14cm; record southern Africa 25,4cm, East Africa up to 38cm.
    • Habitat: Montane grasslands. They prefer open grass when they graze. Restricted to mountainous and rocky slopes but showing a preference for broken hill country with scattered bush, trees or grassy-slopes. Access to drinking water is said to be essential in some areas but not in others. They have been recorded as 5000m on Mount Kilimanjaro (Tanzania).
    • Behaviour/ Habit
    • Once established, a ram attempts to hold a territory on a year- round basis, but small groups of two to six ewes and their young are less stable and move from herd to herd covering the territories of several rams, although they have been reported to remain for relatively long periods within the territory of one ram.
    • Bachelor herds also form but these are unstable. Activity takes place both at night and during the day. Male territories range from 10 to 28 ha, and female home ranges, at least in one area, varied from 36 to 76 ha.
    • Food/Diet; Grasses;
    • Gestation period: 242 days (Approximately 8 month),A single lamb, weighing about 3kg, is born. Breeding takes place throughout the year but ill – defined birth peaks are evident at the time of the rains. The ewe gives birth away from the group, and the lamb remains hidden for two to three months.
    • Predators/ Natural enemies:
    • Lion, Leopard, Spotted hyena, Cheetah and wild dog.
    • Distribution/Range of Mountain Reedbuck (Tohe Milima) in Tanzania:
    • Small groups may be observed on the lower slopes of the Kuka hills, just north of the kleins camp gate in northern Serengeti National Park, and in the hills in the adjacent Loliondo area. They are also occasionally seen on Ndarakwai Ranch in west- Kilimanjaro.
    • The Mountain Reedbuck has a very restricted distribution in Tanzania, and is now only found in a narrow belt of land between the Serengeti National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro and Tarangire National Parks. It is widespread in the hills and rocky outcrops (kopjes) in the Serengeti ecosystem , including the Kuka, Ngarenanyuki and Nyamaluma Hills within Serengeti National Park, in Grumeti Game Reserve and in the hilly areas of western Loliondo. It is also found on Lolsimongori, Monduli, Burko and Gelai Mountains.
    • Small populations exist on several of the Mountains east of Tarangire National Park, including Oldonyo sambu, Oldonyo Ngahari, Lorkiman and possibly Lolkisale. It was last seen in Tarangire National Park in 1993 but may still occur as a vagrant in the area. There are a few scattered populations in west Kilimanjaro, notably in the Larkarian hills and in the hills just west of Ngare Nairobi.
    • Mountain Reedbuck's population in Tanzania:
    • There is no information on the number of Mountain Reedbucks in Tanzania, although the population is declining. The highest numbers are found in Loliondo and Serengeti National Park, where it is still relatively common in suitable habitat.
    • It is also relatively common in parts of the lake Natron area, and on Lolsimongori and Monduli Mountains. During the past 40 years it has disappeared  from Mount Hanang, lake Jipe, the north Pare Mountains, and even from well- protected National Parks including Arusha and probably Manyara. The species was formerly commonly seen inside the Ngorongoro crater and around the crater rim, but it has not been recorded there for many years and is now very rare in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority  (NCAA). The Mountain Reedbuck should be considered locally “vulnerable” in Tanzania.
PUKU/Kobus vardonii

Kiswahili name: Sheshe/Puku

  • Some authorities consider Puku (Sheshe) to be a subspecies/ Races of  the Kob.
  • Distribution/Range of Puku (Sheshe) in Africa:
  • Widely fragmented across southern central Africa; the principal limitation being restrictive habitat requirement. Zambia probably has the largest populations, particularly those occurring in the north, in the Luangwa valley. There are perhaps 40,000 animals in Tanzania. The Angolan and Congolese populations have been greatly depleted. The most southerly occurring population, in the Chobe National Park in extreme north eastern Botswana, numbers only about 150 animals.
  • Pukus prefer open flatland adjacent to rivers and Marshes, but rarely moves on the exposed, open flood plains.
  • Similar species:
  • Kob (but ranges do not overlap), Lechwe.
  • Puku’s identification pointers:
  • Similar to Kob , but smaller; golden, without conspicuous markings.
  • Total length: 1.5-1,7m
  • Tail length: 28cm
  • Shoulder height: 80cm
  • Weight: (Male) 74kg (Female) 62kg
  • Horn length: (Male only) average 45 cm, record 56,2cm
  • Sex difference:
  • Females are hornless; only males are horned
  • Colour: Golden yellow, underparts whitish hue around the eyes, on the sides of the muzzle, and throat including the tail.
  • Average weight:
  • 62 kg in females and 90 kg in males.
  • Habitat:
  • Flood plain grasslands near water. Also river banks. In Tanzania they are found in central Tanzania and western parts of the country.
  • Habit/ Behaviour:
  • Usually live in small parties of 3-10 herd, sometimes up to 15 or more; males are often solitary or form small troops by themselves.
  • Nursery herds consisting of ewes and their young move over the territories of several rams. Established male territories are temporary, and may be held for a few days and up to several months in some cases. Rams attempt to keep nursery herds within their territories when ewes are in oestrus. Females normally lead the movement.
  • Food/Diet; They are grazers and water dependent.
  • Gestation period:
  • 240 days (Approximately 8 months); A single young/ Lamb, weighing some 5 kg, is born . The lamb hides for the early part of its life and on joining the herd usually moves as a group with other lambs. Maturity is reached at the age of 3 months.
  • Life span/Longevity: - Up to 15 years.
  • Predators /Natural enemies:
  • Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Wild dog, Hyena, etc.
  • Distribution /Range of Puku in Tanzania:
  • There are two populations of Puku in Tanzania. The largest population is concentrated around the banks of the Kilombero River in the Kilombero valley, a large seasonal wetland covering some 2,000 km2 (770mi2); a few individuals also extend into the western section of the Selous Game Reserve where the Kilombero River enters the Game Reserve. The  second, much smaller, population is found in the Rukwa Game Reserve at the northern end of lake Rukwa. During the mid- 1960s this population was distributed widely around the lake, including an isolated population in northern Katavi National Park, but has contracted significantly since then. A small population that once inhabited the northern region of lake Nyasa was extirpated in the 1960s.
  • Puku’s population size in Tanzania.
  • The Kilombero valley contains one of the largest populations of Puku’s in Africa. However, numbers have been declining steadily, from 50,000-60,000 in the 1990’s, to 40,000 in 2002 and 18,000 in 2009, as a result of poaching and habitat loss. The Kilombero valley has no official protected status and despite being designated as a Ramsar site in 2002 continues to suffer serious habitat fragmentation and over grazing. The population of Pukus around lake Rukwa was estimated at 5,000 animals in the 1960s, but rising water levels and a reduction  in habitat due to livestock grazing have reduced this population to approximately 780 individuals in an area of 70km2 (30mi2), all within the Rukwa Game Reserve.
ORIBI/Ourebia ourebi

Kiswahili name; Taya/Kasia/Kihea

  • The sole member of its genus (Ourebia), the Oribi was first described by the German zoologist Eberhard August Wilhelm Von Zimmermann in 1782. Oribi is the largest of the “small” antelope, with usually rufous yellow- orange upperparts and white underparts and inner thighs, which extend on to the front of the chest. Eight (8) subspecies are recognized/identified.
  • Distribution/Range of Oribi (Taya) in Africa;
  • Very wide but fragmented sub-Saharan distribution, particularly in Southern and East Africa. It is absent from desert and the lowland tropical zone. They are abundant in some areas but seriously threatened in others, For example, the Eastern cape,South Africa. The greatest numbers, possibly as many as 100,000, are located in West Africa although even there it has lost ground to habitat destruction.
  • Oribis prefer open short grassland with taller grass patches to provide cover. Good places to see oribis in Africa are (Akagera National Park, (Rwanda), Lambwe valley National Park, Maasai Mara NR, ( Kenya), Serengeti National Park (Northern Extension), (Tanzania), Kazungu National Park, (Malawi), Kafue National Park, (Zambia); Giant’s castle National Park, (South Africa).
  • Races/ Subspecies of Oribis in Africa:
  • Races/subspecies of Oribis (Taya) in Africa are closely related to the distribution of Oribis at their particular geographic range in which they are found and living . Eight (8) races/ subspecies have been identified as follows:
  • (1); Ourebia ourebi dorcas/ Dorcas oribi
  • (2); Ourebia ourebi gallarum/ Gallarum oribi
  • (3); Ourebia ourebi haggardi/Haggardi oribi- occurs in eastern Africa listed as vulnerable by the IUCN.
  • (4); Ourebia ourebi hastata/Hastata oribi- Ranges from Kenya southward into Mozambique and eastward into Angola.
  • (5); Ourebia ourebi kenyae/ Kenyan oribi- It is found on the lower slopes of Mount Kenya.
  • (6); Ourebia ourebi montana/ Montana oribi- Ranges from northern Nigeria eastward into Ethiopia and Southward into Uganda.
  • (7); Ourebia ourebi ourebi)- its range lies South of Zambezi River.
  • (8); Oureba ourebi quadriscopa- Occurs in western Africa.
  • (9); Ourebia ourebi rutila
  • (10); Ourebia ourebi cottoni/Cotton oribi;
  • Note and Remember: Of these subspecies/ races, zoologists Colin Groves and Peter Grub identify the following races/ subspecies as independent species (full species) in their 2011 Publication Ungulate Taxonomy as follows:
  • (1); Ourebia ourebi hastata
  • (2); Ourebia ourebi montana
  • (3); Ourebia ourebi ourebi
  • (4); Ourebia ourebi quadriscopa;
  • Races/Subspecies of Oribi (Taya) in Tanzania:
  • (1); Ourebia ourebi hastata/Hastata oribi
  • Ourebia ourebi hastata/Hastata oribi is found in West and Southern Tanzania (Tail has black upper side);
  • (2); Ourebia ourebi cottoni /Cotton oribi
  • Ourebia ourebi cottoni/Cotton oribi- is found only in Serengeti National Park (Tail has tan- brown upperside, white underside).
  • Similar species:
  • Steenbok (Separates) on size), grysbok (Separated on habitat).
  • Oribi’s identification pointers:
  • Steenbok- like but larger, yellow- orange rufous above, white below; short, black tipped tail in most races/ subspecies: long neck; ram has erect, partly ridged horns.
  • Total length: 1.1m
  • Tail length: 6-15cm
  • Shoulder height: 60cm
  • Weight; 14-20kg (Male smaller than female, weighing on average 2 kg lighter).
  • Horn length:
  • (Male only) average 10 cm; record southern Africa 19,05cm. Some races/ subspecies have been raised to species level based on size, horn shape and colour differences, but these are not likely to be valid and represent geographical races.
  • Sex difference:
  • Males have horns; females sometimes larger than males.
  • Colour: From sandy rufous to brownish fawn; tip of tail black; naked, patch behind the eye.
  • Average weight: 9-20kg
  • Habitat: Wide, grassy plains with low bush, near water.
  • Habit/Behaviour:
  • Occurs in pairs or small parties consisting of one ram, which is vigorously territorial, and up to four ewes. Communal dung- heaps serve a territorial marking function, as do secretions from the pre-orbital glands and other glands, which are “pasted” on to grass stalks.
  • When disturbed they give a sharp whistle or sneeze and run off rapidly with occasional stiff- legged jumps displaying the black- tipped tail. They are inquisitive, however, and will turn to look back at the source of disturbance after running a short distance. Animals are very bound to their range and rarely leave it, even when under stress. They also lie down in long grass when disturbed, with the head erect, making them difficult to detect. They are independent of drinking water. 2 or 3 males may defend the same territory and share females.
  • Food/Diet; Principally grazers but browse is occasionally taken. They show a marked preference for short grass and will move if grass becomes too long.
  • Gestation period:
  • 6 or 7 months: A single lamb is born, and after birth the lamb remains hidden for up to three or four months before accompanying the group. Females may conceive at 10 months, males at 14 months. Birth peak during rains but no strict breeding seasons.
  • Life span/Longevity: 12 years
  • Natural enemies/Predators:
  • Cheetah, Leopard, Wild dog, and Spotted hyena prey on adults; these plus eagles and snakes prey on calves.
  • Distribution/Range of Oribis (Taya) in Tanzania:
  • Oribis are very common in the northern Serengeti, and are easily seen in the open grassland areas in the vicinity of Lobo lodge. The open grasslands and swamps interspersed in the Miombo woodland on the plateau area of Ruaha National Park is also a good place to look for them.
  • There are three main populations of Oribi in Tanzania; In the West , east,  and north of the country. In the West, their range extends from Kitulo plateau National Park north to the Ugandan border, including Ruaha and Katavi National Parks. They may still occur in the Kalambo- Loasi watershed. Another population  in the Southeast ranges from the eastern section of the Selous Game Reserve (in the Matandu  River Area), South into Lindi Region. This species was formerly known from Masasi District close to the border with Mozambique, but there have been no recent records from that area. The third population occurs in the northern Serengeti, including Ikorongo and  Grumeti Game Reserves and the western parts of Loliondo. In Serengeti National Park , its distribution starts very abruptly a few kilometres south of Lobo lodge and continues to the Kenya border.
  • Oribi’s population size in Tanzania:
  • The population in the northern Serengeti has been increasing rapidly during the past 20 years and now probably exceeds 7,000 individuals. It is also fairly common across many parts of western Tanzania, including Ugalla and Moyowosi Game Reserves, and between lake Rukwa and the Rungwa- Kizigo Game Reserves.
  • It is common in grasslands in Miombo areas of western Ruaha National Park.
DIK-DIKS/Genus (Madoqua)

Kiswahili name: Digidigi/Saruya.

  • The group or genus (Madoqua) has probably four (4) or five (5) species of small antelope that live in the drier areas of north –eastern and Southern Africa (Namibia and Southern Angola). Only the rams have the short , spiky horns, that may be hidden by the head crest.
  • They are easily recognized by the elongated and somewhat swollen appearance of the nose, the distinctive crest of erectile hairs on the forehead and the very large eyes.
  • Dikdiks live in relatively dry and arid bush country particularly favouring areas with Acacia trees provided there is dense undergrowth to provide food and cover. They also occupy bush -covered hill slopes and fringing scrub cover at their bases;
  • Species of Dik-diks of the Genus (Madoqua) in Africa:
  • (1); KIRK’S DIK-DIK (Madoqua kirkii);
  • The most widespread dik-dik in East Africa (Somalia, Kenya, and Tanzania), with a separate population located in Northern Namibia and South- Western Angola. They are common to abundant over much of its range.
  • Note and Remember:
  • According to some authorities, this separate population located in Northern Namibia and South- Western Angola is treated as a full species and is known as Damara- dik-dik (Madoqua damarensis), but other authorities treated as the same Kirk’s –dik-dik of East Africa (Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania).
  • There are about 7 races/ subspecies of Kirk’s dik-dik in Africa, according to some authorities.
  • (2); GUENTHER’S DIK-DIK (Madoqua guentheri)
  • Guenther’s dik-diks occur from the Horn of Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia, Southern Sudan, Uganda and Kenya) into Northern Kenya, Westward through Southern Ethiopia, and across to northern Uganda. They are the most abundant dik-dik in Eastern Africa.
  • (3); PIACENTINI’S DIK-DIK (Madoqua piacentinii) OR SILVER DIK-DIK;
  • Piacentini’s dik-dik/Silver dik-dik (Madoqua piacentinii) is restricted to a narrow strip of coastal plain in eastern Somalia. They are still common within their range.
  • (4); SALT’S DIK-DIK (Includes Phillips & Swaynei) (Madoqua saltiana);
  • Salt’s dik-diks (Madoqua saltiana) including swaynei and Phillips, are widely distributed in the horn of Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan), extending in a relatively broad belt up along the Red sea coast to South- eastern Sudan. They are still common and widespread.
  • (1); KIRK’S DIK-DIK (Madoqua kirkii)
  • Kiswahili name: Digidigi/Saruya
  • The Kirk’s dik-dik (Madoqua kirkii) is a small antelope native to East Africa (Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania), with a separate population located in Northern Namibia and South –Western Angola, and is one of four species of dik-dik antelope.
  • According to some authorities, this separate population located in Northern Namibia and South –Western Angola is treated as a full species and is known as treated as a full species and is known as Damara- dik-dik (Madoqua damarensis), but other authorities treated as the same Kirk’s –dik-dik of East Africa (Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania.
  • Races /Subspecies of Kirk’s dik-diks in Africa.
  • It is believed that there are 6 subspecies / races and possibly a seventh existing in south west Africa (Namibia and Angola). Usually, four subspecies/Races of Kirk’s dik-dik are distinguished, but infact they may represent 3 or more distinct species.
  • (1); Madoqua kirkii hindei (Hindei kirk’s dik-dik)
  • (2); Madoqua kirkii damarensis) / Damara- dik-dik
  • (3); Madoqua kirkii cavendishi)/Cavendish’s- dik-dik
  • (4); Madoqua kirkii kirkii/Kirk’s dik-dik.
  • Races/Subspecies of Kirk’s –dik-diks in Tanzania
  • (1); Madoqua kirkii kirkii (Kirk’s Dik-dik)
  • Madoqua kirkii kirkii (Kirk’s dik-dik) is found in lowland areas east of Ruvu River to Usambara Mountains, including Mkomazi National Park (Sides are grey, rufous only on rump and back).
  • (2); Madoqua kirkii cavendishi (Cavendish’s Dik-dik) is found in Mount Kilimanjaro to eastern lake Victoria, including the Serengeti ecosysyem south to lake Eyasi (Males and females are the same size and have rufous sides).
  • (3); Madoqua kirkii thomasi/Hindei/Thomas’s Dik-dik is found in central Tanzania (Females are larger than males and have rufous sides).
  • Note and Remember:
  • Some authorities consider these three subspecies to be separate species, forming part of a kirk’s Dik-dik species complex.
  • Similar species:
  • Guenther’s and Salt’s dik-diks in East Africa, none elsewhere.
  • Kirk’s Dik-dik’s identification pointers:
  • Elongated nose (less than Guenther’s), white eye-ring: yellowish- grey grizzled, greyer towards rump.
  • Total Length:64-76cm
  • Tail length: 5cm
  • Shoulder height: 38cm
  • Weight: 5 kg
  • Horn length: Average 8cm; record 11.43cm
  • Sex difference:
  • Females are slightly larger than males and have no horns.
  • Colour: Light greyish-brown; facial stripes white. The rump is white. Underparts are white and belly is red; the neck and back are grey and white ring around the eye; there is also a black spot in front of the eye; a crest of hair on the forehead.
  • Average weight:2-4 kg
  • Habitat:
  • May be found in thickets and bush country where trees are scattered.
  • Habit/Behaviour:
  • Live singly or in pairs; when flushed they run in zig-zag leaps; deposit dung at one place.
  • Food/Diet; Leaves, shoots, fruits, roots and tubers.
  • Gestation period: 6 months and only one baby is born.
  • Lifespan/ Longevity: 10 years;
  • Predators/Natural enemies:
  • Jackals, Eagles, Leopard, Spotted hyena, Wild dog and Caracal prey on adult and fawns. Baboons and Snakes take fawns.
  • Distribution/Range of Kirk’s Dik-diks in Tanzania;
  • Kirk’s Dik-diks are easily seen in Tarangire and Mkomazi National Parks, around the lakes in Arusha and Manyara National Parks, and the River Drive in Ruaha National Park.
  • Kirk’s Dik-diks are distributed across northern and central Tanzania, but absent from the South, Parts of the west, and the coastal areas. They are found in all of the northern National Parks as well as Ruaha National Park. The southern distribution extends to the Mpanga- Kipengere Game Reserve, and there is a population in the low- lying areas of Udzungwa Mountains National Park, although they are absent from Mikumi National Park and the Selous ecosystem. They are sparsely distributed in western Tanzania, including Ugalla and Burigi- Biharamulo Game Reserves, and possibly Katavi National Park, and still occur in pockets of scrub bushland and agricultural land throughout Shinyanga and Tabora regions. Kirk’s Dik-diks can be found on the outskirts of large cities such as Arusha.
  • Kirk’s Dik-dik’s population size in Tanzania;
  • Density estimates in northern Tanzania range from 3-60 animals per km2 (8-165 animals per mi2). They do well in areas that have been overgrazed by livestock or cleared by humans, and are particularly abundant in drier parts of the country including the Yaeda valley, lake Natron, West Kilimanjaro, and Mkomazi and Tarangire National Parks. They are also common in parts of the Serengeti ecosystem and the Rungwa-Ruaha ecosystem.

Kirk’s Dik-diks are less frequent in Miombo habitat, although they are fairly  common in Ugalla Game Reserve and parts of Chunya District. They are  uncommon in Piti, Kigosi and Burigi-Biharamulo Game Reserves. Although widely  hunted, this species can survive in areas close to human settlement and numbers across much of the country are probably stable.

Steenbok/Raphicerus campestris

Kiswahili name: Dondoro/Isha

  • The steenbok (Raphicerus campestris) is a common small antelope of Southern and Eastern Africa. It is sometimes known as the Stein buck or Steinbok.
  • Distribution /Range of Steenbok in Africa;
  • There are two widely separated populations of Steenbok in Africa, the major one being in Southern Africa and the other in Kenya and Tanzania. They are still abundant, although reduced in areas of high human densities.
  • Steenboks are found in open country but with some cover, dry river bed associations in arid areas. They are independent of drinking water.
  • Good places to see Steenboks in Africa are (Hwange National Park (Zimbabwe), Chobe National Park, Moremi and Central Kalahari Game Reserve (Botswana), Etosha National Park (Namibia).
  • Similar species:
  • Oribi (but separated on size and black- tipped tail), sharpe's grysbok.
  • Steenbok’s identification pointers:
  • Small; very large ears; clearly demarcated reddish- fawn upper-parts, white under- parts; very short, unmarked tail; ram has short, smooth, vertical horns. Colouration  vary geographically.
  • Total length; 75-90cm
  • Tail length:5cm
  • Shoulder height: 50cm
  • Weight: 11kg
  • Horn length: (Male only) average 9 cm; record 19.05cm;
  • Habitat; Dry savannas; Abandoned fields;
  • Habit/Behaviour:
  • Occur singly or in ram/ewe pairs, with the ram and ewe both strongly defensive of their own-overlapping territories.. Unlike other antelopes, they defecate and urinate in the shallow scrapes dug  with the front hoofs, and then cover these. They lie up in cover during the  heat of the day, feeding during the cooler hours, but nocturnal feeding is also common,  particularly in disturbed areas.
  • Food/Diet;
  • Steenboks are both browsers and grazers (Mixed feeder), embracing a wide range of food and having the ability to survive without water. They also dig out roots and bulbs with their front hoofs.
  • Gestation period;
  • 166 to 177 days. A single young /Lamb weighing approximately 900g is born. In the south births are closely linked to the rainy season but young can be expected throughout the year. They remain hidden for the first few weeks after birth. Females can conceive at 6 to 7 months.
  • Life span/Longevity:
  • 10 -16 years
  • Predators/ Natural enemies
  • Cheetah, Wild dog, Spotted hyena, Leopard, Caracal and Lion all prey on adults; young vulnerable to all predators down to the size of a Martial eagle.
  • Distribution/Range of Steenboks in Tanzania:
  • Easily seen around Ndutu in the Acacia woodland on the road to Makao and the road towards Big Marsh. In Tarangire National Park it is often seen on the Lemiyon road in late afternoon and early morning. It can also be reliably seen at night on Simba farm or Ndarakwai Ranch in west Kilimanjaro.
  • This species is closely linked with Acacia commiphora bushland and is absent from most of Southern and Western Tanzania. It is found throughout the Serengeti ecosystem to Mkomazi National Park, including west Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro and Tarangire National Parks, and occasionally in the grassland in Northern Arusha National Park. It is also known from the Yaeda valley and the Wembere wetland. It occurs throughout the  Maasai steppe and extends to Ruaha National Park. In the 1970s there was a population at the base of the Ufipa escarpment, although it has not been recorded there recently.
  • Steenbok’s population size in Tanzania
  • There is a large population of steenbok in northern Tanzania. The species is most common in the Serengeti ecosystem, including Maswa Game Reserve and Loliondo, in the Yaeda valley, Tarangire National Park, the low-lying land around Gelai and Kitumbeine Mountains, in the grasslands north of Arusha National Park, and on the Western slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. It is also common in parts of the Maasai steppe. It is fairly common in Mkomazi National Park and uncommon in the Ruaha ecosystem.
Sharpe’s Grysbok/Raphicerus sharpei

Kiswahili name:Dondoro/Isha

  • The sharpe’s Grysbok/Northern Grysbok ( Raphicerus sharpei) is a small, shy, solitary antelope that is found from tropical to South eastern Africa.
  • They are found in Transvaal (South Africa), Caprivi strip (Namibia), Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania to Lake Victoria.
  • Distribution/ Range of Sharpe’s Grysbok in Africa:
  • Sharpe’s Grysboks are restricted to north-eastern southern Africa, extending north to Tanzania and marginally westward into Angola.
  • They are not uncommon through much of their range but they are secretive and not often seen. They prefer good vegetation cover, with a preference for low thicket with adjacent open grassed patches. They are frequently associated with vegetated rocky hills and in scrub at their base.
  • Similar species:
  • Suni, steenbok
  • Sharpe’s Grysbok’s identification pointers:
  • Small: white- flecking, buff underparts; somewhat arched back when running.
  • Total length: 65-80cm
  • Tail length: 6cm
  • Shoulder height: 50cm
  • Weight: 7,5kg
  • Horn length: (Male only) average 6cm; Record 10, 48 cm
  • Sex difference: Females have no horns
  • Colour:
  • Reddish- brown, speckled with white muzzle brown and the underparts white.
  • Average weight: 7-12kg
  • Habitat:
  • Miombo woodlands, including abandoned cultivated areas, bases of rocky outcrops (Kopjes), in hill country with dense thorny scrub and thick grass.
  • Habit/Behaviour:
  • Almost entirely nocturnal but can be seen in early morning and Late afternoon hours. Although usually seen singly it is possible that a pair may live in loose association within same home range. Rams are probably territorial, but this has not been established with certainty, little is known of its ecology. Drinks water regularly.
  • Food/Diet;
  • Browser. The food consist of leaves, young shoots, seed pods, berries, roots and may also eat young grass.
  • Gestation period:
  • Lambs may be dropped at any time of year but there may be a peak during rainy seasons. A single Lamb is born after a gestation period of approximately 200 days.
  • Longevity/Life span:
  • Up to 12 years
  • Predators/Natural enemies:
  • Pythons and other Large predators;
  • Distribution /Range of Sharpe’s Grysbok in Tanzania:
  • The Sharpe’s Grysbok is not easy to see because of its nocturnal habits. It is sometimes observed on the road between Manyoni and Rungwa Game Reserve. It is also very occasionally seen in the Miombo woodland areas of Katavi and Ruaha National Parks, particularly in the early morning and late afternoon. It bolts easily when disturbed, running low to the ground and darting into thick cover, so most views of this species are of a red rump disappearing into a thick bush.
  • The sharpe’s Grysbok is widely distributed in Miombo woodland in Southern and Western Tanzania. It probably occurs more widely than records suggest, as being largely nocturnal it is easily over looked. It is found in the Miombo woodland areas of Ruaha- Rungwa ecosystem, around Iringa, in Katavi National Park and the Ugalla area as far north as Luganzo; it is also known from the eastern section of Mahale Mountains National Park.
  • It occurs throughout the Selous ecosystem, including parts of the Kilombero valley, and in Lukwika- Lumesule Game Reserve and Magwamila along the border with Mozambique.
  • Sharpe’s Grysbok population in Tanzania:

There are no density figures for Sharpe’s Grysbok in Tanzania. It is common in the west of the country, particularly the area between Rungwa Game Reserve and Lake Rukwa, Katavi National Park and Ugalla Game Reserve and around the Itigi thicket. It is uncommon in Ruaha National Park and Muhezi and Kigosi Game Reserves.

Suni/Neotragus moschatus

Kiswahili name: Paa/Paa mwekundu

  • The Suni (Neotragus moschatus) is a small antelope. It occurs in dense underbrush from central Kenya to Kwazulu Natal in South Africa. Their specific Latin name, Moschatus, derives from the large gland below their eyes which gives off the strong musky odour.
  • Distribution/ Range of Suni and its races/subspecies in Africa.
  • Sunis are largely restricted to the coastal plain and adjacent country from far –eastern South Africa to Southern Kenya. It penetrates deeply into the interior following the course of the Zambezi River and lives at up to 2700m on some East African Mountains. They are still secure, although hunted in some areas. Densities appear to be at their lowest in their Southern most part of its range. They prefer dry thickets and riverine woodland with dense underbrush.
  • Races/ subspecies of Sunis are closely related to the distribution of Sunis at their particular geographic range in which they are found and living.
  • Races/Subspecies of Sunis in Africa:
  • Four (4) races/subspecies are identified though these are sometimes considered to be independent species:
  • (1); (Neotragus moschatus kirchenpaueri)
  • (2); (Neotragus moschatus livingstonianus)
  • (3); (Neotragus moschatus zuluensis) and (4) Neotragus moschatus moschatus);
  • Races/Subspecies of Suni (Paa mwekundu ) in Tanzania:
  • (1); (Neotragus moschatus moschatus)- is found in lowland areas of east and Southern Tanzania (Light brown)
  • (2); (Neotragus moschatus kirchenpaueri) is found in Mountains in northern Tanzania, Eastern Arch and Livingstone Mountains (much darker than lowland animals).
  • Similar species:
  • Sharpe’s grysbok, Blue duiker
  • Suni’s identification pointers:
  • Very small; constantly flicking white- tipped tail; ears pink- lined, translucent appearance; white flecked upperparts;
  • Total length: 68-75cm
  • Tail length: 12cm
  • Shoulder height: 35cm
  • Weight: 5kg
  • Horn length: (Male only) average 8 cm; record 13.34cm
  • Sex difference:
  • Horns found in males only
  • Colour:
  • Dull fawn grey to rich chestnut on the back. Throat, underparts and tip of tail are white.
  • Average weight: 8kg
  • Habitat: Dry country with thick bush, bushland, coastal forests.
  • Habits/Behaviour:
  • Suni live alone, in pairs and sometimes in small family parties. Up to four ewes and associated young are under the control of one adult ram. Rams are territorial, marking territories with glandular deposits and dung heaps; in some areas these cover about 3 ha although this varies.
  • Predominantly nocturnal but also active in cooler morning and afternoon hours in areas of low disturbance. Run like rabbits when flushed. Normal movements follow regular pathways, making them vulnerable to snarling.
  • Food/Diet; Suni are mainly browsers, favouring leaves, young shoots, roots, and a limited amount of grass. They, too can live almost independent of water and can be found throughout Tanzania wherever there are forests;
  • Gestation period:
  • Year- round; one fawn born after 6 to 7 months gestation.
  • Life span /Longevity: 8 years
  • Predators /Natural enemies
  • Leopard, Caracal, Jackal, etc
  • Distribution /Range of Suni in Tanzania:
  • Suni are often seen in Arusha National Park during the early morning or Late afternoon, especially the forested sections between the old museum to the Momella gate, along the main road between the Ngongongare gate and Momella gate, and less commonly, on the road up to the Mount Meru crater. In Ngorongoro, try the grounds of the Serena hotel. They are also occassionally seen at the Selous Mbega camp.
  • Suni are widely distributed in east, south, and parts of northern Tanzania, and on the islands of Zanzibar and Mafia. In coastal areas and Southern Tanzania they are found in lowland forest and scrub, whereas further inland they are generally restricted to higher elevation montane forest. Found throughout the Eastern Arc Montains, including the Mahenge Mountains and Malundwe Mountain in Mikumi National Park. They are also probably present in the Livingstone Mountains. They occur sporadically in areas of thick bush in the Selous ecosystem, although the extent of their distribution there is unclear.
  • In northern Tanzania they are found on Kilimanjaro, Meru, Monduli, Burko and Longido Mounains, and in the Ngorongoro crater high lands. They occur in the Nou Forest Reserve, although not in the nearby Ufiome Forest. A population was introduced to Rubondo National Park.
  • Suni’s population size in Tanzania:
  • They are abundant in the mountain ranges in northern Tanzania, such as Ngorongoro crater, Mount Meru, and Mount Kilimanjaro. The population of Suni on Mount Kilimanjaro has grown markedly since the forest was upgraded from a Forest Reserve to a National Park in 2005. It is also common in Zeraninge Forest in Saadani National Park, and in many of the forests in the Udzungwa Mountains. On Zanzibar, the population in 1996 was estimated at 20,000 with the highest densities located in Michamvi, Mtende, Makunduchi and Chaka Forests. In the Selous ecosystem they are found in low numbers and generally restricted to areas of thicker bush.
Sitatunga/Tragelaphus spekii/spekei

Kiswahili name: Nzohe.

  • The Sitatunga or Marshbuck (Tragelaphus spekeii) is a swamp- dwelling antelope found throughout central Africa, centering on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, parts of Southern Sudan, Ghana, Botswana, Zambia, Gabon, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.
  • The species was first described by the English explorer John Hanning speke- in 1863. The swamp dwelling sitatunga, or Marshbuck is unique among antelopes and easily distinguished. Sitatunga also swims adeptly.
  • They are mainly night antelopes, browsing on leaves, twigs, fruits, and tender grass. They live alone or in pairs or sometimes in occasional herds of up to 15.
  • Distribution/Range of Sitatunga and its Races/Subspecies in Africa
  • The distribution centres lies in the lowland basin of Central Africa, with outlying and fragmented populations in West, East and Southern Africa. Because of its very distinctive habitat requirements, distribution is very patchy / limited. They are still abundant in the core distribution area but the other populations are extremely fragmented and many will disappear within the next 20 years. The greatest concern is for those in West Africa where most populations are considered to be endangered, while the northern population, around lake Chad, is also unlikely to survive. It is also endangered in Kenya.
  • Sitatunga or Marshbucks prefer reedbeds and well- vegetated aquatic environments are essential but occasionally they move away from these habitats to feed in woodland fringes. The latter, however, is largely dependent on the level of disturbance and probably the number of large predators present.
  • Good places to see Sitatunga or Marshbucks in Africa are (Moyowosi Game Reserve, Tanzania, Busanda swamps, in northern Kafue National Park, Bengweulu swamp, both in Zambia; and Okavango Delta, Botswana. Rubondo Island National Park in Tanzania is the best place to see Sitatungas.
  • Races/Subspecies of Sitatunga in Africa:
  • Several races/subspecies of the Sitatunga have been described, based mainly on body coloration and the extent of white markings, although even within these races /subspecies there is considerable variation. Three (3) races/ subspecies are currently recognized as follows:-
  • 1. (Tragelaphus spekii spekii/Nile sitatunga /East African sitatunga). It is found in the Nile water shed. Spekii/spekei rams are grey-brown with faint striping and the ewes are bright chestnut. The hair texture also varies in the races, from smooth and silky to coarse. Adult rams are larger than ewes and the coat is long- haired and shaggy, particularly in the former.
  • 2. (Tragelaphus spekii gratus/Congo sitatunga/Forest Sitatunga). It is found in western and central Africa. In the western race gratus/ Congo sitatunga/ Forest sitatunga, the rams are dark brown with abundant white markings and the ewes reddish brown.
  • 3. (Tragelaphus spekii selousi/Southern sitatunga /Zambezi sitatunga). It is found in Southern Africa. The southern race selousi/ Southern sitatunga/ Zambezi sitatunga is dull greyish- brown and has minimal white markings , while the ewes are similar but tending to be slightly more brightly coloured.
  • Races/Subspecies of Sitatunga in Tanzania
  • Tragelaphus spekii spekii/Nile sitatunga /East African sitatunga is the only subspecies/ races found in Tanzania
  • Similar species:
  • Nyala, bushbuck (separated on habitat)
  • Sitatunga's identification pointers:
  • Semi-aquatic habitat: hindquarters higher than shoulders; fairly long, shaggy coat; extremely long, slender hooves diagnostic.
  • Total length; (Male) 1,72-1,95m (Female) 1,55-1,8m
  • Tail length: 22cm
  • Shoulder height: (Male) 88-125cm (Female) 75-90cm
  • Weight; (Male) 115kg (Female) 55kg
  • Horn length: (Male only) average 60cm, record 92,4cm
  • Sex difference:
  • Females have no horns and are much smaller than males. The females are more conspicuously striped.
  • Colour: Dark brown with white markings and faint transverse bands across the back. White spots on the cheek and two white patches on the neck- one under the throat, the other on lower parts. White chevron between the eyes.
  • Average weight: 45-110kg
  • Habitat:
  • Swampy areas such as papyrus and reed swamps; Flooded forests.
  • Habit/Behaviour:
  • Aquatic and swim very well; nocturnal but sometimes diurnal where undisturbed. Solitary at times may be found in pairs or up to 15 individuals. The common grouping consists of an adult ram with several ewes and their young, averaging six individuals. Most activity take place during the day, although during the midday hours they lie up in dense cover on trampled mats of reeds. Night feeding also takes place and its importance is probably greatest in areas of heavier human disturbance.
  • When disturbed or threatened, they will readily take to deep water, and also do so when moving between feeding sites. The abundance and richness of their food allows them to make use of small home ranges.
  • Food/Diet; They eat papyrus and other reeds, as well as aquatic grasses and dryland and floodplain grasses. On occasion they will browse.
  • Gestation period: 7-8 months. A single fawn is dropped, with indications of seasonal peaks. Mating, at least in some areas, coincides with the driest times when they are more concentrated and have closer contact. The young remain hidden for several weeks, when they often join with others of the same age. The bond between the mother ad fawn is apparently quite weak. Males mature in fifth year.
  • Life span /Longevity:
  • Up to 15 years
  • Natural enemies/ Predators:
  • Lions and wild dogs occasionally prey on Sitatungas, and Leopards are a threat to Sitatungas in the forest. Also man.
  • Distribution /Range of Sitatunga (Nzohe) in Tanzania:
  • Rubondo islands National Park is the best place to see sitatungas in Tanzania. They are often observed feeding in the forest in the vicinity of the bungalows and airstrip at Kageye or around Nhoze hide, while a boat ride around Rubondo island offers good opportunities to see them along the lake shore.
  • Sitatungas are mostly restricted to large wetland areas of western Tanzania. They occur in the Ibanda- Rumanyika and Burigi- Biharamulo Game Reserves, and throughout the large Moyowosi- Malagarasi wetland, as far south as the Luganzo and Msima Game Controlled Areas.
  • In the past there were many small populations on the Ufipa plateau; most of these have disappeared, although there are still scattered populations in the Kalambo River watershed, including in the Lichwe valley in Sumbawanga and on Kalambo Ranch. A population at Mbangala on the south end of lake Rukwa has now disappeared. They are found in Rubondo National Park and there is a small population in the Masura swamp near Musoma on the eastern shore of lake Victoria. There are recent records from near Kipili village on lake Tanganyika.
  • Sitatunga’s population size in Tanzania:
  • The largest population of sitatunga is in the Moyowosi- Malagarasi swamp, an area of 21,000 km2 (8,100 m2). Aerial counts in 2001 suggested a total of 1,670 animals in the Moyowosi Game Reserve, with another 330 in Kigosi Game Reserve, Lake Nyamagoma and Lake Sagara areas. These figures are likely to be under `estimates as sitatungas are secretive, and often shelter during the heat of the day, making it difficult to count them from the air. In suitable habitat, such as in Akagera National Park (Rwanda), densities of up to 64 animals per km2 (166 per mi2) have been recorded. They are common in Ugalla Niensi Open Area and abundant in Rubondo National Park. In Burigi – Biharamulo Game Reserves numbers have been significantly reduced due to over hunting and they are now uncommon;

 

ELAND ANTELOPES/ Tragelaphus (Taurotragus)

Kiswahili name: Pofu/Mbuja

  • Generally, Eland Antelopes are the largest of all Antelopes in the world. There are two species of Eland Antelopes in Africa, and each species of Eland Antelopes has had its own subspecies /races. These two species of Eland Antelopes are Common Eland/ Southern Eland /Eland Antelope, and the second species of Eland Antelopes is known as Giant Eland or Lord Derby’s Eland.
  • 1. GIANT  ELAND /LORD DERBY’S ELAND/DERBY ELAND
  • There are two (2) races/subspecies that are recognized of Giant Eland/Lord Derby’s Eland or Derby Eland  as follows;-
  • 1. Taurotragus (Tragelaphus) derbianus derbianus/ the western derbianus /Derby eland is found in Senegal, Guinea, south Mali- is the largest race with most reddish and has 15 stripes. Once occurred in a more or less continuous belt across the west African and north Central African woodland savannas from  Senegal to northern Uganda.
  • 2. Tragelaphus (Taurotragus) derbianus gigas/ the Eastern gigas- ranges from north-east Nigeria to Southwest-Sudan and north east DRC ( formerly known as Zaire) is more sandy in colour and usually has only 12 vertical stripes. The eastern gigas remains viable only in parts of Central African Republic and possibly southern Sudan.
  • Note and Remember:
  • Older animals of both races/subspecies become greyer with age, particularly on the neck and forequarters. Usually a white chevron connects the eye, white spots are present on the cheek and black stripe extends down the spine.
  • The western derbianus/Derby eland (Taurotragus derbianus derbianus) is considered to be endangered, with probably less than 1200 surviving, although more abundant with about 150,000 animals surving, the Eastern gigas (Tragelaphus derbianus gigas) is also seriously threatened.
  • 2. COMMON ELAND /SOUTHERN ELAND/ELAND ANTELOPE (Taurotragus (Tragelaphus) oryx
  • The Common Eland (Taurotragus oryx), also known as the Southern eland or Eland antelope, is a savannah and plains antelope found in East and Southern Africa. It is a species of the family Bovidae( Bovids- Hollow- Horned Ruminants) and either genus Taurotragus or Tragelaphus. It was first described by Peter Simon Pallas in 1766.
  • It is native to Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe but is no longer present in Burundi.
  • It is the second largest antelope in the world, being slightly smaller on average than the Giant eland/ Derby eland.
  • Good places to see Common Eland/ Southern Eland in Africa are (Nairobi and Tsavo National Parks, Masai Mara National Reserve (Kenya), Serengeti, Ruaha, and Tarangire National Parks, Ngorongoro crater (Tanzania); Akagera National Park, (Rwanda), Nyika National Park (Malawi), Luangwa valley and Kafue National Park, (Zambia), Hwange and Matobo National Park, Tuli safari Area (Zimbabwe), Kruger National Park, Giant’s Castle Game Reserve, Suikerbostrand National Reserve, Tussen- die Riviere Game Farm (South Africa);
  • Distribution /Range of Common Eland in Africa;
  • Formerly occurred throughout the savannas and savanna woodlands of southern, central and East Africa but has become extinct in many areas and reduced in others, although it is present in many conservation areas. No accurate estimates have been made, but there are probably somewhat more than 150,000 animals surviving.
  • Common Eland/Southern Eland occupies most savanna and open woodland associations, from semi- desert to relatively high rainfall areas, and coastal plains to montane regions; they have been recorded at natural mineral deposits at 5,000 m on Mount Kilimanjaro (Tanzania).
  • Note and remember:
  • The Common Eland/Southern Eland or Eland antelope is the largest living antelope along with the Giant Eland/ Lord Derby’s Eland/ Derby Eland.
  • Races/Subspecies of Common Eland in Africa:
  • Three (3) subspecies/ Races of Common Eland/ Southern Eland have been recognized as follows:
  • 1. (Taurotragus oryx oryx) / also called alces, Barbatus, Canna and oreas. It is found in South and South west Africa (the fur is tawny, and adulst lose their stripes)
  • 2. Taurotragus oryx livingstonii/also called Kaufmanni/Niediecki/Selous and triangularis. It is found in the central Zambezian Miombo woodlands. Livingstone’s Eland has a brown pelt with up to twelve stripes.
  • 3. Taurotragus oryx pattersonianus/East African Eland or Patterson’s Eland)also called, billingae. It is found in East Africa, hence its common name (its coat can have up to 12 stripes);
  • Races/Subspecies of Common Eland in Tanzania:
  • East African Eland /Patterson’s Eland or Billingae (Taurotragus oryx pattersonianus) is the only subspecies/ races found in Tanzania.
  • Similar species:
  • Giant Eland (but ranges do not overlap)
  • Common Eland’s Identification pointers
  • Very large; Ox-like appearance; fawn to tawny- grey overall colouration; adult bulls have very pronounced dewlap on throat and a forehead hair- tuft: both sexes have straight shallowly spiraled horns.
  • Total length: (Male) 3-4.2m (Female)2,2-3,5m
  • Tail length: 60cm
  • Shoulder height: (Male) 1.7m (Female) 1.5m
  • Weight: (Male) 700-900kg (Female)450kg
  • Horn length: Average 60cm, record Namibia 118.4cm
  • Sex difference:
  • Although horns are in both sexes, they are lighter in females than in males. Males are heavier than females, and females don’t have a mat of hairs on the forehead.
  • Colour: A pale yellowish reddish brown turning to dark brown at old age. Sides of body uniform or lightly stripped; brown or black hairs on the forehead; black stripe along the back. Dewlap on the throat present.
  • Average weight🙁 Males) 600-1000kg (Females) 400-600kg.
  • Habitat:
  • Sub deserts, Acacia savannas, and broad leafed, deciduous Miombo woodlands. Although the eland is less desert –adapted than addax or Oryx and some of the gazelles, it can go without drinking.
  • Habits/Behaviour:
  • Normally form herds of from 25 to 60 animals but on occasion congregation of 1000 or more individuals occur, particularly during the onset and through the course of rains. Highly nomadic in most parts of their range but some populations appear to be more or less sedentary. Although not clearly understood, it appears that the more nomadic herds occur in more arid areas, probably because of the need to move between food sources. Home ranges are generally large, covering 1500 km2 for mixed herds in one East African study but only 25 to 100 km2 for the adult bulls . Bulls establish a hierarchy which determines breeding rights.
  • Cows also develop a hierarchial system which establishes factors such as access to feeding sites and position within herd. Active both diurnally and nocturnally, they spend more time feeding at night during the summer. May assemble with Roan, Buffalo and Zebra; solitary old bulls.
  • Food/Diet;
  • Predominantly browsers but they also graze, particularly green grass. They also actively dig for bulbs, tubers and roots, and eat wild fruits, especially those of ground creeping cucurbits.
  • Gestation period:
  • 8 to 9 months. Dominant bulls mate with receptive cows and a single calf weighing between 22 and 36 kg is dropped. The calf remains hidden in bush cover for about the first two weeks. Birth may take place at any time of the year (No strict season) but births peak end of dry season and most matings occur during the rains. Females can conceive at 2.5 years, 4 to 5 years before males mature. Estrus lasts 3 days.
  • Life span/Longevity:
  • 20-25 years;
  • Predators/Natural enemies:
  • Lion, Spotted hyena. Mothers in groups and even singly confront lions, and bulls show little if any fear of predators.
  • Distribution/Range of Common Eland (Pofu)in Tanzania
  • Common Elands /Southern Elands (Pofu/Mbuja) can be readily seen in the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), particularly within the Ngorongoro crater and on the short- grass plains spanning the two protected areas. Large herds can be seen in the north of Tarangire National Park during the dry season. In Ruaha National Park they can be seen around Kimirimatonge Hill and little Serengeti, while in the Selous they are frequently seen around lake Manze.
  • Common Elands were formerly found throughout Tanzania, Common Eland is still widespread although now primarily restricted to protected areas. In the north, it occurs throughout the Serengeti, Tarangire and Mkomazi ecosystem and from Lake Natron across to west Kilimanjaro. It occurs on the northern slopes of Mount Meru, although it has not been recorded in Arusha National Park in recent years, and is also found in the upper forest and lower heather zone on the northern and north western slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • There are populations in Saadani National park , the Ruaha- Rungwa ecosystem, Mahale and Katavi National Parks, Moyowosi- Kizigo Game Reserves, Suledo Forest, Wami mbiki WMA and throughout the Selous ecosystem. There are a few records from southern Ugalla Game Reserves, where the species is now rare. It also occurs in the far northwest in the Burigi-Biharamulo Game Reserves and Ibanda- Rumanyika Game Reserves.
  • Common Eland’s population size in Tanzania:

Aerial counts in the Serengeti ecosystem suggest a population of 20,000-35,000 animals, making this the largest population in Africa. Other significant populations  occur in the Selous ecosystem with 3,500 individuals, the Ruaha ecosystem with 2,000-3,000 individuals, and Katavi and Tarangire ecosystems, each with approximately 1,000-2,000 individuals. Common Elands are highly mobile and often migrate long distances, making them vulnerable to hunting when protected areas are not large enough to encompass their movements. The population in Tanzania is declining outside protected areas.

KUDUS ANTELOPES/Tragelaphus

Kiswahili name: Tandala

  • Kudus (Tandala) live out their 12 to 15 years in small herds or families of 4 to 5 or more. Their acute hearing is accentuated by an ability to turn their large rounded ears in almost any direction. They are distinguished by magnificent spiralled horns.
  • There are two species of Kudus (Tandala) in Africa namely Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) or Tandala Mkubwa, and Lesser Kudu (Tragelaphus imberbis) or Tandala Mdogo respectively. According to some authorities, each species of either Greater Kudu or Lesser Kudu has had its own subspecies /races. Other authorities disagree it. Races /subspecies of Greater Kudu or Lesser Kudu usually reflect their distribution at their particular geographic range in which they are found and living.
  • 1. LESSER KUDU/Tragelaphus imberbis
  • Kiswahili name: Tandala mdogo
  • The lesser Kudu(Tragelaphus imberbis) or Tandala mdogo in Kiswahili name, is an antelope found in East Africa. It is placed in the genus  (Tragelaphus) and family Bovidae( Bovids- Hollow- Horned Ruminants).  It was first described by English zoologist Edward Blyth in 1869.
  • The lesser Kudu (Tandala mdogo) is native to Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda (while it is extinct in Djibouti).
  • The Lesser Kudu (Tandala mdogo), prefer much drier country and can go without water for a long time. They display more stripes between 11 and 15 (white stripes numerous, up to 14)
  • Distribution/ Range of Lesser Kudu in Africa:
  • Lesser Kudus are restricted to Eastern Africa, from South –Central Tanzania and north- eastern Uganda, to north- eastern Ethiopia in the north. They are found in the Somali- Maasai Arid Zones. Tanzania is the most distribution of these antelopes. Mostly in Tarangire National park, Ruaha National Park , Mikumi National Park, Katavi National Park, Selous Game Reserve and Serengeti National Park.
  • Other good places to see Lesser Kudus in Africa are (Tsavo East and Meru National Park, Samburu- Isiolo and Shaba National Reserve (Kenya); Both Kudus are common in Ruaha National Park and Rungwa- Kisigo Game Reserves in Tanzania. In Africa, there are two ( 2 ) races/ subspecies of LESSER KUDU  namely, 1. Tragelaphus imberbis imberbis ( HORN OF AFRICA); 2. Tragelaphus imberbis australis ( EAST AFRICA );
  • Races/Subspecies of Lesser Kudus in Tanzania:
  • Tragelaphus imberbis australis (is the only subspecies/races found in Tanzania.
  • Similar species:
  • Greater Kudu, bushbuck (Separated on size)
  • Lesser Kudu’s identification pointers:
  • Medium size; body form similar to greater kudu; overall greyish –brown, numerous vertical white stripes, two large white patches on throat; sleek, with short hair; only male carries widely spiraled horns.
  • Total length: 1,85-2,05m
  • Tail length: 25-30cm
  • Shoulder height: 1m
  • Weight: (Male) 100kg (Female) 62 kg
  • Horn length: (Male only) a long curve average 75cm
  • Habitat:
  • Acacia and commiphora. Thorn bush in arid- savannah. Lesser Kudus depend on thickets for security and are seldom found in open, or scattered bush. They are almost as pure browsers, feeding on leaves, shrubs, also on pods, seeds, fruit and sometimes little green grass. They avoid open country and rarely move far from cover.
  • Behaviour/Habit:
  • Occupy fixed home ranges and may live a predominantly solitary life, in pairs or in small groups of ewes and their young.
  • No territorial activity is exhibited by either sex. Most activity takes place at night and in cooler daylight hours. Adult rams occupy home ranges averaging 2 to 3 km2; ewes about 1,8 km2. Sub adults, trying to establish ranges, cover the largest distances. Adult rams may live in fairly close proximity to each other, but rarely inter act and generally avoid contact. It is active day and night. A great jumper, it easily clears obstacles 8 feet (2.5m) high.
  • FOOD/DIET; A browser, diet including up to 118 different plants, mainly foliage of the dominant trees and bushes, seedpods, seeds, fruits, vines,  and a little green grass. Very selective in  species of grass taken, and of the growth stage.
  • Gestation period:
  • 7.5 to 8 months and birth interval of 8 to 10 months between calves is normal for well- fed females. A single calf, weighing about 7 kg is born.
  • Predators/ Natural enemies:
  • Lion, Spotted hyena, Leopard, and Wild dog ; young calves also vulnerable jackals.
  • Longevity/Life span:
  • 16-18 years
  • 2 or 3 females with offspring often associate in stable herds. Sub adult males often live in pairs, whereas adult males avoid one another.
  • Distribution/Range of Lesser Kudus in Tanzania
  • Lesser Kudus can be easily seen on Manyara Ranch in the thicker bush areas in the centre of the Ranch. Another good location is Ndarakwai Ranch and the Enduiment WMA in west Kilimanjaro. In Mkomazi National Park, they are frequently seen in small groups on the road from Zange to Kamakota. They are less commonly seen in Tarangire National Park, although the road south of Silale swamp to Loiboserit is a good place to try. In Ruaha National Park, they are regularly seen on the upper Mwagusi Drive, particularly in the thick riverine bush between Mbagi and Mdonya juu.
  • Lesser Kudus are closely associated with Acacia- Commiphora bushland. In the north, Lesser Kudus range from lake Natron to the lower western and northern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. The Lake Natron population is also contiguous with the population in Tarangire National Park, via Lolsimongori Mountain and Manyara Ranch. They occur across much of the Maasai steppe and have been recorded from Nyumba ya Mungu dam and Kitwai in the eastern part of the steppe. They are also present in Maswa Game Reserve, south western Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), and the Yaeda valley.
  • In Mkomazi National Park Lesser Kudus are distributed throughout the National Park. They range throughout the Acacia- Commiphora bushland in the Ruaha- Rungwa ecosystem as far south as the Usangu wetland, which is the southern most end of the species range in Africa. They are also known from the wooded lowlands in Udzungwa Mountains National Park.
  • Lesser Kudu’s population size in Tanzania:
  • Lesser Kudus are common in several areas in Tanzania , although numbers and population trends are not known. There are about 6,000 in Mkomazi National Park, and they are also numerous in the dense thickets of west Kilimanjaro and common in bushland around Lake Natron, particularly around Gelai Mountain. They are common south of Tarangire  National Park, in the Makame WMA and probably still common in areas of thick bush across the Maasai steppe. Also common in parts of Maswa Makao, although numbers in the Yaeda valley are in low. In the Ruaha- Rungwa ecosystem they are uncommon. Hunting and habitat loss are the main threats  to this species, which has disappeared from a number of areas including Shinyanga and large parts of the land between Tarangire National Park and the Ruaha ecosystem.
  • 2. GREATER KUDU/Tragelaphus strepsiceros
  • Kiswahili name: Tandala mkubwa
  • The Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) or Tandala mkubwa in Kiswahili name, is a woodland antelope found throughout eastern and southern Africa. Despite occupying such widespread territory, they are sparsely populated in most areas, due to a declining habitat, deforestation and poaching. The Greater Kudu is one of two species of Kudu, the other being the Lesser Kudu (Tragelaphus imberbis)
  • Distribution /Range of Greater Kudu in Africa:
  • The only large antelope to have expanded its range in recent times, most markedly in South Africa. They occur in widely in Southern African, but distribution is more patchy  (limited) in eastern Africa with an apparently isolated population in adjoining areas of Chad, Central African Republic and Sudan. They are relatively abundant in parts of southern and South Central Africa but increasingly uncommon northward into East Africa.
  • Greater Kudus (Tandala mkubwa) prefer woodland savanna associations, but extending into more arid areas where there are thickets which provide cover and adequate food supplies. It avoids open grassland and forest but has been able to penetrate the open, interior plains in southern Africa and elsewhere by moving along wooded watercourses. In many areas it shows a marked preference for Acacia woodland and broken hill country.
  • Races/Subspecies of Greater Kudus in Africa
  • Races /subspecies of Greater Kudus in Africa are closely related to their distribution at their particular geographic range in which they are found and living. Formerly four (4) subspecies /races have been described, but recently only one to three subspecies have been accepted based on colour, number of stripes and horn length as follows:-
  • 1. (Tragelaphus strepsiceros strepsiceros) is found in southern parts of the range from southern Kenya to Botswana and South Africa (S&E Africa).
  • 2. (Tragelaphus strepsiceros chora) is found in north eastern Africa from northern Kenya through Ethiopia to eastern Sudan, western Somalia and Eritrea (NE Africa).
  • 3. (Tragelaphus strepsiceros cottoni) is found in Chad and western Sudan (Chad to W.Sudan);
  • Good places to see Greater Kudus (Tandala mkubwa) in Africa are (Selous and Ugalla Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park (Tanzania), Luambe and Luangwa National Park( Zambia), Hwange National Park and most other Zimbabwe Parks; Kruger National Park and Natal reserves (South Africa), and Etosha National Park (Namibia).
  • Races/Subspecies of Greater Kudus in Tanzania:
  • Currently , in Tanzania, Greater Kudu is considered as a full species, and there is no any confirmation of subspecies/races.
  • Similar species:
  • Lesser Kudu, Eland (distinguished on size)
  • Greater Kudu’s identification pointers:
  • Large; long legs and shoulder hump; six to 10 vertical white stripes on grey- brown sides; large, rounded ears; tail dark above, white below and bushy; bull carries long, spiral horns.
  • Total length: 2,3-2,9m
  • Tail length: 43cm
  • Shoulder height: 1,4-1,55m
  • Weight: (Male) 250kg (Female) 180kg.
  • Horn length:
  • Average 120cm, record along curve- Mozambique 187,6cm (largest of any Antelope).
  • Sex difference:
  • Males are larger than females and the latter have no horns, more slender and ground colour fawn
  • Colour:
  • Bluish grey to greyish –brown and rufous; 6-10 vertical white stripes running from the dorsal crest to breast. The head is darker with a white chevron between the eyes and three white spots on the cheek. Tail with white underside and black tip.
  • Average weight:
  • 270-320 kg in males – 180-215 kg in females
  • Habitat:
  • Woodlands and Bushlands. A nearly pure browser, feeds on leaves of many kinds, herbs, fallen fruits, succulents, tubers, flowers and a little new grass. It drinks in the dry season but can also subsist in waterless regions.
  • Habits/Behaviour:
  • Gregarious, although herds are generally small and usually average between three and 10 individuals. Large herds, up to 30 animals, are occasionally seen but these are temporary groupings. The usual herd consists of cows and their young, and may also be accompanied by an adult bull.
  • Bulls normally only associate with the nursery herds during the rut but may mix freely at any time of the year. Bulls may be solitary, or form temporary loose bachelor herds. Home range of nursery herds vary in size from 1 to 25 km2 depending on food quality and availability.
  • Bulls occupy larger home ranges, up to 50km2 in extent. In conservation areas they are most active during the coolest daylight hours but in areas of disturbance, such as on farms, they are predominantly nocturnal. There is also some seasonal variation in times of activity with more time spent feeding at night during the hottest months. They are always highly alert to danger and will flee readily if disturbed.
  • In common with the eland, they have prodigious jumping skills and are able to clear a two metre fence with ease.
  • Food/Diet;
  • They are predominantly browsers, although grass is also included in the diet, particularly when fresh, green growth is available. They take a very wide range of species, showing a preference for leaves and shoots but also eating seed pods, particularly of the Acacia.
  • In some areas and frequently seasonally influenced, large quantities of non-woody plants may be eaten. They are also able to eat a number of plant species that have toxic sap and are avoided by most other herbivores.
  • Gestation period:
  • 9 months (270 days). A single calf is born and weighs an average 16kg. The calf may remain hidden for up to two to three months after birth but the mother rejoins the other females, only returning for it to suckle. Calves may be dropped at any time of the year, but most births coincide with the rainy season (s). Females may conceive at 2 year, a year before maturing. Males mature at 5 and keep growing.
  • Life span/Longevity:
  • May live up to 23 years in the wild
  • Predators/ Natural enemies:-
  • Lions and Spotted hyenas kill adults, the other large carnivores prey on yearlings and calves; newborns also vulnerable to smaller carnivores.
  • Distribution/Range of Greater Kudus in Tanzania;
  • Greater Kudus are frequently seen in Ruaha National Park, particularly in the Kimilimitonge Hill area, and can also be easily observed around the Sangaiwe hills in Tarangire National Park and, less commonly, around Gursi swamp in western Tarangire National Park.
  • The Greater Kudu is widely distributed throughout Tanzania. It occurs in areas of dense bush and thicket in Tarangire National Park, the Maasai steppe, Lake Natron , Maswa Game Reserve, South western Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), and in the Yaeda valley; The Yaeda population may still extend into the Wembere wetland. In western Tanzania, it is found in the Moyowosi- Kigosi, Katavi- Rungwa and Ruaha- Rukwa ecosystems. It is likely to occur in Miombo woodland in eastern Mahale Mountains National Park. There are still populations in areas of thick bushland in Singida region , In Wami mbiki WMA and western Saadani National Park. In southern Tanzania it is found in Mikumi National Park and the Selous ecosystem.
  • Greater Kudu’s population size in Tanzania
  • There are no accurate population figures for the Greater Kudu in Tanzania. Densities are generally low and nowhere do they reach those recorded in Southern Africa. The largest populations occur in the Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha- Rungwa ecosystems, each probably with several thousand animals.
  • This species is common in parts of western Tanzania, including Ugalla and Lukwati Game Reserves, throughout much of the Ruaha- Rungwa ecosystem, part of the Selous Game Reserve, and Swagaswaga and Lukwika Game Reserve.
  • It is uncommon in Saadani National Park, most of the Tarangire ecosystem, the western Serengeti ecosystem and the Yaeda valley, and uncommon or rare around Lake Natron and the Moyowosi- Kigosi Game Reserves. The main threat to the Greater Kudu is poaching for meat, particularly outside protected areas.
HIPPOS (HIPPOPOTAMUSES / HIPPOPOTAMIDS)/Hippopotamidae

Kiswahili name: Kiboko/Viboko

  • There are only two (2) species of Hippopotamuses/Hippopotamids both found and confined/ restricted to Africa, namely the Pygmy hippos of west African forests and the much larger Common hippopotamus. They belong to the family known as Hippopotamidae, and the two extant  species of Hippos in Africa, they have had their own races or subspecies.
  • 1. The pygmy Hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis or Hexaprotodon liberiensis) is a small hippopotamid which is NATIVE TO THE FORESTS AND SWAMPS of West Africa, primarily in Liberia, with a small populations in Sierra- Leone, Guinea, and Ivory Coast.
  • 2. The Common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) or hippo, is large, mostly herbivorous, Semi- aquatic mammal native to sub- Saharan Africa, and one of only two extant species in the family Hippopotamidae,  the other being the Pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis or Hexaprotodon liberiensis).
  • Hippos/Hippopotamids are grazers, only feeding on grasses. They live nearly 40 years and can have a beneficial effect on their environment by stirring up bottom layers to spread nutrients for fish to feed on and providing large and frequent amounts of fertilizers through their dung. They spend most of day in water, sleeping and resting, coming up frequently to blow air and recharge their lungs. They mate and give birth under the water. The hippopotamuses/hippopotamids weigh up to four (4) tonnes, and they can hold breath and stay submerged for up to 6 minutes. Both species of hippos have naked, sensitive skin that loses water rapidly and must be protected from sun.
  • 1. COMMON HIPPOPOTAMUS /HIPPOPOTAMID (Hippopotamus amphibius)
  • Kiswahili name: KIBOKO
  • Common hippopotamus/hippopotamid is still found in the rivers and lakes of the northern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya, north through to Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan, west to Gambia, and South to South Africa. Most of the larger populations now occur in protected conservation areas, with distribution restricted to the south of the Sahelian belt, excluding the Horn of Africa.
  • The latest estimate indicate that less than 150,000 animals survive, which is a considerable decline over the past 50 years. In some areas they are hunted for  their meat, although in others this practice is considered taboo and the animals are then left unmolested.
  • They are also hunted for their ivory, increasingly so since the ban on the commercial trading of elephant ivory. Zambia is believed to have the largest “national herd” of which some 20,000 live along the Luangwa River in the north of the country. There are also large populations in Uganda , although there have been serious declines as a result of poaching, particularly in the DRC in recent years. They are currently known to occur in 34 countries but are believed to be declining in 18 of these.
  • Common hippos (Hippopotamus amphibius) prefer sufficient water to allow for complete submergence is a requirement, and a preference is shown for permanent waters with sandy substrates. Access to adequate grazing is also essential but these animals will move several kilometres away from water- bodies to reach suitable feeding areas.
  • Races/Subspecies of Common hippopotamus in Africa
  • Five (5) subspecies/Races of Common hippopotamus have been described based on morphological differences in their skulls and geographical differences. The suggested subspecies/Races were never widely used by field biologists.
  • 1. Great northern Hippopotamus /Nile Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius amphibius);
  • From Egypt (where they are now extinct), south up the Nile River to Tanzania and Mozambique.
  • 2. East African hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius kiboko)
  • It is found in Kenya in the African Great Lakes region, and in Somalia in the horn of Africa.
  • 3. Cape Hippopotamus or South African hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius capensis).
  • From Zambia to South Africa.
  • 4. West African hippopotamus or Tchad hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius tschadensis);
  • Throughout west Africa to, as the name suggest, Chad.
  • 5. Angola hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius constrictus)
  • It is found in Angola, the Southern Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) and Namibia.
  • Races/Subspecies of Common hippopotamus in Tanzania:
  • Great northern hippopotamus or Nile hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius amphibius) is the only subspecies/ races found in Tanzania.
  • Similar species:
  • Pygmy hippopotamus
  • Common Hippo’s identification pointers
  • Large, barrel- shaped body with short, thick legs: Massive head with broad muzzle: most daylight hours spent in, or close to, water.
  • Total length: 3.4-4.2m
  • Tail length: 35-50cm
  • Shoulder height: 1.5m
  • Weight: (Male) 1000-2000kg (Female) 1000-1700kg
  • Sex difference:
  • Sexes similar but males larger than females
  • Colour: Brownish grey lightening to pinkish around the muzzle, eyes and throat
  • Average weight;
  • 1,100-1,400kg
  • Habitat:
  • The two essential requirements are water deep enough to submerge in and nearby grassland. A hippo out of water in hot weather risks rapid dehydration and over- heating.
  • Habits/Behaviour;
  • Semi-aquatic (amphibious), spending most of the daylight hours in water, but emerging frequently to bask on sand and mud banks and on occasion to feed, particularly on overcast, cool days and in areas where they are not disturbed. They emerge at night to move to the grazing grounds, which may be a few 100 metres to several kilometers away (distances of up to 30 km have been recorded), depending largely on the quantity and quality of grazing and the size of the population. They normally live in herds, or schools, of between 10 and 15 individuals, although large groups and solitary bulls are not uncommon.
  • Schools are usually dominated by an adult bull, which holds tenure over a number of cows and their young of different ages. Dominant bulls vigorously defend their herds against intruding bulls and vicious fights can ensue.
  • Territories in the water are very narrow but broaden towards the grazing grounds. Territorial defence is greatest in and closes to the water but of little consequence in feeding areas. Dominant bulls mark their territories on land by scattering dung with vigorous sideways flicking of the tail on the bush to bushes etc.
  • Herds disperse when feeding; only retaining their integrity when in water. Except for females with dependent offspring.
  • Food/Diet;
  • Grazes selectively. Consuming only about 40 kg each night. A preference is shown for shorter grasses but taller and coarser grasses are eaten , particularly during the dry season or at times of shortage. Also eats fruits.
  • Gestation period:
  • 8 months. A single calf weighing around 30 kg (range 25 to 55 kg) is born. Cows give birth on land, usually in dense cover such as reedbeds, rejoining the herd after about two weeks but frequently maintaining some distance for considerably long. The birth season is usually associated with the rainy season. Mating takes place in the water and usually coincides with dry season. Females conceive typically at 9 years (range-7-15). Males become adolescent at 7-12 years.
  • Life span/Longevity:
  • 30-50years
  • Predators/Natural enemies:
  • Man, young are preyed on by lions and crocodiles.
  • Distribution /Range of Common Hippos in Tanzania:
  • Common hippo is easily seen in many of the National parks in both the north and South of the country. Many National Parks have “a hippo pool” where permanent ponds of Common hippos can be found.
  • Common Hippos are still widely distributed across Tanzania. There are populations in all mainland National Parks with the exception of Kilimanjaro , Mkomazi and Kitulo. For many years they were absent from Tarangire National Park, until a small population re- established itself in 2007, probably from Lake Babati.
  • Common Hippos are also found in number of major rivers, including the Pangani, Wami, Rufiji, Ruvu and Ruvuma, and in the deltas where these rivers meet the coast, including at Kilwa. They are widespread in the rivers and wetlands in the west and also occur at Lake Nyasa, Lake Tanganyika, in the Mtera and Nyumba ya Mungu dams, and Lakes Babati, Chaya and Jipe, and possibly still Lake Balangida. In the north-east they can be found in the Burigi- Biharamulo and Ibanda- Rumanyika Game Reserves and in the Kagera River.
  • Common Hippo’s population size in Tanzania:
  • Common hippos are difficult to count and there are no accurate figures for the whole country. The highest numbers are in the Selous ecosystem, where there are probably over 30,000 animals. There are also approximately 2000 individuals in both the Katavi- Rukwa and the Ruaha- Rungwa ecosystems, and 1,300 to 2,000 in the Setengeti National Park.
  • Common hippos are common in Moyowosi and Ugalla Reserves, and Mikumi and Manyara National Parks, they occur at lower densities, although are still easily seen, In Arusha National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), Saadani National Park and Mahale Mountains National Park. They are uncommon or rare in most rivers and lakes outside protected areas, where numbers are declining due to hunting, habitat loss, drought and disease, any of which can eliminate small populations.
WARTHOGS/Suidae family (SWINE)

Kiswahili name: Ngiri

-There are two (2) species of warthogs in Africa, namely Common warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) and Desert warthog or Somali warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus).

  1. The Somali warthog or Desert warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) is apparently restricted to parts of the Horn of Africa (Somalia and eastern Ethiopia) and north- eastern Kenya.
  2. The Common warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) is a wild member of the pig family (Suidae) found in grassland, savanna and woodland in Sub-Saharan Africa, and is Africa’s most frequently observed wild pig. When running, the thin, dark- tipped tail is held erect (other African pigs run with the tail held down).
  3. COMMON WARTHOG (Phacochoerus africanus)

- Common warthogs (Phacochoerus africanus) are distributed throughout the savannas and semi- arid areas of sub- sahara Africa. Naturally occurring populations are absent from much of the south and west of southern  Africa and the Tropical Guinea- Congolean lowland forests.

- Common warthogs are abundant, reaching high densities in areas of optimal habitat (eg. Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya, and Umfolozi/ Hluhluwe, south Africa) but they have undergone serious declines in the sahel zone due to drastic habitat changes, and are believed to be extinct in Mali and Niger. Heavily hunted in non –Muslim areas for their meat. They prefer open grass and woodland savannas, from low to high rainfall areas  and from sea level to about 3000m.

Good places to see Common warthogs in Africa (A few of the better spots) are Nairobi and Amboseli National Parks, Masai Mara National Reserve (Kenya); Arusha, Manyara and Serengeti National Parks (Tanzania); Chobe National Park (Botswana); Kruger National Park (South Africa)

  • Races/Subspecies of Common warthog in Africa;
  • 1. Nolan warthog (Phacochoerus africanus africanus);
  • It is found in Burkinafaso, Ivory coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea- Bissau, Chad, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan.
  • 2. Eritrean warthog (Phacochoerus africans aeliani)
  • It is found in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia
  • 3. Central African warthog (Phacochoerus africanus massaicus)
  • It is found in Kenya and Tanzania.
  • 4. Southern warthog (Phacochoerus africanus sundevallii)
  • Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.
  • Races/Subspecies of Common warthog in Tanzania:
  • Central African warthog (Phacochoerus africanus massaicus) is the only subspecies found in Tanzania.
  • Similar species:
  • Bush pig, Red river hog and giant forest hog
  • Common warthog's identification pointers:
  • Pig-like appearance; grey skin, sparsely haired except for long mane on neck and back; wart-like lumps on fac; curved, upward- pointing tusks; thin tail with dark- haired tip, held erect when running.
    • Total length: 1,3-1,8m
    • Tail length: 45cm
    • Shoulder height: 60-70cm
    • Weight: (Male) 60-105 kg (Female) 45-70kg ( adult male consistently larger than female)
    • Habitat:

    Savanna, treeless open plains.

    • Behaviour/ Habit:

    Predominantly diurnal but they sometimes feed at night. Under most circumstances they retreat to burrows, self-excavated or dug by such species as aardvark and porcupine, and make frequent use road culverts when available. Adult females, usually one to three, and their accompanying young, form sounders. Boars (males),on reaching maturity at about two  years, usually leave the birth sounder and form loose bachelor groups, or live a solitary existence.

    Sexually active boars usually move freely and alone, unless with an oestrus sow. Territories are not formed but boars will contest for breeding rights.

    • Food/Diet;

    Grass and grass roots form the bulk of the diet and grazing usually takes place in a kneeling position. Occasionally they browse, take dropped fruits, and excavate bulbs, corms and succulent roots with the snout.

    • Gestation period:

    5-6 months

    • Predators/Natural enemies:

    Lion and Leopard. Also may die of pneumonia if exposed to a cool night.

    • Life span/Longevity:

    Up to 17 years.

    • Distribution/Range of Common warthogs in Tanzania:

    Common warthogs are easily seen in most National parks in the north and the south of the country, and may frequently be encountered in lodge grounds.

    The Common warthog is widely distributed in Tanzania and is recorded in all of the Mainland National Parks except for Rubondo, Gombe and Kitulo; it is also present in most Game Reserves. It is now absent from most of Tabora and Mwanza regions where much of the land has been converted to agriculture.

    • Common warthog’s population size in Tanzania

    There are no population estimates for this species in Tazania. It is common in most of the National Parks and Game Reserves, and is abundant in some areas, including Tarangire and Arusha National Parks.

BUSH PIG/Potamochoerus larvatus

Kiswahili name: Nguruwe mwitu/Nguruwe pori

The Bush pig (Potamochoerus larvatus) is a member of the pig family and lives in forests, woodland, riverine vegetation and reedbeds in East and Southern Africa.

  • Distribution /Range of Bush pig in Africa:

Bush pigs are found throughout Africa south of the Sahel wherever there is adequate cover and water. An isolated population is located on the coastal plain and adjacent interior of southern south Africa; scattered and localized population occur in Angola.

Distribution is extensive in East Africa and the north- east of Southern Africa wherever there is suitable habitat. They are still abundant and widespread throughout much of its range although habitat modification and hunting have fragmented populations in some regions, notably in southern Africa. In some areas it is hunted for its meat and is treated as a problem animal where it feeds on crops. They occupy a wide range of habitats from sea- level to altitudes of 4000m but dense cover is a requirement.

  • Races/Subspecies of Bush pigs in Africa;

There are several subspecies /races of Bush pigs in Africa as follows:-

  • 1. Madagascar Bush pig (Potamochoerus larvatus larvatus)
  • 2. Edwards' Bush pig (Potamochoerus larvatus edwardsi)
  • 3. White- Faced Bush pig (Potamochoerus larvatus hassama)
  • 4. Southern Bush pig (Potamochoerus larvatus koiropotamus)
  • 5. Nyasan Bush pig (Potamochoerus larvatus nyasae)
  • 6. Somalian Bush pig (Potamochoerus larvatus somaliensis)
  • Races/Subspecies of Bush pigs in Tanzania

There are about 2 races/subspecies of Bush pigs in Tanzania as follows:-

  • 1. White- Faced Bush pig (Potamochoerus larvatus hassama) is found in north, east and central Tanzania (Has a white face)
  • 2. Southern Bush pig (Potamochoerus larvatus koiropotamus) is found in southern Tanzania (lacks contrasting black-and- white face pattern).
  • Similar species:

Warthogs, red river hog and giant forest hog.

  • Bush pig’s identification pointers:

Pig –like appearance; well- haired body; usually tufts of hair on ear tips and elongated head; colouration variable; tail held down when running.

  • Total length: 1,3-1,7m
  • Tail length: 38 cm; Shoulder height; 55- 88 cm;
  • Weight: 46-82 (up to 115) kg. Male consistently large than female).
  • Habitat: Forest, bush, swamps, thickets in savanna.
  • Behaviour/habit:

Predominantly  nocturnal, but in areas of low human disturbance and during cooler periods, foraging during the day is not unusual. Sounder size appears to vary from region to region , but ranges from one to 15, with most sounders comprising a dominant boar and sow and their young. Bachelor groups, of short duration, are also formed and solitary pigs, mainly boars, are not unusual. There is evidence that the dominant boar and sow in each sounder actively defend a resource territory and that the boar takes an active part in the rearing and defense of the piglets.

  • Food: They eat almost everything, including grass, roots, fruits, small mammals, birds and carrion. They also browse.
  • Gestation period:

4 months (120 to 130 days). The female gives birth to 3 to 6 young. Birth weights average 750g. Births appear to be seasonal but this may be less defined within the equatorial belt. Litters are mainly dropped towards the end of the dry season, or at the beginning of the rains.

  • Predators/Natural enemies:

Mainly Leopard and Spotted hyena, followed perhaps by Lion.

  • Longevity/Life span:

12 years

  • Sex difference:

Old males have two well-developed warts on the snout.

  • Colour:

Varies from reddish brown to blackish and white markings on the head; or dark grey to brownish black.

  • Average weight:

80kg.

  • Distribution/Range of Bush pigs in Tanzania:

Bush pigs are easily seen in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) at the staff village behind the Park headquarters at dawn or dusk. Simba campsite on the rim of Ngorongoro crater is another good place to see them at night. Groups of Bush pigs can sometimes be seen in the lake Mzizimia area in the Selous Game Reserve during the afternoon and at dusk, and at Mdonya camp in Ruaha National Park at night.

Bush pigs are very widely distributed in Tanzania,  occurring across the mainland. They occur in all of the National Parks, with the exception of Rubondo National Park, and in all Game Reserves. They are widely reported from agricultural areas where other mammal species have disappeared. In the south and coastal areas of the country the presence of Bush pigs has been linked with incidences of man- eating lions. Bush pigs often form an important food source for lions in areas where other large prey have been eliminated. Consequently, Lions sometimes follow them into farms and villages where they may come across (and sometimes kill) humans, who are sleeping in the fields to protect their crops from Bush pigs. Bush pigs are present on the islands of Zanzibar and Mafia but absent from Pemba.

  • Bush pig’s population size in Tanzania:

There are no population estimates for Bush pigs in Tanzania, although they are common in many areas of the country and likely to number in the hundreds of thousands. They are abundant in the forests of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) and Mahale Mountains National Park.

RHINOCEROSES (RHINOS) /Rhinocerotidae family

Kiswahili name : Kifaru/Vifaru.

There are 5 species of rhinoceros, found in Africa and South East Asia, and all have huge heads with one or two horns and a prehensile upper lip, which helps them to browse on tough plant material. Worldwide all five (5) species of Rhinoceroses are endangered.

Africa has two (2) species of rhinos namely Black rhinos (Hook/Pointed-lipped rhinos) and White rhinos (Square- lipped rhinoceros).

  • 1. Hook/Pointed-lipped Rhino/Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis)

Most commonly called the black rhinoceros, but “Hook-lipped” is more appropriate and less confusing, referring to the pointed, triangular- shaped prehensile upper lip.

  • Distribution /Range of Hook/ Pointed-Lipped Rhinos in Africa)

Once occurred virtually throughout southern, central and eastern Africa wherever habitat was suitable. Today, tiny, isolated populations are all that remain, virtually all of which are located in conservation areas, primarily in Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Tanzania. The most northerly surviving population is located in Cameroon. At the turn of the 20th century, there were as many as one million animals, but by 1984 fewer than 9000 were estimated to survive and today only slightly more than 2500 remain. Although some were lost due to rapidly expanding human populations, the vast majority have been slaughtered for their horns, used in the production of traditional medicines in the far East and for carving into dagger handles for the tribesmen of the Arabian peninsula, particularly in Yemen and Oman.

Black rhino (Hook/pointed-Lipped rhinos) require areas with shrubs and trees, usually to a height of 4m, to provide both food and shade. Water is a requirement but in more arid areas may only drink every three to five days if considerable distances have to be covered. Occupies areas of relatively high rainfall, as well as arid regions, and although generally absent from true forest it does occur in some forest margins and riparian woodland.

Good  places to see Black Rhinos (Hook /Pointed- Lipped Rhino) in Africa are Ngorongoro crater, (Tanzania), Nairobi National Park, Solio Ranch Game Reserve (Kenya); possibly Gonarezhou and Mana pools National Park (Zimbabwe), Kruger National Park, Hluhluwe Game Reserve (South Africa).

  • Races /Subspecies of Black Rhinos/Hook/Pointed Lipped Rhinos in Africa:

According to some authorities, four subspecies /races are currently recognized but cannot be separated in the field, except on the basis of distribution. Other authorities agreed that there are (7 or 8 subspecies) of which three (3) became extinct in historical times and one is on the brink of extinction.

The  Black Rhinoceros or Hook /Pointed Rhinoceros  (Diceros- bicornis) is a species of Rhinoceros, native to eastern and southern Africa including Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Although the rhinoceros is referred to as black, its colours vary from brown to grey, but this generally takes on the colour of local mud and dust as they are frequent wallowers;

  • Races/Subspecies of Black Rhinos in Africa:
  • 1. Southern black rhinoceros/Cape rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis bicornis)

Extinct. Once abundant from the cape of Good hope to Transvaal, South Africa and probably into the south of Namibia, this was the largest subspecies. It became extinct due to excessive hunting and habitat destruction around 1850.

 

  • 2. North- eastern rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis bruoii)

Extinct. Formerly central Sudan, Eritrea, Northern and South eastern Ethiopia, Djibouti and northern and South eastern Somalia.

  • 3. Chobe black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis choblensis)

A local subspecies restricted to the Chobe valley in South –eastern Angola, Namibia (Zambezi region) and northern Botswana. Nearly extinct, possibly only one surviving specimen in Botswana.

  • 4. Uganda black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis ladoensis)

Former distribution from south Sudan, across Uganda into western Kenya and South western most Ethiopia. Black rhinos are considered extinct across most of this area and its conservational status is unclear. Probably surviving in Kenyan reserve.

  • 5. Western black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis longipes)

Extinct. Once lived in South Sudan, northern central African Republic, Southern Chad, northern Cameroon, north eastern Nigeria and South- eastern Niger.

  • 6. Eastern black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis michaeli)

Had a historical distribution from south Sudan, Ethiopia, down through Kenya, into north- central Tanzania. Today, its range is limited primarily to Tanzania.

  • 7. South central black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis minor)

Most widely distributed subspecies, characterized by a compact body, proportionally large head and prominent skin- folds. Ranged from north- eastern south Africa (Kwazulu- Natal ) to- north-eastern Tanzania and south eastern Kenya. Preserved in reserves throughout most of its former range but probably extinct in eastern Angola, Southern Democratic Republic of Congo and possibly Mozambique. Extinct but re-introduced in Malawi, Botswana, and Zambia.

  • 8. South- western black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis occidentalis)

A small subspecies/races, adapted to survive in desert and semi- desert conditions. Originally distributed in north- western Namibia and south western Angola, today restricted to wildlife reserves in Namibia with sporadic sightings in Angola.

  • Races/Subspecies of Black Rhinos in Tanzania:

There are two (2) races/subspecies of Black Rhinos (Hook/Pointed-Lipped Rhinos) in Tanzania as follows:-

  • 1. Eastern black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis michaeli)

It is found in northern Tanzania  (the Horn is long and curved). Often has large folds of skin on the side of the body.

  • 2. South- central black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis minor)

It is found in Selous Game Reserve (The smallest of the subspecies)

  • Similar species:

Square- Lipped Rhinoceros (White rhinos);

  • Black rhino’s identification pointers:

Large size, no hump on neck, pointed upper lip; two horns on face; head held well above the ground shrub,  tree habitat.

  • Total length: 3,5-4.3m
  • Tail length: 70cm
  • Shoulder height: 1,6m
  • Weight: 800-1,100kg. Record from horn length East Africa, 1,2m; South Africa 1,05m
  • Habitat:

Bush country, grassland, woodland

  • Behaviour/habit:

Solitary, although groups may gather temporarily at water holes and locations with mineral rich soils. Bulls and cows only consort briefly to mate, and the single calf may accompany the cow for between two and four years, until the cow’s next pregnancy, or birth of the next calf. They live in established home ranges, but these may overlap with those of others in  a population. Bulls do, however, establish a dominance hierarchy, particularly in areas of fairly high density, through fighting, which also occurs in competition for cows in oestrus. Home range sizes vary according to the abundance and quality of food, and access to water.

Their ranges vary from 0,5 km2 to more than 500 km2 and generally the larger the home range, the more arid the area. Feeding takes place during the cooler daylight    hours but also at night, and the hotter midday period is usually spent in shade.

  • Food/Diet;

The pointed upper lip is used to grasp leaves and twigs, which are either shaped off or cut through by the cheek –teeth. The horns are used to break off branches and twigs that are out of reach of the mouth. Browse forms the bulk of the diet but they are selective feeders. In most areas green grass is taken in small quantities but in some localities, such as in the Ngorongoro crater( Tanzania), grass forms an important component of the diet.

  • Gestation period:

17-18 months (some 450 days). Calves, weighing about 40 kg are dropped at any time of the year. The calf is able to walk and suckle within three hours of birth, and walks beside or behind the mother in contrast to the calf of the Square- Lipped rhinoceros (White rhinos) which walks ahead of the female.

  • Predators/Natural enemies:

Man and Lions may prey on calves;

  • Longevity/Life span:

30-50 years

  • Sex difference:

Look similar but female has longer and more slender horns.

  • Colour: Dull grey
  • Average weight: 1,000-1,500kg.

 

  • Distribution /Range of Black Rhinos in Tanzania:

Black Rhinoceros (Hook /Pointed- Lipped Rhinoceros) are most easily seen in the Ngorongoro crater, where they are often found in the area around the Lerai forest on the crater floor. They are also regularly seen around Moru Kopjes in the central Serengeti National Park.

In the early 1960s, Black Rhinoceros were widely distributed across northern, central, and southern Tanzania, although they were absent from most of the west of the country. By the mid- 1990s, uncontrolled poaching for their horns had decimated this species in Tanzania to such an extent that they only existed in two small populations; in the Selous Game Reserve and the Ngorongoro crater.  Since then there have been a number of re-introductions into parts of the Serengeti National Park and Mkomazi National Park, where they are heavily protected in some cases in fenced compounds.

  • Black Rhino’s population size in Tanzania:

The population of Black Rhinoceros dropped precipitously in Tanzania from approximately 10,000 animals in 1970 to only 32 in 1995. It has since gradually increased to approximately 115 animals in 2010 as a result of natural births and the translocation of animals from other countries. There is little information on the status of the population in the Selous Game Reserve, although numbers are believed to be very low, while numbers in the Ngorongoro crater have been stable. With individual- populations remaining critically low, they are vulnerable both to poaching and to stochastic events such as disease, predation and deaths resulting from  fights between rivals. The demand for rhinoceros horn is so high that the survival of Black Rhinoceros in Tanzania is contingent upon 24- hour individual protection by the Tanzanian wildlife authorities;

HYRAXES/DASSIES/Family Procaviidae

Kiswahili name: Pimbi/Perere

Hyraxes or Dassies are small herbivores found in Africa and the Middle East, the hyraxes, conies or dassies generally look like rabbits with short rounded ears. Originally terrestrial, hyraxes were dominant medium- sized herbivores some 40 million years ago.

Four (4) extant species are recognized; the Rock hyrax (Procavia capensis), the yellow- spotted rock hyrax/ Bush hyrax (Heterohyrax brucei), the western tree hyrax (Dendrohyrax dorsalis) and the southern tree hyrax (Dendrohyrax arboreus). Their distribution is limited to Africa and the Middle East.

Specialists distinguish 5 (The Rock hyraxes) , 3 (The yellow- spotted rock hyraxes/Bush hyraxes), and 3 (Tree hyraxes).

In the 2000s, taxonomists reduced the number of recognized species of hyrax.  In 1995, 11 or more species were recognised; In 2013, only 4 are recognized, with the others now each considered as a subspecies/ Races of one of the recognized four. Over 50 subspecies and species are described, many of which are considered highly endangered. Hyrax species are grouped into 3 genera namely (Procavia-Rock hyrax), (Heterohyrax-Bush hyrax), and (Dendrohyrax-Tree hyrax).

  • 1. BUSH HYRAX/ YELLOW-SPOTTED ROCK HYRAX/ YELLOW- SPOTTED BUSH HYRAX/ SMALL-TOOTHED ROCK HYRAX (Heterohyrax brucei);

A small hyrax with soft gray or grayish brown fur and whitish under parts. Dorsal patch white or yellowish, depending on race/subspecies.

Head small; conspicuous white spot over eye, snout pointed, with small nose. Despite its name, this hyrax lives among trees as well as rocks. Depending on its habitat, it finds shelter in crevices or holes.

  • Distribution/Range of Bush hyrax / Yellow-Spotted Rock hyrax/ Yellow-spotted Bush hyrax/ Small- toothed Rock hyrax in Africa:

They occur throughout the Horn , East Africa and marginally into southern Africa, with an isolated population in Angola (Egypt to South  Africa (Transvaal), Botswana and Angola).

They prefer open country, plains to mountains, forest savanna (any vegetation type  as rocky refuges available).

Several races/ subspecies have been recognized.

  • Races/Subspecies of Bush hyrax in Tanzania:

7  Races/Subspecies are named for Tanzania

  • 1. Heterohyrax brucei dieseneri
  • 2. Heterohyrax brucei frommi
  • 3. Heterohyrax brucei lademanni
  • 4. Heterohyrax brucei munzneri
  • 5. Heterohyrax brucei prittwitzi
  • 6. Heterohyrax brucei ssongeae
  • 7. Heterohyrax brucei-victoria- njasae
  • Similar species:

None

  • Weight: (1.3-2.4 kg)
  • Habits /Behaviour:

Gregarious /colonial, several related females living and breeding with a territorial male. (Social behavior is similar to that of the Rock hyrax; clans range in size from 5 to 34 females and offspring;

  • Gestation period

: 7.5  -8 months. Births occur year- round;  1-3  young are born.

  • Food/Diet; Predominantly browsers, bush hyraxes spend much of their foraging time in trees, where their smaller size enable them to crop leaves beyond the reach of the Rock hyrax. They also graze fresh green grass.
  • Distribution/ Range of Bush Hyraxes in Tanzania:

Bush Hyraxes/yellow- spotted rock hyraxes are easily seen on the rocks at Naabi Hill at the entrance to Serengeti National Park, and at most of the lodges in the National Park. In Manyara National Park they are common around the TAHI lodge on the edge of the escarpment. In Tarangire National Park they can be reliably seen on the rocks just south of the main bridge in the north of the National Park. They are also easily seen at the Ruaha River lodge in Ruaha National Park.

The Bush Hyrax is widely distributed across northern, central and southern Tanzania. There are populations in the Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) ,Tarangire, Manyara, Mkomazi, Ruaha, Udzungwa, Kitulo and Mahale Mountains National Parks. They are also found in parts of the Selous Game Reserve, Mbangala Forest Reserve, Ugalla Game Reserve and in the rocky kopjes in Singida District. There are no records for the far North West of the country, nor from much of the coastal area between the Kenya border and the Rufiji River.

  • Bush Hyraxe's population size in Tanzania:

There are no population estimates for this species in Tanzania. They can be very common in suitable habitat, with densities of up to 75 individuals per hectare (30 per acre) found on some Kopjes in the Serengeti. Bush Hyraxes are widely distributed across protected areas where numbers are generally stable.

  • 2. ROCK HYRAX/LARGE-TOOTHED ROCK HYRAX /ROCK BADGER/CAPE HYRAX/ROCK DASSIE (Procavia capensis/johnstoni)

The Rock hyrax (Procavia capensis), also called rock badger and cape hyrax, is commonly referred to in South African English as the dassie. It is one of the four (4) living species of the order (Hyracoidea), and the only living species in the genus (Procavia). Like all hyraxes, it is a medium- sized (4kg) terrestrial mammal,  with short ears and tail.

The Rock hyrax is found across Africa and the Middle East in habitats with rock crevices into which it escapes from predators. It is the only extant terrestrial afrotherian in the Middle East. Several races/subspecies of Rock hyraxes have been recognized.

  • Distribution /Range of Rock Hyrax in Africa:

Rock Hyraxes are the most widespread, ranging from “Cape to Cairo; through the Horn and the Sahel, with isolated populations in the Mountain ranges of the Sahara. (Arabian peninsula; Africa; N.E. Senegal to Somalia and N.Tanzania, S.Malawi, S. Angola to South Africa; Cape province).

They prefer Rocks of all kinds, from small Kopjes to Mountain peaks and gorges. Locations must offer vegetation, sunning places and cavities for shelter and refuge.

  • Races/Subspecies of Rock Hyraxes in Tanzania

(Procavia capensis matschiei) is the only subspecies/ races found in Tanzania.

  • Similar species; None
  • Rock Hyraxe's identification pointers:

Coat harsh; yellow –brown to dark brown, with dorsal spot black, brown, or yellowish.

Snout blunt; nose relatively broad.

Often lives in association with smaller bush hyraxes, which have soft gray or grayish brown fur and white underparts;

No tail; small, rounded ears; patch of erectile hairs in centre of back, from black to straw-yellow or white in different species and subspecies.

  • Total length: 40-60cm
  • Shoulder height: 15-30cm
  • Weight: 2-5kg
  • Habitat:

Rock Hyraxes occupy mainly mountain and hill ranges and isolated rocky- outcrops. The Rock hyrax is the most arid-adapted hyrax. These animals minimize exposure to predators by visiting pastures as a group and eating rapidly for only an hour each morning and afternoon. When grass is unpalatable, they browse on bushes, trees, fruit, and succulents.

  • Habits/Behaviour;

Gregarious /colonial, several females living and breeding with a territorial male. The number of females in a harem depends on the size of the home range and available resources; it can vary from 2 to 26 females and young. Males are aggressive at mating time and reassert their dominance over rivals and younger males.

They rarely move more than a few hundred metres from the rock shelter.

  • Food/Diet;

Plants, including leaves, flowers, fruits and also bark.

  • Gestation period:

7-8 months. The female gives birth to 1 to 6 young, usually 2 or 3. Most  births are in rainy season.

  • Predators /Natural enemies:

The Black or Verreaux’s eagle specializes on Hyraxes;  Martial eagle almost equally dangerous. Leopard, Caracal, and Snakes are other ranking predators.

  • Distribution/ Range of Rocky Hyraxes in Tanzania:

Rock Hyraxes can be reliably seen on the Kopjes at many of the lodges in the Serengeti National Park, particularly around Seronero and Lobo, and at the Serengeti entrance gate at Naabi Hill.

The Rock Hyrax is restricted to a narrow area of northern Tanzania. It occurs in Serengeti National Park, Maswa Game Reserve, Western Loliondo and the Yaeda valley. It is not known from Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) although may occur in the Kakesio Hills. There are records from the 1970s from northern Shinyanga and Musoma Districts, although the current status of the species in these areas is not known. Its distribution in the lake Natron- Kilimanjaro area is unclear, with only one sight record from the lower western slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. There are also sight records from the Mbono area in Western Mkomazi National Park, and probably records from around the Minja Forest in the north –Pare Mountains.

  • Rock Hyraxe’s population size in Tanzania:

There are no population estimates for this species in Tanzania. It is very common in the Kopjes of central and northern Serengeti, although populations outside the Serengeti ecosystem are mostly small and isolated, and therefore susceptible to local hunting pressure. The species is rare in west Kilimanjaro, Mkomazi National Park and the Pare Mountains, and nothing is known about the status of the populations in northern Shinyanga region and around Lake Victoria. Populations in the Serengeti ecosystem are stable.

3: TREE HYRAX/DASSIE/ Dendrohyrax

  • Kiswahili name: Pimbi mti/Perere

The three (3) tree hyrax ( Dendrohyrax spp) are largely restricted  to the forests and dense woodlands of the tropics, although a few isolated pockets are located in South Africa. These 3 tree hyraxes are as follows:-

  • 1. Southern Tree Hyrax (Dendrohyrax arboreus)
  • 2. Eastern Tree Hyrax (Dendrohyrax validus)
  • 3. Western Tree Hyrax (Dendrohyrax dorsalis)

Tree Hyraxes have colonized a range of forest, woodland and thicket types.

Tree Hyraxes spend much of their feeding time in trees but will also feed on the ground. During the day they may sunbask or retreat into tree holes. They are far more difficult to observe than their rock cousins but their rattling calls at night are diagnostic.

  • Races/Subspecies of Tree Hyraxes in Tanzania:
  • 1. Southern Tree Hyrax (Dendrohyrax arboreus)

(Dendrohyrax arboreus stuhlmanni) is the only subspecies found in Tanzania.

  • 2. Eastern Tree Hyrax (Dendrohyrax validus)

(Dendrohyrax validus validus) is found at Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru, (Dendrohyrax validus terricola) is found at Pare and Usambara Mountains, (Dendrohyrax validus schusteri) is found at Uluguru and Udzungwa Mountains, (Dendrohyrax validus neumanni) is found at Zanzibar and Pemba). These subspecies are differentiated primarily by call.

  • 3. Western Tree Hyrax (Dendrohyrax dorsalis)

(Dendrohyrax dendrohyrax marmota) is the only subspecies /races found in Tanzania.

  • Total length: 40-60cm
  • Shoulder height: 15-30cm
  • Weight; 2-5 kg
  • Habitat: Rain forest and forest savanna mosaic
  • Habits/Behaviour:

Solitary and Nocturnal

  • Gestation period:

In East Africa, 1 or 2 (rarely 3) young born mainly in March and April. In rain forest, may breed year round. Gestation is 7-8 months.

  • Distribution/ Range of Tree Hyraxes in Tanzania;

The Southern Tree Hyrax (Dendrohyrax arboreus) is frequently seen in large fig trees along the Tarangire River in Tarangire National Park, and also on the grounds of Sopa lodge in Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA).

The Eastern Tree Hyrax (Dendrohyrax validus) is most easily seen in Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park on Zanzibar ,  where it is sometimes active during the day.

The only known place to see the Western Tree hyrax is in Minziro Forest.

The Southern Tree Hyrax occurs in riverine habitat and lowland forests throughout  Tanzania. The Eastern Tree Hyrax occurs in many montane forests, including Arusha and Kilimanjaro National Parks, the Pare Mountains and most of the Eastern Arc Mountains. It is also found on the northeast coast and on Zanzibar and Pemba, but not Mafia. The Western Tree Hyrax is only known from the Minziro Forest.

  • Tree Hyraxe’s population size in Tanzania:

The Southern Tree Hyrax is common in many parts of Tanzania, including Tarangire National Park and the northern section of the Selous Game Reserve. The Eastern Tree Hyrax is abundant on the Southern and Northern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro and is common in Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park on Zanzibar. The population of Western Tree Hyrax is restricted to one small corner of Tanzania and thus is likely to be small.

MONGOOSES/Carnivores

Kiswahili name: Nguchiro

The 37 species of Mongooses are found in Africa, Madagascar, and Asia. Africa has 30 species, making African continent and not Asia the land of Mongoose.

Mongooses (often treated as a separate family HERPESTIDAE) from the viverrids ( Viverridae family- under subfamily- Herpestinae).

They are small, fast- moving, ground-dwellers with long, cylindrical bodies well adapted to chasing prey, such as insects, scorpions, and small vertebrates down burrows. Mongooses have narrow feet and non- retractile claws that are good for digging. Their ears are usually low- set and can be folded while burrowing.

All Mongooses have an anal sac that contains at least two glandular openings. This is best developed in the African Mongooses and least developed in the African Mongooses and at least developed in the Malagasy Mongooses. The glands deposit scent with feces, which communicates the sexual condition and other characteristics to other Mongooses.

Mongooses attain sexual maturity at 18 to 24 months. Litter size varies from species to species, but generally from two to eight young are born after a six to nine month gestation. The adult female solely raises the young in the solitary species. In the more social mongooses, the young may be cared for by several adult females.

Mongooses are essentially terrestrial and poorly adapted for climbing, only the African Slender Mongoose (Herpestes sanguineus) and the ring –tailed Mongoose (Galidia elegans) frequent the trees. One species, the Marsh Mongoose, is semi-aquatic and another, the crab –eating Mongoose (Herpestes urva), feeds heavily on crustaceans. Most are solitary or live in pairs.

Mongooses are often the most abundant carnivore in an area, and they are found from deserts to tropical rain forests, from southern Africa through the Middle East, India, and South-East Asia, northward to central China.

  • African Mongooses:

The following is an example list of African Mongooses as follows:-

  • 1. Slender Mongoose
  • 2. Ichneumon Mongoose
  • 3. Long- nosed Mongoose
  • 4. Cape gray Mongoose
  • 5. Marsh Mongoose
  • 6. White –Tailed Mongoose
  • 7. Meller’s Mongoose
  • 8. Black – legged Mongoose
  • 9. Bushy- Tailed Mongoose
  • 10. Jackson’s Mongoose
  • 11. Sokoke dog Mongoose
  • 12. Selou's Mongoose
  • 13. Yellow Mongoose
  • 14. Pousargue’s Mongoose
  • 15. Dwarf Mongoose
  • 16. Somali dwarf Mongoose
  • 17. Banded Mongoose
  • 18. Gambian Mongoose
  • 19. Kusimanse
  • 20. Alexander’s Kusimanse
  • 21. Ansorge’s Kusimanse
  • 22. Liberian Mongoose
  • 23. Suricate or Meerkat
  • SPECIES OF MONGOOSES IN TANZANIA:
  • 1. DWARF MONGOOSE
  • 2. DESERT DWARF MONGOOSE/SOMALI DWARF MONGOOSE;
  • Kiswahili name: Kitafe

Desert Dwarf Mongoose/Somali Dwarf Mongoose (Helogale hirtula) being restricted to the southern horn region.

Dwarf Mongoose (Helogale parvula) is widespread in suitable habitat from equator southward (Southern Sudan and Ethiopia South to ne Natal and Angola; also Gambia). A generally common species in suitable habitat with troops reaching fairly high densities in some areas.

  • Races /Subspecies of Dwarf Mongoose (Helogale parvula) in Africa.

Variation among the Dwarf Mongoose has led to 17 subspecies/ Races being described. This classification is in need of revision but three major divisions can be recognized.

  • 1. Helogale parvula parvula (S.Africa)
  • 2. Helogale parvula varia (Central Africa)
  • Helogale parvula undulata (NE& E Africa)

Good places to see Dwarf Mongooses in Africa are Serengeti National park (Tanzania), and Tsavo National park (Kenya) both being places where this Mongoose was studied.

  • Races/Subspecies of Dwarf Mongooses in Tanzania;

No confirmed records of having subspecies/ races of Dwarf Mongooses in Tanzania, only regarded as the Dwarf Mongoose (KITAFE)

  • Similar species;

Other Mongooses (separated on size)

  • Dwarf Mongoose’s identification pointers

Very small; uniform  dark to greyish- brown; with gloss; Always in troops.

  • Total length: 35-40cm
  • Tail length: 14-20cm
  • Shoulder height: 7 cm
  • Weight: 220-350 ( rarely up to 600)g.
  • Habitat

Savannas with termite mounds or rock piles.

  • Habits/ Behaviour;

Diurnal, sociable, and territorial, the dwarf Mongooses lives in packs of 10 to 40 animals and is often seen foraging around lodges and campsite for insects and other invertebrates, the occasional snake or lizard, and small rodents. A single dominant pair monopolizes breeding, and other pack members help rear their off spring by tending, grooming, carrying, and  provisioning them. Mongoose packs often include unrelated helpers who transferred from another pack. Usually only the dominant female breeds. During the early morning they usually sun-bask on termitaria, rocks or logs, with much time being spent grooming, both individually and communally. As with most other mongoose species, they mark objects (rocks, branches, etc) with secretion from anal and cheek glands, with troop members marking the same locations.

With troops of usually about 10 (up to 40 recorded) in number, each occupying a fixed home range of 2 to 30 ha. Within the home range a troop has up to 20 dens, often within termitaria.

  • Food/Diet; Insects, other invertebrates and to a lesser extent small reptiles, birds and their eggs. Fruit has also been recorded.
  • Gestation period:
  • 50-54 days. 2-6 young born (average 2 to 4). Alpha female may have 2 or 3 litters per year, during rainy season.
  • Predators/ Natural enemies:

Birds of prey, particularly goshawks, and snakes. Even slender mongooses are a threat to babies.

  • Distribution /Range of Dwarf Mongooses in Tanzania:

Dwarf Mongooses are frequently seen in the grounds of lodges and around administration buildings in many National Parks. They are easy to see in the Serengeti around the Seronera visitor centre and at Seronera wildlife lodge, in various camps around Ruaha, such as Mwagusi and Jongomero, and in the Selous Game Reserve.

Dwarf Mongooses (Kitafe) are very widespread in Tanzania, occurring in all habibats except for montane and dense coastal forest. It is absent from Kilimanjaro, Gombe, Rubondo, Udzungwa and Kitulo National Parks. There are few records for this species in Southern Tanzania and no records from the Mbeya area and the Livingstone Mountains, although there is a sighting record from the Makambako gap.

  • Dwarf Mongoose’s population size in Tanzania;

In appropriate habitat, such as on the Serengeti plains, Dwarf Mongoose densities can be up to 31 animals per km2 (81 animals per m2).

There are no density estimates for other parts of Tanzania, but this species is common in many areas where there are large numbers of termite mounds for shelter, including Mkomazi, Tarangire , Manyara and Katavi National Parks, and much of the Maasai steppe. Population trends are known.

  1. BANDED MONGOOSE (Mungos mungo)
  2. GAMBIAN MONGOOSE (Mungos gambianus)
  • Kiswahili name: Nguchiro miraba/Milia

Gambian Mongoose (Mungos gambianus) is restricted to the moister savannas of west Africa (The Gambian mongoose lacks the 10 to 12 banded/stripes of the banded mongoose (Mungos mungo) but the Gambian mongoose has a distinct black stripe on each side of the neck, strongly contrasting with the buff- white throat (A pattern which is unique to Gambian mongoose).

The Banded mongoose (Mungos mungo) or Nguchiro miraba or milia in Kiswahili name, occurs virtually throughout the African savanna regions, penetrating into the arid Horn (Senegal east to Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia, and E. Africa South  to Natal; also Angola and N. Namibia East to Malawi). Generally, the Banded Mongooses are widely distributed in Africa, South of the Sahara. They are still abundant.

  • Races/Subspecies of Banded Mongooses in Africa;
  • Twenty subspecies/ races have been described but these are in need of revision. Four (4) distinctive regional types can be distinguished as follows;
  • 1. Mungos mungo mungo (W.Africa)
  • 2. Mungos mungo zebra (Horn of Africa)
  • 3. Mungos mungo taenianotus (South Africa)
  • 4. Mungos mungo colonus (E.Africa)
  • Races/Subspecies of Banded Mongooses in Tanzania:
  • No confirmed records of having subspecies/ races of Banded Mongooses in Tanzania, only regarded as the Banded Mongoose (Nguchiro miraba/milia).
  • Similar species:
  • Suricate , cusimanse ( separated on appearance)
  • Banded Mongoose’s identification pointers:
  • Pelage brownish- grey to dark – brown: banded with 10-12 dark brown to black transverse stripes: Gambian Mongoose has distinct black stripe on side of neck, fawn- white throat; lives in troops; Savanna woodland.
  • Total length: 50-65cm
  • Tail length: 18-25cm
  • Shoulder height: 18-20cm
  • Weight: 600-1800g
  • Habitat:
  • Moist and dry savannas with termite mounds and patches of undergrowth.
  • Habits/Behaviour;
  • Diurnal, territorial, terrestrial, and highly sociable, Banded Mongooses live in packs of up to 40 animals; they are often seen foraging busily in open grassland and around lodge and camp garbage dumps. They shelter in hollow trees, rock crevices or burrows.
  • When foraging, troop members remain in contact with constant soft chittering and murmuring calls. A troop's home range includes several shelters, usually in termitaria. Frequent marking with anal gland secretions is done by all troop members within the range, mainly on rocks and logs. Although territories appear not to be established, contact with different troops can result in conflict.
  • Food/Diet; Insects; other invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, birds (including eggs), small rodents and carrion. It also eats fruit and plant shoots and small mammals.
  • Gestation period:
  • 60 days. Two to 6 young, averaging 20 g in weight are born. Young may suckle from any lactating troop female. Birth peak rainy season. The infants eyes open at 10 days.
  • Predators/Natural enemies:
  • Servals and Jackals as well as Martial eagle.
  • Distribution/Range of Banded Mongooses in Tanzania:
  • Banded Mongooses are easily seen in many National Parks, aided by their propensity to become habituated and habit of feeding in lodge grounds. The lodges around Seronera are a particularly good place to look.
  • Banded Mongoose is very widespread in Tanzania. It is found in all of the mainland National Parks, with the exception of Rubondo and Kilimanjaro (although it has been -
    • Kiswahili name: Nguchiro Maji
    • This Semi- aquatic Mongoose has long hands with naked palms adapted for feeling concealed prey rather than digging. Marsh Mongooses/Water Mongooses prefer streams and wetlands with concealing vegetation.
    • Marsh Mongooses/ Water Mongooses are very widespread and common in sub- Saharan Africa (Senegal east to Somalia, below Sahel, and South to Cape province)
    • SUBSPECIES/RACES OF WATER MONGOOSES IN AFRICA:
      • Kiswahili name: Nguchiro Mwembamba/Kicheche
      • The slender mongoose or Black-Tipped Mongoose (Nguchiro mwembamba) or Kicheche, is frequently glimpsed, as it is diurnal. They are small, very slender and long-tailed, which in most races/ subspecies is black-tipped.
      • Slender Mongooses or Black-Tipped Mongooses occur throughout the Sub- Saharan Savanna and Semi- arid areas of Africa (Sub- Saharan Africa). They are common and prefer areas of high and low rainfall, but is absent from most dense forests and true desert.
      • Races/Subspecies of Slender Mongooses in Africa;
      • Great variation is evident among 70 named subspecies/ races. Four, subgroups can be distinguished which may be incipient or actual species. Colour ranges from almost black, through to grey brown and a deep chestnut red.
      • 1. Sanguinea group (w, central and South- central Africa)
      • 2. Ochracea group (Eastern seabord from Eritrea to South Africa, overlapping with Sanguinea in East Africa)
      • 3. Flavescens group (Kaokoveld, Namibia and S. Angola)
      • 4. Swalius (S. and central Namibia) often nocturnal.
      • Races/ Subspecies of Slender Mongooses in Tanzania;
      • No confirmed records of races/subspecies of Slender Mongooses have been recognized.
      • Similar species: Small grey Mongoose
      • Slender Mongoose’s identification pointers:
      • Long, Slender, Short -Legged. Variable colour; fairly bushy, black- tipped tail, raised vertically or curved over body when running; nearly always solitary.  There is great taxonomic confusion.
      • Total length: 50-65cm
      • Tail length: 23-30cm
      • Shoulder height: 10cm
      • Weight: 370-800g
      • Behaviour/ Habits:
      • Terrestrial but climbs well; is usually solitary; it is one of Africa’s most commonly seen carnivores but no detailed study has been undertaken.
      • Food/Diet;
      • A very wide range of invertebrates, small vertebrates and some wild fruits and berries.
      • Gestation period:
      • Approximately 45 days (8-9 weeks). 1 to 2, rarely 3 young are born. The birth season varies from region to region.
      • Habitat:
      • Prefers dense cover near water, but widespread from rainforests to sub- deserts.
      • Predators/Natural enemies:
      • Slender Mongoose is known to attack cobras and mambas, both major mongoose predators.
      • Distribution/Range of Slender Mongooses in Tanzania:- Slender Slender Mongooses are seen fairly frequently around Seronera in Serengeti National Park. Although common in many other protected areas, there are few places where they can be reliably seen and most sightings are brief glimpses of them crossing a road. They frequent lodge and camp rubbish pits so these can be good places to look.
      • Slender Mongoose is the most widely distributed Mongoose in Tanzania, occurring in all parts of the country including in heavily cultivated areas and gardens in all the major towns and cities. It is known from all of the National Parks except Rubondo National Park and occurs in all Game Reserves. It occurs on the islands of Zanzibar and possibly Pemba, but not Mafia.
      • Slender Mongoose’s population size in Tanzania:
      • Slender Mongoose is relatively common in most parts of the country. Camera trap surveys showed high densities in Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) and on Gelai Mountain, and it was also common in Tarangire National Park, Ufiome Forest Reserve and fairly common in the Serengeti National Park. Observation records suggest it is also common in much of western Tanzania.16 subspecies/Races have been recognized and described and three regional types. These are (1) A.P. Paludinosus (South Africa); brown-black; (2) A.P.Pluto (W.Africa); black ; (3)A.P.robustus (E. Africa) grizzled.recorded on the lower slopes of mount Kilimanjaro and across west Kilimanjaro, and it also occurs in most Game Reserves. The Banded Mongoose is found in Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park on Zanzibar. Its status on Pemba island is unknown and it is absent from Mafia island.
        • Banded Mongoose’s population size in Tanzania:
        • The Banded Mongoose is common in most National Parks and other protected areas in Tanzania. It occurs at significantly lower densities outside protected areas, particularly in places with intensive agriculture, although it is highly adaptive and can survive in close proximity to human settlement including on the campus of the university of Dares-salaam. In protected areas, birds of prey are probably their major predators, and Marabou storks (Leptoptilos crumeniferus) have also been recorded killing young mongooses. The population of Banded mongooses is probably stable in protected areas.

        3: MELLER’S MONGOOSE (Rhynchogale melleri)

        • Kiswahili name: Nguchiro
        • Meller’s Mongooses (Rhynchogale melleri) have limited distribution, mainly in the east between equator and southern tropic. They are uncommon and rarely seen.
        • They have a shaggy appearance with light to dark brown pelage colour. The tail is usually dark brown to black but individuals with white tails are not uncommon.
        • Several races/subspecies of Meller’s Mongooses have been described.
        • Races/Subspecies of Meller’s Mongooses in Tanzania:
        • (Rhynchogale melleri melleri) is the only subspecies/ races recognized and found in Tanzania
        • Total length: 60-90 cm
        • Tail length: 30-38cm
        • Shoulder height: 18cm
        • Weight: 1,7-3kg
        • Meller’s Mongoose’s identification pointers:
        • Shaggy, light to dark brown coat; Tail usually dark brown or black, also white, usually brown at base; crest- like parting on neck.
        • Similar species;
        • White –tailed mongoose (separated on size)
        • Habitat:
        • Open woodlands adjacent to savanna, but always near dense cover and water.
        • Habits/Behaviour:
        • Nocturnal and solitary
        • Food/Diet; Mainly termites, and other invertebrates and smaller vertebrates.
        • Gestation period:
        • Unknown. Two to 3 young are apparently born during the summer months.
        • Distribution/Range of Meller’s Mongoose
        • Meller’s Mongoose is not easily seen in Tanzania. Most of the sites where it is known to occur are either hunting blocks with limited access or are isolated and difficult to reach, such as the Itigi thicket. Its strictly nocturnal behavior adds to the challenge. Driving at night on the road between Tunduru and Masasi in southern Tanzania probably offers the best opportunity to see this species.
        • There are few records for this species in Tanzania, although recent camera trap surveys suggest that it is probably widespread across Miombo woodland. The species has been recorded in Swagaswaga Game Reserve, in woodland west of Itigi thicket, and in Mbarang'andu WMA, Lukwika Game Reserve, and Mbangala Forest Reserve in the Selous- Niassa cornidor.
        • It has also been reported from Udzungwa and Ruaha National Parks. There are historical records from the 1950s from Morogoro and Mkalama, north of Singida.
        • Meller’s Mongooses population size in Tanzania:
        • Meller’s Mongoose was the most frequently recorded mongoose during a Camera trap survey in the Lukwika Game Reserve, suggesting that it may be locally common in appropriate habitat, particularly in the south of the country. It was uncommon in all other survey sites where it was recorded. There are no known threats to the species, although habitat loss in Miombo woodland could lead to a long- term range reduction. Nothing is known about population trends.

        4: WHITE- TAILED MONGOOSE (Ichneumia albicauda)

        • Kiswahili name: Nguchiro mkia mweupe
        • The white- Tailed Mongoose (Ichneumia albicauda) is a solitary – nocturnal insect- eater of the open grasslands. It is unable to out run most predators and relies instead on noxious chemical spray for defense. It erects and flares its conspicuous tail hairs as a warning.
        • They are common and very widespread in savanna areas (Africa, south of the sahara, except for coastal W and C. Africa).
        • Races/ Subspecies of white- Tailed Mongooses in Africa
        • Twelve subspecies/ Races have been named but individual variations obscures regional groupings.
        • Races/ Subspecies of White- Tailed Mongooses in Tanzania:
        • (Ichneumia albicauda ibeana) is the only subspecies/ races recognized and found in Tanzania.
        • Similar species:
        • Selous and Meller’s Mongooses (separated on size), Jackson’s and Black- footed Mongooses.
        • White- Tailed Mongoose’s identification pointers:
        • Large, mainly white tail, dark body, black legs; walks with head held low, back slightly arched;, long legs.
        • Total length: 90-150cm
        • Tail length: 35-48cm
        • Shoulder height: 25cm
        • Weight: 3,5-5,2kg
        • Habitat: Found in woodland savanna and forest margins, but absent from equatorial forest and desert, with daytime refuges (Termite mounds, rock piles, burrows).
        • Behaviour/Habits:
        • Nocturnal and mainly solitary but pairs, and family parties may be seen. Home ranges of 8 km2 have been recorded. Female and male territories overlap). Mothers tolerate grown daughters in their territory. Dangerous to poultry and lambs. Terrestrial and partly arboreal.
        • Food/Diet; A wide range of invertebrates, small vertebrates ( up to the size of hares and cane rats) and wild fruits. It has been reported that they chase tree hyraxes in the trees. Also snakes and birds.
        • Gestation period:
        • 2 months. 2 or 3 young are born; year- round in tropics, seasonal in South Africa.
        • Sex difference:
        • Sexual organs
        • Colour:
        • Brownish grey; the tail white; limbs are dark brown or black.
        • Average weight: 4-5 kg
        • Life span/Longevity: 8 years
        • Predators and Natural enemies:
        • Snakes and animals larger than themselves.
        • Distribution /Range of White- Tailed Mongooses in Tanzania:
        • White-Tailed Mongooses are frequently seen on night drives on Manyara Ranch, in Tarangire National Park and in west Kilimanjaro. May also be seen while spotlighting around camps on the western boundary of the Serengeti National Park, and Loliondo.
        • White- Tailed Mongooses are very widely distributed throughout the country, except for areas of montane woodland and grassland, and dense lowland forest. It has been reported from all mainland National Parks except Kitulo and Rubondo.
        • White-Tailed Mongoose’s population size in Tanzania
        • This species is very common in the Acacia- commiphora bushland in northern Tanzania. In Serengeti National Park it can reach densities as high as four animals per km2 (animals per mi2). It is abundant in Tarangire National Park and common in Mkomazi and Ruaha National Parks, lake Natron, and west Kilimanjaro. It is fairly common in the west of the country, including Ugalla Game Reserve and the Rukwa valley, and occurs at much lower densities in coastal areas, the Selous Game Reserve, and in most of Southern Tanzania. Domestic dogs around areas of human habitation often kill this species, which can cause local population extinctions.

        5: SLENDER MONGOOSE/ BLACK-TIPPED MONGOOSE (Herpestes sanguineus)

    • 6: EGYPTIAN MONGOOSE/ LARGE GREY MONGOOSE/ ICHNEUMON MONGOOSE (Herpestes ichneumon)
      • Kiswahili name: Nguchiro mkubwa/Karasa.
      • Egyptian Mongoose or Large Grey Mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon) is very widespread in Africa, including North Africa. Occurs elsewhere in parts of the Middle East and Southern in Europe (The only Mongoose in Europe). Egyptian Mongoose is an active, solitary territorial, diurnal hunter takes mammals, birds, fish, frogs, reptiles, Cray fish, crabs, and large insects.
      • Races/Subspecies of Egyptian Mongooses in Africa;
      • 25 subspecies/Races have been described but there is so much variation between individuals and regions that a thorough revision of subspecies is needed.
      • Races/Subspecies of Egyptian Mongoose in Tanzania:
      • No confirmed records of subspecies/races of Egyptian Mongooses is found and recognized in Tanzania.
      • Similar species:
      • None (In south Africa, see the small grey mongoose)
      • Egyptian Mongoose's identification pointers:
      • Large, long grey- grizzled coat; long, black- tipped tail, black lower legs.
      • Total length: 1-1,1m
      • Tail length: 45-58cm
      • Shoulder height: 20cm
      • Weight: 2,5-4kg
      • Habitat:
      • Riverine vegetation and lives in close association with other water bodies, although it may wander several kilometers away from its preferred habitat when foraging.
      • Behaviour/Habits:
      • Both nocturnal and diurnal. They may be solitary , in pairs or in family parties.
      • When several animals are together they walk nose to anus, giving the group a snake- like appearance. They frequently stand on the hind legs to view the surroundings area. Droppings are deposited at regular latrine sites, and points within the home range are marked with anal gland secretions.
      • Food/Diet;
      • A very wide range of small vertebrates particularly rodents, as well as invertebrates are eaten and on occasion they will eat wild fruits.
      • Gestation period:
      • Approximately 60-75 days. Litter size has been recorded as 2 to 4 young.
      • Distribution of Egyptian Mongooses in Tanzania:
      • The Egyptian Mongoose can occasionally be seen in the Serengeti National Park, particularly around Simba and Moru Kopjes in the South. It can also be found around Silale Swamp in Tarangire National Park during the early morning and late afternoon. Most views of this species are brief glimpses as it crosses between areas of dense vegetation.
      • Egyptian mongoose is widely distributed in the north, central, southwest and coastal areas of the country. There are few records from Miombo woodland in the west of the country, although it is known from Katavi National Park, Lukwati Game Reserve and Lake Rukwa. There is also a record from just north of Mahale Mountains National Park. It is found in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) , Serengeti, Tarangire, Kilimanjaro, Mkomazi, Gombe and Ruaha National Parks, and the Selous Game Reserve and Kilombero valley. It is also known from Mount Rungwe, and although there are no records for Kitulo National Park, it is likely to occur there.
      • Egyptian Mongoose’s population size in Tanzania:
      • There are no population figures for Tanzania, although it is un common in most areas. This species was rarely recorded during camera trap surveys across the country, probably a result of naturally low densities and in frequent use of wildlife paths. It is fairly common in the cultivated land along the slower slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, and in southern Serengeti National Park.

      7: FOUR- TOED OR DOG MONGOOSES/Bdeogale

      • Genus (Bdeogale)
      • Bushy-Tailed Mongoose, Sokoke dog Mongoose, Black –Legged Mongoose and Jackson’s Mongoose are grouped together in one genus- (Bdeogale) – four –toed or dog Mongooses.
      • Recognition of Four-Toed /Dog Mongooses:
      • Long – bodied, Long-tailed, moderately tall Mongooses with rounded ears, a blunt muzzle and very symmetrical four- toed feet. They have a dense, woolly fur and guard hairs of variable length and colour. All have black or dark brown limbs.
      • 1. BUSHY- TAILED MONGOOSE (Bdeogale crassicauda)
      • Kiswahili name: Nguchiro Kijivu/Chonjwe.
      • This robust Mongoose has a broad muzzle, sturdy legs and a broad, heavily furred tail. It is an elusive, nocturnal animal, which rests by day in a burrow, often one taken over from another animal, or in a hole in a tree. At night it hunts for insects and lizards, snakes, rodents and other small creatures.
      • Distribution/Range of Bushy- Tailed Mongooses in Africa:
      • East Africa; Kenya to Zimbabwe and Mozambique (Eastern Africa between the equator and Southern tropic). They are uncommon.
      • Races/Subspecies of Bushy- Tailed Mongooses in Africa:
      • 1. Bdeogale crassicauda crassicauda (South Africa).
      • 2. Bdeogale Crasssicauda puisa (E. Tangayika and N. Mozambique).
      • 3. Bdeogale crassicauda tenuis (Zanzibar)
      • 4. Bdeogale crassicauda nigrescens (Kenya highlands);
      • Races/ Subspecies of Bushy- Tailed Mongooses in Tanzania;
      • 1. Bdeogale crassicauda puisa (mainland Tanzania)
      • 2. Bdeogale crassicauda tenuis (Zanzibar islands).
      • Similar species;
      • Jackson’s , black- footed and water mongooses.
      • Bushy- Tailed Mongoose’s identification pointers:
      • Overall dark appearance, medium size.
      • Total length; 65-92cm
      • Tail length: 23-35cm
      • Shoulder height: less than 20cm
      • Weight: 1,5-2,9kg
      • Habitat: Open woodland with rocky outcrops;
      • Behaviour/Habit:
      • Solitary and mainly nocturnal
      • Food/Diet;
      • Invertebrates, small rodents, reptiles and amphibians.
      • Gestation period:
      • Nothing is known;
      • Distribution /Range of Bushy-Tailed Mongooses in Tanzania.
      • Bushy- Tailed Mongoose are seen fairly regularly on night drives in Manyara National Park, particularly in the bushland areas. On Zanzibar they may be encountered at night at the rubbish tip near the National Park Headquarters at Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park. Individuals are also occasionally seen in the evening around campsites in the udzungwa Mountains National Park.
      • Until recently this species was originally known only from a few records on the Tanzanian mainland, mostly in the South and Coastal areas and from a few forests in the Eastern Arc Mountains. How ever, camera trapping surveys have shown that infact it is widely distributed across the country and occurs in most areas of thick bushland, woodland or forest. In the Eastern Arc Mountains it is known from the Pare, Usambara, Ukaguru, Uluguru north, Nguru and Udzungwa Mountains, where it was recorded up to an altitude of 1,850m (6,650 ft). It has also been recorded in the forests of Arusha, Manyara, and Mahale Mountains National Parks, Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), and the Mountains around Babati.
      • There are recent records from the Burka Forest in Arusha and from riverine forest due east of Tarangire National Park. It is widespread in areas of dense Miombo woodland including the Southern Selous, Swagaswaga, and Ugalla Game Reserves. It has also been camera trapped along riverine forest in Burigi- Biharamulo Game Reserves. It is found throughout Pemba and Zanzibar, including in  farmland around stone town.
      • Bushy-Tailed Mongoose’s population size in Tanzania:
      • Bushy-Tailed Mongoose is widespread and can be locally common or abundant. It occurs at highest densities in montane forest, and was the most frequently photographed species of carnivore during camera trapping surveys in Arusha and Mahale Mountains National Parks and the Udzungwa Mountains. It is also common in Ufiome forest near Babati and in the coastal forests around Pangani and Zanzibar.

      2: JACKSON’S MONGOOSE (Bdeogale jacksoni)

      • Kiswahili name: Nguchiro
      • Distribution /Range of Jackson’s Mongooses in Tanzania:
      • Jackson’s Mongoose is very difficult to observe. Currently, the best chance of seeing it in Tanzania is by spotlighting outside Udzungwa National Park in the Matundu Forest Reserve or west Kilombero Nature Reserve in the Udzungwa Mountains.
      • This species was discovered in Tanzania in 2002 during a Camera trap survey of the Udzungwa Mountains. It was previously only known from forests in south east Uganda and Central and Southern Kenya. It is currently only known from a small area of approximately 30 km2 (11.5mi2) within the Matundu Forest, a lowland Semi- deciduous forest in the Udzungwa Mountains National Park and adjacent Matundu Forest Reserve and west Kilombero Nature Reserve.
      • Jackson’s Mongoose was recorded at only five of a total of 76 Camera trap sites surveyed in the Udzungwa Mountains over a period of three years, all within the Matundu Forest, suggesting that its presence in the Udzungwa Mountains is extremely localized.
      • Jackson’s Mongoose's population size in Tanzania:
      • A total of 25 Camera trap pictures were taken of Jackson’s Mongooses at the five sites where it was recorded, suggesting that it is locally common within its very narrow range.

      8: MARSH MONGOOSE/WATER MONGOOSE (Atilax paludinosus)

    • SUBSPECIES/RACES OF MARSH (WATER) MONGOOSES IN TANZANIA:

    No confirmed records of subspecies of Water Mongooses in Tanzania. ( Only known as water (marsh mongooses).

    • SIMILAR SPECIES:

    Long-nosed mongoose (separated on size and appearance), otters.

    • WATER (MARSH) MONGOOSE’S IDENTIFICATION POINTERS;

    Large, Shaggy coat, Uniform dark brown to blackish color, associated with water.

    • Total Length: 80-100cm
    • Tail Length: 30-40cm
    • Shoulder height: 22cm
    • Weight: 2, 5-5,5kg.

     

    • Habitat:

     

    Most well-watered habitats; will penetrate arid areas along water courses as long as permanent pools are present, although occasionally it may wander several kilometers from water.

    • Behaviour/Habits;

    Marsh mongooses live alone or in pairs or small family groups. This species has complex scent marking behavior – standing on its forepaws, with its tail over its back, to mark the underside of branches with scent from its anal glands.

    Predominantly nocturnal but also crepuscular and territorial. Home ranges to be linear, following rivers and streams or perimeters of other waterbodies.  When foraging they follow regular pathways. They swim readily.

    • Food/Diet;

    Mainly crabs and amphibians but also a very wide range of other invertebrates and small vertebrates. Wild fruits are taken occasionally.

    • Gestation period:

    Approximately 9-10 weeks. From 1 to 3 young, weighing on average 120g  at birth, are dropped in dense vegetation cover, in rock crevices or in burrows of other species.

    • Predators/Natural enemies:

    Little information: Probably Hyena, Lion, Leopard, Crocodile, Python.

    • Distribution/ Range of Water (Marsh) mongooses in Tanzania:

    Despite being widespread, this species is seldom seen because of its mainly nocturnal habits. A good site is Kisima Ngeda lodge and the adjacent campsite at Lake Eyasi. Several individuals have become habituated there, and they are frequently seen behind the lodge kitchen in the late afternoon and in the reedbeds by the permanent springs in the early morning or after dark.

    Marsh (Water) mongoose is very widely distributed in Tanzania and probably occurs wherever there is permanent water or suitable habitat with high rainfall. It is known from every mainland National Park except Mahale Mountains National Park, where it has probably been overlooked. It is also found throughout the Selous ecosystern and occurs in many of the Eastern Arc Mountain Forests, including the Usambara, Uluguru, Ukaguru, Udzungwa and Mahenge Mountains, and around the Mufindi highlands, Mount Rungwe, and the Livingstone Mountains. It is also found on Pemba Island but not the islands of Zanzibar or Mafia.

    • Marsh (Water) mongoose’s population size in Tanzania

    No population figures are available for marsh mongoose. It is common in the marshland ecosystems of Tanzania including the Moyowosi and Malagarasi. It was camera trapped frequently in the river system in majegeja in the Selous-Niassa corridor and is probably common across the Selous ecosystem. It is reported as being common on Pemba Island.

GENETS/ Genetta

Kiswahili name: KANU;

Genus (Genetta) consists of 14 to 17 species of small African carnivores (Although 10 genet species are identified and recognized, and the average observer would have great difficulty identifying them to species level. However, all are easily recognized as genets. Genets belong to the family of Carnivores known as the VIVERRIDAE FAMILY under the subfamily (Viverrinae) whereas they are grouped together with civets. The Genus (Genetta) was named and described by Cuvier in 1817, and the number of species in the genus is controversial.

All genet species are indigenous to Africa, and the Common genet (Small- Spotted Genet) is the only genet present in Europe and occurs in the Iberian peninsula and France( S.W. Europe; S.W France; Spain and Portugal, as well as in Middle East ). The Common genet (Small- spotted genet) was introduced to south-western Europe during the historical times. It was brought from the Maghreb to the Mediterranean region as a semi-domestic animal about 1000 to 1500 years ago, and from there spread to southern France and Italy. In Africa, it is found in wooded habitats north of the Sahara, in Savanna zones south of the Sahara to southern Africa and along the coast to Arabia, Yemen and Oman.

  • Distribution/Range of species of Genets in Africa;
  • 1. COMMON GENET/ SMALL-SPOTTED GENET(Genetta genetta);

The common genet (Small-spotted genet occurs virtually throughout the Sahel, with an apparently isolated population in north- west Africa, elsewhere extending into southern Europe and the Middle East. (The common genet/Small-spotted genet) usually has an overall greyish color, with numerous black spots and bars, a white- tipped tail and an erectile crest of longer hair down the back.)

  • 2. LARGE-SPOTTED GENET/ BLOTCHED GENET(Genetta trigina);

Large –spotted genet/ Blotched genet occurs in the higher rainfall areas of sub- Saharan Africa, but penetrates drier areas along wooded watercourses in some places. (The large- spotted genet/Blotched genet) has fairly large spots that are usually rusty brown in color, a dark brown or black- tipped tail and it has no crest of longer hair down the back).  Large- spotted genet/Blotched genet is sometimes known as the Rusty-spotted genet.

  • 3. ANGOLAN GENET/ MIOMBO GENET(Genetta angolensis)

The Angolan genet /Miombo genet occurs in a broad belt in central Africa from the Atlantic to Indian Ocean (open miombo forest from Angola to central Tanzania).

  • 4. FALSE GENET / HAUSSA GENET (Genetta thierryi)

The False genet /Hausa genet is restricted to the moister woodland savannas of West Africa.

  • 5. SERVALINE GENET(Genetta servalina)

The Servaline genet is widely distributed in the tropical forests of the Congo lean region and coral rag thicket on Zanzibar-  Tanzania.

  • 6. PANTHER GENET (Genetta maculata)

The Panther genet is widely distributed in the tropical forests of the Guinean forests and marginally into the western Congolean forests.

  • 7. GIANT GENET (Genetta victoria);

The Giant genet is restricted to northern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and western Uganda (lives in rainforests).

  • 8. CRESTED GENET(Genetta cristata);

The crested genet is restricted in the Southern Nigeria, Cameroon border region (it inhabits scrub and primary deciduous forests).  It is sometimes known as the Crested servaline genet.

  • 9. JOHNSTON’S GENET(Genetta johnstoni);

Johnston’s genet is found from a tiny area on the borders of Guinea, Liberia and Ivory Coast (Inhabits dense rainforest).

  • 10. ABYSSINIAN GENET /ETHIOPIAN GENET (Genetta abyssinica);

Abyssinian genet or Ethiopian genet is found in Ethiopia, Eritrea and North -west Somalia.

  • 11. BOURLON’S GENET;

Lives only in the upper Guinean rainforests in west Africa.

  • 12. SCHOUTEDEN’S GENET

Inhabits rainforest, Woodland savannah and Savannah-forest mosaic in Tropical Africa.

  • 13. THE AQUATIC GENET

Inhabits rainforests between the Congo River and the Rift valley.

  • 14. G. Letabae has been recorded from woodland savannah in Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Namibia, and South Africa.
  • 15. The king genet is restricted to rainforest in the Congo basin, Bioko island, Ghana and Liberia.
  • 16. The Cape genet is endemic to fynbos, grassland and coastal forests (In South Africa).
  • 17. The Pardaline genet lives in primary and secondary rainforests, gallery forests, moist woodlands, but also in plantations and sub-urban areas ranging from Senegal to the Volta River in Ghana.
  • Total length of Genets:

80-110cm

  • Tail length of Genets;

35-50cm

  • Shoulder height of Genets;

18-25cm

  • Weight of Genets;

1,2 -3,5kg;

  • Identification pointers of Genets;

Long, slender bodies, long tails, short legs; fairly long snouts, longish, thin, rounded ears; black and white rings on tail;  body darker spots, blotches, stripes or combination of all.

  • Similar species;

African civet (Separated on size), African linsang,  Aquatic genet.

  • Colouration: Overall pelage colour varies from grey-white to reddish- fawn, with a liberal scattering of darker spots,  blotches and in the case of Abyssinian, stripes. Underparts are generally paler and all have black and white facial marking to a greater or lesser extent. When moving the tail is carried out behind and parallel to the ground.
  • Habitat;

Most are associated with forest or woodland, but the Small-spotted/Common genet also occurs in more arid country, where it may shelter on rocky hillsides or burrows dug by other species. Six (6) species are entirely restricted to tropical lowland forests.

  • Behavior /Habits;

Nocturnal, only occasionally crepuscular, lying up under dense cover during the day. Excellent climbers but at least some species forage mainly on ground.

Normally solitary but pairs may also be sighted. Virtually no studies have been undertaken on the African genets but indications are that at least in some species females hold and defend territories but males do not. Within each home range/ territory there is usually a single latrine site where droppings are deposited. They mark their territories with pungent secretions from the anal glands, with urine and tree scratching possibly also playing a marking role.

  • Food/Diet;

Invertebrates, particularly insects, are important, as well as small rodents. Reptiles, amphibians, birds and other small mammals (up to the size of hares) are taken. Wild fruits are also taken but this may be more prevalent in some species than others. May kill more than they need when the situation presents to itself, for example, in a poultry run.

  • Gestation period;

Average 70 days. Between 2 and 5 young per litter are born, with birth weights between 50g and 800g.

  • SPECIES OF GENETS IN TANZANIA;
  • 1. COMMON GENET/ SMALL-SPOTTED GENET(Genetta genetta);
  • Kiswahili name: KANU;
  • Subspecies/ Races in Africa;

Over 30 have been described. Regional groups are provisional.

  • 1. Genetta genetta genetta(Mediterranean)
  • 2. Genetta genetta senegalensis(W. Africa)
  • 3. Genetta genetta felina (S. Africa) & 4. Genetta genetta dongolan ( E. Africa);

The Common genet/Small- spotted genet is the only genet to occur outside Africa and is also the most widely distributed species within Africa.

  • Races/Subspecies of Common genet in Tanzania;

Genetta genetta dongola/dongolan (is the only subspecies/races found in Tanzania;

  • Sex difference;

Sexual organs.

  • Colour: From greyish to light greyish brown with a conspicuous dark line along the middle back. Dark brown or blackish spots on the upper parts. Tail with 9-10 dark rings.
  • Average weight;

1-2kg;

  • Habitat: Open dry savannah; it is common in the vicinity of farms.
  • Habit/Behaviour;

Mostly nocturnal; spend the day in rocks, burrows, hollows of trees; solitary or in pairs; notorious poultry killer.

  • Food/Diet;

Feeds on rodents, birds, snakes, insects, fruits and lizards.

  • Gestation period;

2 month. Average number of young is 2-3

  • Predators/Natural enemies;

Man and Pythons;

  • Distribution/Range of Common Genet/ Small- Spotted Genet in Tanzania;

Ndutu safari lodge in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority offers excellent opportunities to see this species- many individuals can be seen on the beams of the dining room in the early evening. It is also frequently seen on night drives in

Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks, and on Manyara Ranch and Ndarakwai Ranch.

In Tanzania, this specie's distribution is closely associated with Acacia -commiphora bushland.  In northern Tanzania, it is found in the Serengeti National park and Maswa Game Reserve, Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority(but not in the Ngorongoro crater itself), Tarangire, Manyara, and Mkomazi National parks, and the low-lying areas of Arusha  National Park. In the south of its range it is found in the Ruaha ecosystem, and there are historical records from the southern end of Lake Rukwa; it is absent from most of western and southern Tanzania.

  • Common genet/ Small- spotted population size in Tanzania;

The total population size is unknown. The only density estimate for this species comes from the southern Serengeti where there were an estimated 1,5 individuals per km2(4 individuals per mi 2 ).  This species is abundant in Tarangire National Park and common in the drier areas of northern Tanzania including much of the Maasai steppe, Lake  Natron, west Kilimanjaro and Mkomazi National Park. It is also common in the eastern section of Ruaha National Park and the surrounding wildlife management areas.

  • 2. LARGE- SPOTTED GENET/ BLOTCHED GENET/ RUSTY-SPOTTED GENET;

(Genetta trigina)

Kiswahili name;  KANU;

Subspecies/Races of large –spotted genet in Africa;

  • 1. Genetta trigina maculata (which is considered a separate species by some);
  • 2. Genetta trigina poensis
  • 3. Genetta trigina pardina
  • 4. Genetta trigina birn
  • 5. Genetta trigina aequatorialis
  • 6. Genetta trigina stalhmanni
  • 7. Genetta trigina mossambica
  • 8. Genetta trigina schraden

At least 20 other races/ subspecies named.

  • Subspecies/Races of Large- spotted genet in Tanzania;

No subspecies or races of  Large- Spotted Genet in Tanzania has been recorded. In Tanzania, this species is often confused with the Common Genet/ Small- Spotted Genet;

  • Habitat;

Moist savannas, forests, secondary growth;

  • Breeding/Reproduction;

Usually bears 2-4 young. Gestation is about 10 weeks.

  • Range/ Distribution

Senegal east to Eritrea, and south to Cape Province.

  • Predators/ Natural enemies;

Young are vulnerable to all predators down to size of hawks.

  • Distribution/ Range of Large- Spotted Genet in Tanzania;

Large –Spotted Genets/ Blotched Genets are common at many lodges in the Selous Game Reserve at Lake Manze and in forest lodges and campsites in the Udzungwa Mountains. Also seen at many lodges in Ruaha National Park. Night drives in Manyara National Park and on Simba Farm in west Kilimanjaro also provide good viewing opportunities. Regularly seen in the ground of several of the lodges on the edge of the Ngorongoro crater at night, including Gibbs Farm.

Large -Spotted Genets/ Blotched Genets are very widely distributed across Tanzania. The Large- Spotted  Genet is found in all of the Mainland National  Parks and is the only species that overlaps in range with all three other genet species. Its range overlaps with the Common Genet in Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, Serengeti, Tarangire,  Arusha, Mkomazi and Ruaha National Parks, although the two species are generally separated by habitat; the Large - Spotted Genet is found in areas of riverine forest or dense habitat, whereas the Common Genet occurs in grassland or wooded grassland. Its range overlaps with the Servaline Genet in the lowland and sub -montane forest in the Udzungwa Mountains, Amani Nature Reserve and in the Nguru Mountains. The Large - Spotted Genet occurs throughout the known range of the Miombo Genet. It is absent from parts of the upper montane forest in the Udzungwa and Uluguru Mountains, and from areas of dry, open savanna, including Lake Natron, west Kilimanjaro, most of Mkomazi National Park and the open plains of the Serengeti. It is also absent from the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia.

  • Large- Spotted Genet’s population size in Tanzania;

Large- Spotted Genet is the most common and widespread genet in Tanzania, and is abundant in many parts of its range. It has been recorded at high densities in many Northern National Parks, as well as in Mahale Mountains National Park and in the southern Selous Game Reserve. This species is very adaptable and is commonly found close to human habitation, including in big cities such as Dares- Salaam and Arusha.

  • 3. MIOMBO GENET/ANGOLAN GENET(Genetta angolensis)
  • Kiswahili name: KANU;
  • Races/ Subspecies of Miombo Genet/Angolan Genet in Tanzania.

 

No record has been recorded in Tanzania. Treated as only Miombo Genet/Angolan Genet.

  • Distribution /Range of Miombo Genet/Angolan Genet in Tanzania.

Miombo Genet/Angolan Genet may be observed on the outskirts of Saadani National Park, including the area around Kisampa Lodge, to the south of the park. Until recently there were very few confirmed records for this species in Tanzania. It is found in Katavi National Park, and Ugalla, Swagaswaga, Lukwika, Muhuwesi Game Reserves, Mbangala Forest Reserve, and in the Selous Game Reserve, where there is one sighting record from the northern photographic area. It has been camera trapped in Rungwa Game Reserve, and is likely to be present in the west of Ruaha National Park although has yet to be recorded there. It is also found in the coastal bushland around Saadani National Park and in the Rungo Forest Reserve, northwest of Lindi; It probably occurs in areas of dense bushland and open woodland throughout much of the coastal zone. This species is replaced by the Large-  Spotted Genet in forested areas.

  • Miombo Genet/Angolan Genet population size in Tanzania.

The Miombo Genet/Angolan genet occurs at low densities throughout its range, although it is widely distributed and not threatened. Camera trap surveys recorded it most frequently in the Muhuwesi Game Reserve, the Mbarangandu wildlife management area in the Selous ecosystem, and in Ugalla Game Reserve. Camera trap surveys has also shown the Large- Spotted Genet to be, on average, three times as Common as Miombo Genet where the ranges of the two species overlap.

  • 4. SERVALINE GENET(Genetta servalina)
  • Kiswahili name: KANU;
  • Races/ Subspecies of Servaline Genet in Tanzania.
  • 1. Genetta servalina lowei (Mainland Tanzania);
  • 2. Genetta servalina  archeri(Zanzibar Island);

 

  • Distribution/Range of Servaline Genet in Tanzania.

There are no easy sites to see this species in Tanzania. Spotlighting in the forests close to the Mufindi Highland lodge, such as the Calderara and Lulanda forests, probably offers the best option. Both forests are accessible by vehicle and on foot. Night walks on the outskirts of the Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park on Zanzibar may also offer opportunities to see this species.

On the Tanzanian mainland, the Servaline Genet is known only from the Eastern Arc Mountains, where it was rediscovered in 2002 having not been recorded for 70 years.

In the Udzungwa Mountains it has been recorded from Udzungwa Mountains National Park and the west Kilombero Scarp Forest Reserve, and there is an old specimen record from the Dabaga area. In the nearby Mufindi forest complex it is found in the Kigogo, Lulanda, Calderara and Mufindi scarp west forests. It is also known from the Uluguru and Nguru south mountains, and from Amani Nature Reserve in the Usambara Mountains. On Zanzibar, the species probably occurs in most intact forests, including the Jozani Chwaka Bay National park, where it is found both in the groundwater forest and coral rag forest. It is absent from the Islands of Pemba and Mafia.

  • Servaline Genet population size in Tanzania;

Camera trap surveys suggest the species is very common in the forests of Udzungwa Mountains National Park, but uncommon in Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park on Zanzibar and the Uluguru Mountains. Its status in the forests of Mufindi is unclear, although it is probably uncommon. It is rare in the Usambara Mountains. On Zanzibar, the species is hunted for its meat and pelt and numbers are likely to be dwindling rapidly.

  1. AFRICAN PALM CIVET/AFRICAN TREE CIVET (Nandinia binotata)
  • Kiswahili name: Fungo.

African palm civet/ African tree civet (Nandinia binotata) belongs to the subfamily (Paradoxurinae) which also comprises 7 palm civets of south east Asia that demonstrate the evolution of a group of meat- eating carnivores of the family VIVERRIDAE (viverrids) into fruit-eating. In this subfamily (paradoxurinae, there are 8 species in 6 genera, and Africa has only one species which is African palm civet/ African tree civet,  while Asia has 7 species );

The palm civets of south East Asia spend nearly all of their time in the tree canopy, and one species has been documented as feeding on over 30 species of fruit.

  • Distribution/ Range of African palm civet in Africa.

Western and Central Africa,  isolated sub populations in East Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

  • Habitat:

Forests that produce fruit year round, up to 6,500 (2,00m) elevation, with rainfall of at least 40’’ (1,000mm), riverine forests in savannas.

  • General description;

The palm civet/Tree civet is a fruit- eater in carnivore clothing; it eats only a few insects and small vertebrates. It is solitary and nocturnal. Both sexes are territorial; the ranges of the fittest mature males include several female ranges. The palm civet has a unique hooting call.

  • Reproduction/Breeding;

Up to 4 young born in a tree hollow after 9 weeks gestation; possible birth peak during rainy season. Active at night,  the African palm civet/African tree civet is a skilful climber and spends much of its life in trees.

  • Subspecies /Races of African palm civet in Africa;
  • 1. Nandinia binotata (Main forest blocks);
  • 2. Nandinia binotata arborea (East African isolates);

 

  • Races/Subspecies of African palm civet in Tanzania;
  • 1. Nandinia binotata arborea (Northern Tanzania, black neck stripes);
  • 2. Nandinia binotata gerrardi (Southern Tanzania and Zanzibar, no black neck stripes);

 

  • Distribution /Range of African palm civet in Tanzania.

This species has a scattered distribution in dense forests in north, west, central and coastal Tanzania. It is known from northern Serengeti, Manyara, Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Mikumi, Udzungwa, Kitulo, Mahale, and Gombe stream National Parks, and possibly in Ruaha and Katavi National Parks. It is found throughout the Eastern Arc Mountains, and has been recorded in both East and West Usambaras, South pare mountains, Chome Forest Reserve, Nguru north, Uluguru south, and west Kilombero Scarp Forest. It is also found on Mount Rungwe and other Southern Highland Forests, and Mbizi Forest. There are camera trap records from Minziro Forest and Issa, west of Ugalla Game Reserve. It was recently discovered in Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park on Zanzibar.

  • African palm civet’s population size in Tanzania.

There are no density data for the African palm civet in Tanzania, although in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda. It can reach densities of 2-3 individuals per km2 (5-8 individuals per mi 2).  It was camera trapped regularly in Ufiome Forest Reserve south of Babati, and is probably also common in the nearby Nou Forest. It is fairly common on mount Rungwe.

AFRICAN CIVET (Civettictis civetta)

Kiswahili name; Ngawa/ Paka wa Zabidi;

The African civet can be found in dense forests, savannah and bush areas. It is solitary in character and becomes more active during the night. By day the animal hides in thickets, tall grass and burrow. When attacked or excited it erects the back hairs. Surprisingly, this animal can swim well. It has a tendency of depositing its droppings in particular areas. Hence the dung may accumulate in great quantities. And since it has well developed scent glands; its secretes a nauseating only substance which is used for marking its territory, the oily substance is one of the ingredients used in manufacturing perfume. The animal is Omnivorous, feeding on carrion, rodents, birds, eggs, small animals, lizards, insects, frogs, snails, vegetable matter (fruits, berries and young shoots of bushes). The litter size is 2-4 cubs. Its main enemies are man and pythons.

  • Distribution /Range of African civet in Africa;

Africa, south of the Sahara to South Africa; Transvaal. (Widespread in the tropics). Except deserts and sub deserts, wherever cover is adequate, usually near water.

  • Races/ Subspecies of African civet in Africa;

8 subspecies/ races named.

  • Races / Subspecies of African civet in Tanzania;

No races/ subspecies has been recorded in Tanzania.

  • Similar species & African civet’s identification pointers;

Genets; Large; distinctive black and white facial and neck markings; walks with arched back, head held low.

  • Total Length; 1,2-1,4m;
  • Tail Length; 40-50cm
  • Shoulder height; 40cm
  • Weight; 9-15kg
  • Habitat: wide habitat tolerance, with preference for more densely wooded and forested areas, and nearly always near water.
  • Behavior /Habits;

Mainly nocturnal but also crepuscular. Although generally solitary, pairs are also observed. Regular latrine sites, or “Civetries” used throughout range, which is also marked with anal glad secretion. They are purely terrestrial.

  • Food/Diet; Invertebrates, particularly insects, small rodents, hares, birds, reptiles, carrion and wild fruits, such as wild dates.
  • Gestation period;

60-65 days. Two to 4 pups are dropped.

  • Longevity /Lifespan;

13 years.

  • Distribution/ Range of African civet in Tanzania.

African civets often walk on roads, paths, and trails, resulting in frequent sightings when spotlighting. Good places to try are Simba Farm and Ndarakwai Ranch on west Kilimanjaro and night game drives in Manyara National Park and on the outskirts of Serengeti National Park. They are also frequently seen on Madete Beach in Saadani National Park.

African civet is very widely distributed in Tanzania. It is known to occur in every National Park except Rubondo National Park and is also present in most Game Reserves and Forest Reserves around the country. It is also found on Zanzibar but not on the islands of Pemba or Mafia. Zanzibar formerly had a flourishing trade in Civet musk, which was used in the perfume industry, so it is possible this species was introduced to the Island.

  • African civet’s population size in Tanzania.

African civet is very common in the coastal and southern parts of the country, including Pangani, Saadani National Park, the southern Selous Game Reserve and the Selous-  Niassa Corridor. It is also common in Ugalla Game Reserve, the southern Highlands, Udzungwa Mountains, Maswa Game Reserve, the lower slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, and on Zanzibar. Density records for the Serengeti National Park have been estimated at 1 animal per 10km2(3 animals   per 10 mi2).  The population of African civets in Tanzania is stable.

HYENIDS (FAMILY- HYAENIDAE) HYENA FAMILY;

Kiswahili -FISI;

Hyenas and Aardwolves are primarily found in AFRICA, although the Striped hyena extends to southern parts of Asia), in savanna, scrub, and semi- arid habitats. They are primarily nocturnal and dig dens that are used to shelter adults and cubs (except in the Spotted hyena, where only cubs seek refuge in dens.

Although members of this family superficially resemble dogs, they are in fact more closely related to Cats and Civets and Genets. This family HYAENIDAE has 4 species with 3 genera. Tanzania has only 3 species namely, Spotted hyena, Striped hyena and Aardwolves with the exception of Brown hyena, which is restricted to southern African Countries.

Hyenas are essentially carnivores of open habitats and are unknown in forested regions. Hyenas, like other carnivores, are opportunistic, but they derive  a large portion of their diet from scavenging on large ungulate kills.

Physical characteristics common to the species in this family include a large head and ears, long front legs and short back legs, a mane on the nape that (except in the Spotted hyena) extends down the back a bushy tail, and short , blunt, non- retractable claws. Hyenas have 4 toes on both the front and back feet; the aardwolf  has 5 toes on the front feet and 4 on the back feet. The coat is spotted or striped (the brown hyena has stripes on the Limbs only)

  • 1. SPOTTED HYAENA;

(Crocuta crocuta)

  • Kiswahili name; FISI  MADOA  MADOA/ FISI;
  • Distribution/ Range of Spotted Hyenas in Africa;

Africa, south of the Sahara ( wide- sub-Saharan range) except rainforests and true desert, up to 13,000 feet (4000 m);

  • Races / Subspecies of Spotted Hyaena in Tanzania;

No races/ subspecies of Spotted Hyaena has been recorded in Tanzania. Only treated and known as Spotted Hyaena.

  • Total Length; 1,2-1,8m
  • Tail Length; 25cm
  • Shoulder Length; 85 cm
  • Weight of Spotted Hyaena;

60-80 kg (56-63 kg in Male) and (67-75 kg in Female);

  • Identification pointers of Spotted Hyaena;

Large; shoulders higher than rump. Short, fawn- yellow, dark- spotted coat; rounded ears, usually in packs; distinctive calls.

  • Similar species; other hyaenas.
  • Habitat;

Semi- desert to moist savanna.

  • Colouration;

Coat greyish or yellowish with dark brown spots.  Hair is longer on the head and back. The face, muzzle and lower parts of limbs are dark brown.

  • Behaviour/Habits;

Although solitary animals may be encountered, they usually live in family groups, or clans led by an adult female. Clan size ranges from three to 15 or more individuals, with each clan defending a territory, which is marked with urine, anal gland secretions and distinctive bright white droppings, usually deposited in latrine sites. They are both nocturnal and crepuscular, with more limited day time activity. They frequently sunbask in the vicinity of their daytime shelters.

  • Food/Diet; Ungulates, including antelope, buffalo and plains zebra, form the bulk of prey and are actively hunted. They also scavenge, and in game parks they frequently camp dumps.
  • Gestation period; About 110 days and cubs are uniformly dark brown with lighter heads; the spots only appear in the fourth month. Cubs weigh on average 1,5kg at birth. One to 2 cubs per litter is usual but up to 3 have been recorded.
  • Longevity / Lifespan; 25 years.
  • Predators/ Natural enemies;

Man, lions and wild dogs;

The Spotted hyena is the largest hyena species.  The female is some 10 percent larger than the male, and her external sexual organs are enlarged so that they are difficult to distinguish from the males. The social system is female- dominated and based on the clan, which varies from 5 or fewer adults and young in deserts to 50 or more in prey-rich savanna. The clan occupies a communal den, uses communal latrines, and jointly defends its territory of 40-1000 square kilometers.

  • Distribution/Range of Spotted Hyaenas in Tanzania.

Spotted hyaenas can be reliably seen in the Ngorongoro crater and on the short grass plains between Serengeti and Ngorongoro. They are also commonly seen in the savanna grassland and riverine areas in Ruaha National Park, on the edges of the flood plains in Katavi National Park, and in open areas in Mikumi National Park. The Spotted hyaena is extremely widespread in Tanzania. It is found in all mainland National Parks with the exception of Gombe and Kitulo, where it is now extinct, and Rubondo National Park. It also occurs in all of the Game Reserves. It is one of the few species of large predator that survives in close proximity to human settlement, including on the outskirts of Arusha and Dar es –salaam.

  • Spotted hyaena’s population size in Tanzania.

Spotted hyaena is very common in Tanzania. There are believed to be 7,200-7,700 animals in the Serengeti ecosystem, where densities up to 2 individuals per km2 (5 individuals per mi 2) have been recorded in the Ngorongoro crater.  The Spotted hyaena is also abundant in the Selous Game Reserve and the northern Selous- Niassa Corridor. Camera trapping has shown that the Spotted hyaena is also abundant in Arusha National Park , Gelai Mountain, and Tarangire National Park, and is very common in Ugalla, Swagaswaga,  Moyowosi and Burigi -Biharamulo Game Reserves. The species is also common in Katavi, Ruaha, and Mikumi National Parks.

  • 2. STRIPED HYAENA;

(Hyaena hyaena)

  • Kiswahili name: FISI MILIA/ FISI MIRABA;
  • Distribution /Range of Striped Hyaena in Africa.

Occurs widely in North Africa, including the Sahara and Sahel, extending south to northern Tanzania. Also occurs throughout Arabia, the Middle East and into northern India.  (Senegal to Tanzania; Middle East to India);

  • Races/ Subspecies of Striped Hyaena in Africa.

No subspecies/ races of Striped hyaena are recognized in Africa due to overall variability.

  • Races / Subspecies of Striped Hyaena in Tanzania;

No subspecies/ races of Striped Hyaena are recognized and identified in Tanzania.

  • Total Length; 1,2-1,55m
  • Tail Length: 25-35cm
  • Shoulder height average; 72 cm
  • Weight: 40-55kg (some adults lighter/Male 25-45kg/Female slightly smaller);
  • Identification pointers of Striped Hyaena;

Large; rump lower than shoulders; long, shaggy coat;  distinct stripes on body, legs; head large; long, pointed ears; solitary;

  • Similar species;

Spotted Hyaena, Aardwolf;

  • Behavior/ Habit/ Lifestyle;

Most sightings are of solitary animals, or pairs, and most activity takes place at night. Although poorly known, they probably live in loosely associated groupings within a common home range, only foraging being a largely solitary activity.  The arid nature of their habitat indicates that they occupy large home ranges but the extent of territoriarity is unknown. They show many behavioural similarities to the brown hyaena, and are much less vocal than the Spotted hyaena.

  • Habitat: Dry areas (Dry savanna, bush country, semi-desert and desert), often in association with rocky outcrops (kopjes) and within savanna. In parts of North African it is also found on coastal plains.
  • Food/Diet; Opportunistic, taking a wide range of animal and plant food; also scavenges.
  • Gestation period: About 90 days. A litter usually consists of 2 to 4 cubs, dropped in a rocky den, or a burrow excavated by another species.

 

The Striped hyaena forages alone, ranging about12 miles (19 km) per night, looking for fruit, insects, carrion, and prey up to the size of antelope fawn. Surplus food is cached and retrieved later; all clan members carry food home to the cubs.

  • Distribution/Range of Striped Hyaena in Tanzania.

Frequently encountered at Kisima Ngeda lodge and campsite near Lake Eyasi, usually in the early morning or late afternoon. They can be seen daily when denning, which generally occurs between December and March. Other good areas to look are the short-grass plains around Ndutu, Naabi Hill, Kusini Camp and Oldupai Gorge in the Serengeti ecosystem, and on night drives on Manyara Ranch.

Striped Hyaena is restricted to the north and central parts of the country, where it is closely associated with the Acacia-Commiphora bushland. It is found throughout the Serengeti ecosystem, with most records from southern Serengeti National Park with most records from southern Serengeti national park and western Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, and is widespread across Lake Natron, west Kilimanjaro, Tarangire National Park, the Maasai Steppe and Mkomazi National park. It  also occurs around Arusha city and the Kilimanjaro International Airport. There are records from Dodoma, and it is found in Ruaha National Park, Rungwa Game Reserve and the surrounding wildlife management area.

  • Striped Hyaena’s population size in Tanzania.

This species occurs at low densities throughout its range. Estimates from the Serengeti ecosystem suggest a population of 100-1,000 individuals. A camera trap survey found that it is very common around Gelai Mountain. It is also common in the dry bushland in the Yaeda Valley, Lake Natron, west Kilimanjaro and Manyara Ranch. It is uncommon in Tarangire National Park, the Maasai Steppe, and is rare in the Ruaha ecosystem and Mkomazi National Park.

  • 3. AARDWOLF

(Proteles cristata)

  • Kiswahili name: FISI MDOGO/ FISI YA NKOLE;

The Aardwolf licks up as many as 200,000 harvester termites per night on its broad, sticky tongue, moving from patch to patch of the insects as they emerge above ground after dark. The termites constitute about 90 per cent of this species food intake; other insects and occasional mice, birds, and carrion make up the rest. Aardwolves apparently live in monogamous pair. Males guard small cubs at the den while the mother forages.

  • Distribution /Range of Aardwolf in Africa.

There are two separate populations, one widely occurring in southern Africa, the other in East Africa, extending through the Horn and along the Red sea coast to Egypt. The distribution of this animal is largely dictated by the availability of its principal food, the harvester termite.

  • Races/Subspecies of Aardwolf in Africa.

P.c. cristatus (S. Africa),  P.c.septentrionalis (E and NE Africa)

  • Races/Subspecies of Aardwolf in Tanzania.

Proteles cristata septentrionalis – is the only subspecies/ races found in Tanzania.

  • Total Length; 84-100cm
  • Tail Length: 20-28 cm
  • Shoulder Height: 50cm
  • Weight: 6-11 kg both Male and Female.
  • Aardwolf's identification pointers:

Hyaena like, rump lower than shoulders; prominent erectile mane down neck; back; dark, vertical body stripes feet, muzzle, much of tail black; long, pointed ears.

  • Similar species:

Canids (separated on appearance), striped hyaena (separated on size)

  • Habitat: very wide tolerance, from low to high rainfall regions (open dry plains, savanna). Avoids forest and dense woodland.
  • Habits/Behaviour/ Lifestyle:

Primarily nocturnal and crepuscular but active on overcast days in areas of low disturbance. Usually solitary animals, pairs, or family parties seen, with two or more animals occupying a home range. Several females may drop their pups in the same den. Although often excavating their own burrows, they will also use and modify those dug by other species. Droppings are deposited in shallow scrapes at latrine sites, and anal gland secretions on grass stalks within the home range.

  • Food/Diet;

Primarily termites, notably the harvester termite, but also other insects. They are falsely accused of killing livestock such as sheep and goats, when in fact dentition is totally inadequate.

  • Gestation period

About 60 days. Between 1 and 4 pups, weighing less than 500g at birth are dropped. Most births occur during rainy season. In other regions, the gestation period has been recorded at about 90-100 days.

  • Distribution/ Range of Aardwolf in Tanzania.

Probably the best opportunity to see this species is on night drives on Manyara Ranch, where they are seen on average once every two nights. They are also occasionally seen in Ruaha National Park in the mornings and in Serengeti National Park around Gol and Simba Kopjes, Seronera and Soit Lemoytoni, although sightings here are uncommon.

The Aardwolf occurs predominantly in Acacia- Commiphora bushland,  and is most widespread in areas with less than 700mm (28') of annual rainfall. It is found in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority and the Serengeti,Tarangire, Manyara, Mkomazi, and Ruaha National Parks. There are single sighting records from Katavi National Park, Chunya open area and Behobeho in the Selous Game Reserve. It is also found in Lake Natron, west Kilimanjaro, the Yaeda Valley and the Maasai Steppe, although its southern range in the steppe is unclear.

  • Aardwolf’s population size in Tanzania.

The only density estimate in Tanzania is from central Tarangire National Park where 0.9 animals per km2 (2 animals per mi2) were recorded. It is most common in the drier parts of the country. Camera trap surveys have shown it to be abundant around Gelai Mountain, common in Mkomazi National Park, fairly common around Maswa Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park and the adjacent Lunda Wildlife Management Area, and un common in the Maasai Steppe.

FAMILY FELIDAE (FELIDS)/ CAT FAMILY (CATS)

FAMILY FELIDAE (FELIDS)/  CAT FAMILY (CATS)

(e.g. Lion, Leopard. etc)

Worldwide, Cats/ Felids are found throughout Eurasia, Africa and the Americas (South and North America) from alpine heights to deserts. Many species live in forests. All except the largest cats are expert climbers, and several are excellent swimmers. Most cats are solitary. Domestic cat is found worldwide.

Worldwide, there are probably 35-38 species of cats, with genera between 4 to 6. African continent has at least 10 species.

Traditionally, the Cats/Felids have been divided into three ( 3 ) groups /genera; the large cats, called Pantherine (genus-Panthera), the small cats, referred to as the Felines (genus- Felis), and the cheetah (genus-Acinonyx).

Most cats are nocturnal and all, except the lion, hunt alone. They eat mainly warm blooded vertebrates. Cats are among purest carnivores; small ones prey primarily on rodents, other small mammals, and birds; big ones prey prefer antelopes and other ungulates but take all sorts of small creatures as opportunity affords.

Cats have a rounded face and a relatively short muzzle (but a wide gape). The heavy lower jaw helps deliver a powerful bite, and the long canines are used for stabbing and gripping. The carnassials, modified cheek teeth that slice bones and tendons, are highly developed.

Cats are covered with soft, which is often striped or spotted, and have a tail that is haired, flexible, and usually long. There are 5 digits on the front feet and 4 on the back feet, and each digit has a curved, retractable claw for holding prey. The claws are normally retracted, which helps keep them sharp. However, when required (during climbing, for example) they spring forward via a mechanism similar to a jack- Knife. The naked pads on the soles of the feet are surrounded by hair, which assists with silent stalking. All cats/ felids have keen senses.

African species of the family FELIDAE (felids)/  cat family (cats) are estimated 10 species that occur on the African continent, of which only three (3) endemic. These are (i) wildcat (ii) black-footed cat (iii) sand cat (iv) swamp cat (v) serval cat (vi) caracal) (vii) golden cat (viii) leopard (ix) lion (x) cheetah.

  • 1. LEOPARD

(Panthera pardus)

  • Kiswahili name: Chui
  • Distribution/Range of Leopards in Africa.

Has a wide distribution in sub- Saharan Africa, and remnant populations are located in the Atlas mountains of Morocco and the coastal ranges of south Africa . Elsewhere, it occurs widely in the Middle East and Asia, extending into China (Siberia to Korea, Srilanka and Java).  Although it has disappeared from some areas and is greatly reduced in others, the Leopard is not threatened within its African range.

  • Races/Subspecies of Leopards in Africa.

Inspite of very distinct regional morphs ( 26 subspecies/races have been named), all continental populations show intermediate intergrades. The only exception is Zanzibar i. where the founder effect has established a unique population with very numerous, very small rosettes. P.p. pardus (continental Africa), P.p edersi (Zanzibar. i.);

  • Races/Subspecies of Leopards in Tanzania.
  • 1. Panthera pardus pardus (Tanzania mainland)
  • 2. Panthera pardus adersi (Zanzibar-probably extinct);
  • Total Length: 1,6-2,1m
  • Tail Length: 68-110 cm
  • Shoulder height: 70-80cm
  • Weight : Male (20-90kg/35-65 kg/ Female (17-60kg)/ 28-58kg
  • Leopard’s identification pointers;

Large, cat like appearance; rosette spots on body; solid black spots on legs, head, sides, hindquarters; no black facial stripes. Males are larger than females;

  • Similar species

Cheetah, Serval (separated on appearance and size);

  • Habitat:

An extremely wide habitat tolerance. From coastal plains to high altitude mountains, from desert areas to tropical rain forests. (Leopard found entombed in Kilimanjaro ice cap);

  • Habits/ Behaviour/ Lifestyle;

Leopards are solitary and normally hunt day or night, but in areas where they are persecuted, they are nocturnal. They swim and climb well and often lie basking in the sun on a branch. Their sight and sense of smell are good, and their hearing is exceptionally acute. Male and female leopards coming together for mating only, or when a female is accompanied by cubs. Adult males mark and defend a territory against other males, and a male’s range may overlap those of several females. Territories are marked with urine, scrapes, droppings, tree-scratching points and the deep sawing or grunting, call. Females also call but this presumably serves no territorial function. Home ranges may be as small as 10 km2 in optimal habitat, to several hundred square kilometers where prey densities are low. They stalk and then pounce on their prey and do not rely on running at high speed like the cheetah.

  • Food/Diet; Prey includes mammals such as large antelope, young apes (particularly baboons and monkeys), birds, snakes, fish and domestic livestock. Large items may be dragged up into a tree for safety while the leopard feeds. It will also feeds on carrion.
  • Gestation period:

90 to 112 days. The litter of 1 to 6, but usually 2 or 3, young is born in a den in a rock crevice or hole in a tree. The young are suckled for  3 months and become independent at between 18 months and 2 years.

  • Longevity/Lifespan : 15 years;
  • Predators/ Natural enemies;

Man;

  • Distribution / Range of Leopards in Tanzania;

Leopards are frequently seen/ sighted around the Seronera area in the central Serengeti National Park. Drive along the riverine areas and scan the Acacia and Kigelia trees bordering the rivers, particularly at dawn or dusk. Leopards are also regularly, although less reliably, seen along the main river in Ruaha National Park and around Silale Swamp in Tarangire National Park, particularly during the dry season. Although Leopards are common in many parts of Tanzania, their cryptic habits means they are seldom seen outside protected areas.

Leopards are widely distributed across Tanzania and have the broadest range of any of the large cat species. They occur in all mainland National Parks except Gombe National Park, where they are now extinct, and Rubondo National Park. They are also found in all Game Reserves and Nature Reserves, and many of the larger Forest Reserves around the country. Their secretive nature allows them to live in close proximity to humans, including in and around large cities such as Dar es Salaam and Arusha, where they occasionally prey on domestic dogs.

  • Leopard’s population size in Tanzania.

Leopards in Tanzania are common or abundant in many protected areas and on community lands with low human density. Particularly high densities have been recorded in sub-montane or montane forest areas, with camera trap surveys showing that they are abundant in the forests of Gelai Mountain, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, and Mahale Mountains National Park. They are also common in Tarangire National Park, where densities of 8 animals per 100 km2 (21 animal per 100 mi 2) were recorded. The species is uncommon, but widespread, in much of the coastal area. It is now extinct on Zanzibar.

  • 2. LION

(Panthera leo)

  • Kiswahili name: Simba
  • Distribution/ Range of Lions in Africa;

Occurred very widely in Africa but now has a patchy distribution south of the Sahara (Africa, south of the Sahara).  Most viable populations are now restricted to the larger savanna conservation areas.

An isolated population is located in the GIR FOREST (North- western India) in Asia. Formerly more widespread in Asia.

  • Races/ Subspecies of Lions in Africa;

The extinct (Dead) Barbary and Cape lions were once treated as subspecies (Panthera leo leo) and Panthera leo melanochaita. All lions are currently considered monotypic.

  • Races / Subspecies of Lions in Tanzania

Panthera leo nubicus-  is the only subspecies found in Tanzania.

  • Total Length:

Male (2,5-3,3m)

Female (2,3-2,7m)

  • Shoulder Height:

Male (1,2m)

Female (1m)

  • Weight:

Male (150-225kg) 189kg

Female (110-152kg)/ 126kg

  • Lion's identification pointers:

Large: uniform tawny colouration: most adult males have long mane. Dark- tipped tail. Males are larger than females. In males the scrotum can be seen hanging below the anus. Mane found in males only though at times mane may not be present even in males;  females have almost white underparts from throat to abdomen. Cubs with brindled markings, yellow, brown rosette-like spots and stripes.

  • Similar species: None;
  • Habitat:

Very wide tolerance, from desert fringes to woodland and fairly open grasslands. Absent from true forest.

  • Habits/ Behavior;

The most sociable large cat, living in prides (groups) of between three and 30 individuals. Pride (group) size is largely dictated by prey availability and varies from region to region. The social groupings are complex, with each composed of a relatively stable core of related females, their dependent offspring, and usually a coalition of two, or more, adult males. In some circumstances a single male may hold tenure over a pride. On reaching maturity, females may stay with their birth pride or leave as a group to form a new pride.

Young males always disperse from the birth pride and form coalitions until they are old enough to take over an existing pride rarely before four years of age. Most males hold tenure for only   two to three years, with the larger coalitions usually being able to hold the pride for longer.  When new males drive away pride- holding males, the new animals usually kill any younger cubs present.

Most hunting is undertaken by the Lionesses but males usually take priority when feeding at a kills. Most hunting takes place at night and during the cooler daylight hours.

A pride territory is defended against strange lions by both males and females, but some prides and solitary males may be nomadic. Territories are marked with urine, droppings, earth- scratching and their distinctive roaring. These calls are audible over distances of several kilometers.

Pride home ranges vary from 26 to 220 km2 but in some cases may exceed 2000km2. Lions spend 20 or more  hours a day resting and normally hunt during the day, but in areas where they are persecuted they are active only at night.

 

  • Food/Diet;

Lions prey on mammals, such as gazelle, antelope and zebra, and may cooperate to kill larger animals, such as buffalo. Smaller animals and birds, even crocodiles, may also be eaten. Lionesses do most of the hunting, often in groups. Lions stalk their prey and approach it as closely as possible then make a short, rapid chase and pounce. They kill with a bite to the neck or throat. They will drive other predators from their kills and will readily scavenge.

  • Gestation period:

102 to 113 days. A litter of 1 to 6 young, usually 2 or 3 is born.  The cubs are suckled for about 6 months, but from 3 months an increasing proportion of their food is meat. Birth weight is about 1,5kg.

  • Lifespan/ Longevity: 20-30 years;
  • Predators/ Natural enemies: Man;
  • Distribution / Range of Lions in Tanzania;

The best place to see Lions is in the Ngorongor crater and on the Serengeti plains, where the short grass and good visibility make them relatively easy to find. They can also be seen regularly in several other National Parks including Ruaha, Mikumi and Tarangire.

Lions are still widely distributed across Tanzania. They are found in all mainland National Parks with the exception of Gombe National Park,  where they are extinct, and Arusha and Kitulo National Parks, where vagrant animals are occasionally recorded. There are also populations on village land across much of the Maasai Steppe, Lake Natron, Singida Region, southern Tanzania and parts of coastal Tanzania. Lion sightings are still reported from areas of high human habitation, including close to major cities, in November 2012 a lion killed a goat at Ras Dege, just south of Dar es Salaam. Lions in these areas are not resident, and are typically transient young males dispersing from protected areas, in the latter case the Selous Game Reserve.

  • Lion’s population size in Tanzania;

There are estimated to be approximately 15,000 Lions in Tanzania. While still is the largest population in Africa, this figure is significantly less than it was just two decades ago. The highest numbers are in the Selous ecosystem followed by Serengeti National Park, which has around 3000 animals. Other important populations include the Ruaha- Rungwa ecosystem with 1,450, and Tarangire ecosystem with 400-600 individuals. The majority (80%) of lions occur within National Parks and Game Reserves, with the remainder on community land.

  1. AFRICAN WILD CAT

(Felis silvestris)/ Lyibica group;

  • Kiswahili name: PAKA MWITU/ PORI/ KIMBURU;
  • Distribution /Range of African Wild cat in Africa;

All over Africa outside Sahara and lowland Rainforest (but absent from some habitats).  Elsewhere extends into Europe, Middle East and Western Asia. Domesticated by Egyptians as early as 4000 BC.  Commonest African cat, interbreeds freely with domestic cats and feral cats.

  • Races/ Subspecies of African Wild Cat in Africa;
  • 1. Felis silvestris libya (N. Africa)
  • 2. Felis silvestris cafra (S. Africa)
  • 3. Felis silvestris brockmani (Horn of Africa)
  • 4. Felis silvestris ocreata (Ethiopia)
  • 5. Felis silvestris griselda (S.W. Africa)

Other recognized subspecies/Races are;

  • 6. Felis silvestris sarda.
  • 7. Felis silvestris ugandae.
  • 8. Felis silvestris rubida.
  • 9. Felis silvestris foxi.
  • 10. Felis silvestris melandi.
  • 11. Felis silvestris haussa.

At least 13 subspecies/races have ben recognized, based largely on color variations.

  • Races/ Subspecies of African wild cat in Tanzania;

No record of races/ subspecies of African wildcat in Tanzania has been recorded.

  • Similar species;

Sand and swamp cats.

  • African Wild cat’s identification pointers;

Similar build, form to domestic cat; very variable in color, but backs of ears rich reddish- brown, vertical body stripes distinct to very faint.

  • Total length;

85-100 cm

  • Tail length;

25-37cm

  • Shoulder height:

35 cm

  • Weight ;

2,5-6kg/ Male-3.7-6.4kg) /Female (3.2-5.4kg)

  • Habitat:

Forest, scrub, savanna, open plains, Semi- desert.

  • Behaviour/Habits/ lifestyle ;

Solitary, except during the brief mating period and when the females are accompanied by Kittens. They are primarily nocturnal and crepuscular but occasionally seen on cool, overcast days. They lie up in rock crevices, among dense vegetation, in burrows excavated by other species and in trees. Both sexes establish, mark and defend territories, and cat densities may be high in areas of optimal habitat and abundant prey.

  • Food/Diet;

Rodents, birds, chicken, hares, snakes, lizards and small antelopes.

  • Gestation period;

56 to 65 days. 1 to 5 Kittens are dropped, weighing 40 to 50g. Most births are recorded during warm, wet summer months.

  • Longevity/lifespan;

10-12 years.

African wild cat is one of the ancestors of the domestic cat, the wild cat is similar in form but slightly larger, and has a shorter, thicker tail, which is encircled with black rings. Colouration varies according to habitat, cats in dry sandy areas being lighter than forest dwelling cats. Largely solitary and nocturnal, the wild cat lives in a well- defined territory.

  • Distribution/ Range of African Wild cat in Tanzania;

African wildcats are occasionally seen in the early morning and late afternoon on the short grass- plains around Ndutu in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority and Seronera in the Serengeti National Park. They are also frequently encountered on night drives in the west Kilimanjaro area, and less commonly in Tarangire National Park and Manyara Ranch.

Most wild cat records in Tanzania are concentrated in the north and central parts of the country. The species has been recorded in all of the Northern National Parks, as well as Ruaha, Katavi and Kitulo. There is also a record from Mahale Mountains National park. Wild cats may be more widely distributed in Tanzania than current records suggest, but confusion with domestic cats makes it difficult to determine their exact range.

  • African wild cat’s population size in Tanzania;

Wild cats are widespread and common in northern Tanzania. They are common in the Serengeti National Park, where densities have been estimated at 0.1-1.0 animals per km2 (less than 0.5 animals per mi2).  Camera trap surveys have shown that this species is particularly abundant in the Lake Natron and west Kilimanjaro ecosystems and in Mkomazi National Park. There are also high densities on the outskirts of Arusha, although many of these individuals are probably wildcats x domestic cat hybrids. Wildcats are uncommon in Manyara and Tarangire National Parks, the Maasai Steppe and in the Ruaha-Rungwa and Katavi- Rukwa ecosystems, and rare or absent from the Selous Game Reserve and most of southern and northwestern Tanzania.

  1. SERVAL / SERVAL CAT

Leptailurus serval/ Felis serval;

  • Kiswahili name: MONDO;
  • Distribution/ Range of Serval/ Serval cat in Africa.

Africa, south of  the Sahara to south Africa (Throughout Savanna zone, from Senegal eastward to the Red sea, through East and Central Africa and south to Kwazulu- Natal, South Africa);

  • Subspecies/ Races of Serval cat in Africa & Tanzania;

None.

  • Similar species

Leopard, cheetah, (Separated on size),  golden cat;

  • Serval cat’s identification pointers;

Slender; pale, usually yellowish- fawn coat, black- spotted, barred; Large, rounded, distinctly marked ears; short black- banded and tipped tail.

  • Total length : 96-120 cm
  • Tail length : 25- 38cm/ Shoulder height; 60;
  • Weight: 8- 13kg ( Male- 10- 18kg);/ Female( 8.7- 12.5kg);

 

  • Habitat:

Usually areas with water, with tall grassland, reedbeds or forest fringes. Also, savanna, open plains, woodland;

  • Behaviour/ Habits/ Lifestyle;

Mainly nocturnal and crepuscular but not in frequently seen on cool days. Although mostly solitary, sightings of pairs and family group not unusual. Predominantly terrestrial but are agile climbers. Males are territorial, as may be females.

Food/ Diet;  mammals, from the size of rodents up to small antelope, are its main prey. It also eats birds, poultry lizards, insects and fruit.

  • Gestation period;

67 to 77 days. A litter of 1 to 4, usually 2 or 3, young is born in a safe den among rocks or vegetation or in a burrow taken over from another mammal.

  • Lifespan/Longevity;

10-12 years;

  • Predators/ Natural enemies;

Without cover to hide in, servals, which seem not to use holes as refuges, would be vulnerable to larger carnivores, especially hyenas and wild dogs. When servals see hyenas, they crouch and duck into cover and wait for threat to pass.

  • Distribution /Range of Serval Cat in Tanzania;

Frequently seen on night drives on the lower slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro at Simba Farm and Ndarakwai Ranch, and occasionally seen on the road up to the Shira Plateau. In the Serengeti it can be found in the triangle area of Ndutu and around the Seronera River, while in Tarangire National Park it is sometimes seen along the edge of Silale Swamp in the early morning or late afternoon. Serval cats are extremely widespread in Tanzania, with records from much of the country and all habitat types. There are no records from central Tabora and Shinyanga regions. It has been reported from every Game Reserve and Mainland National Park with the exception of Rubondo National Park.  An adaptable species,  it is also found on the outskirts of big cities, including Arusha. Melanistic servals have been recorded in Serengeti, Mkomazi and Kitulo National Parks, and on Mount Kilimanjaro;  three out of nine servals camera trapped  on the Shira plateau on Mount Kilimanjaro were melanistic individuals, suggesting that this is a common trait in this area.

  • Serval cat’s population size in Tanzania;

Most common in the north and in highland areas, and less common in the west, south and coastal areas. In Tarangire National Park, density was estimated at 11 individuals per 100 km2 (29 individuals per 100 mi 2).  It is very common on Mount Kilimanjaro and it is also common in Maswa Game Reserve, much of the Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and in the Southern Highlands including Mount Rungwe and Kitulo National Park. It is less common but still frequently encountered in Lake Natron, west Kilimanjaro, the Maasai Steppe, Mkomazi National Park,  Burigi- Biharamulo Game Reserve and the Ruaha Rungwa ecosystem. It is un common around Katavi National Park, Ugalla Game Reserve, Moyowosi Game Reserve and rare across most of the Selous ecosystem and Selous- Niassa Corridor.

  1. CARACAL

(Caracal caracal)/ Felis caracal;

  • Kiswahili name: SIMBA MANGU;
  • Distribution/ Range of Caracal in Africa;

Arid zones and dry savannas of Africa including North Africa but absent from much of tropical forest belt and the Sahara.

Also (Asia) - Middle East to N.W. India. In decline in some areas but common in others, such as southern Africa.

  • Races/Subspecies of Caracal in Tanzania.

No races/subspecies of caracal has been recorded in Tanzania. Only treated and known as Caracal.

  • Total length; 70-110 cm
  • Tail length ; 18-34 cm
  • Shoulder height; 40-45 cm
  • Weight; 7-19kg ( Male is consistently larger than Female)/ (Male (12-18kg) Female (8-13 kg);

 

  • Caracal’s identification pointers;

Hindquarters slightly higher than shoulders; overall yellowish to reddish- fawn colouration. Short, unmarked tail; pointed, black- backed ears, Longish dark tufted tips.

  • Similar species

Golden cat

  • Habitat;

Prefers arid bush.  Inhabits plains, mountains, and rocky hills, only venturing into open grassland at night (savanna, open plains, Semi- desert, sand desert);

Colouration;

Golden to reddish fawn or brick-red brown; ears have tufts of hair at the end and are black outside.

  • Behaviour/ Habit/ Lifestyle;

Mainly nocturnal but also crepuscular where undisturbed, and solitary. The males appear to be territorial and their home ranges overlap those of at least one and usually two, or more, females. Recorded ranges from 4 to over 100 km2..

  • Food/Diet; It eats a variety of mammals, from mice to reedbuck, and it also feeds on birds, reptiles, and domestic sheep, goats and poultry. Considered a major predator of sheep and goats in parts of southern Africa. Sometimes can kill animals bigger than themselves.
  • Gestation period; 62 to 81 days. Year round with birth peak during rains, although litters may be dropped at any time of year. 1 to 3 kittens, weighing an average of 250g, are born.
  • Longevity / Lifespan;

10-12 years;

  • Predators/ Natural enemies;

Animals larger than themselves.

 

  • Distribution/Range of Caracal in Tanzania;

The caracal is not easily seen in Tanzania. The best place is in the Serengeti ecosystem, on the open grassland around Ndutu, Naabi Hill, Seronera, Five Hills Track, and Semetu. It is also occasionally seen in Mkomazi National Park. Most of the records for this species are from northern and central Tanzania. It is found in Mkomazi, Tarangire, Kilimanjaro, Serengeti, Ruaha, Mikumi, and Udzungwa National Parks, and probably Katavi National Park, although there are no confirmed records. It is also found in the Maasai Steppe, west Kilimanjaro to Lake Natron, Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, Rungwa Game Reserve, the Rukwa Valley and Ugalla Game Reserve.

  • Caracal’s population size in Tanzania

There are no density estimates for this species in Tanzania. It was frequently camera trapped in Mkomazi National Park, which is the only part of the country where it appears to be relatively common. It is otherwise uncommon in Serengeti National Park, Maswa Game Reserve,  the grasslands of Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Lake Natron,  west Kilimanjaro, the Yaeda Valley and Swagaswaga Game Reserve. It is rare in Tarangire National Park, the Maasai Steppe, Rukwa and Ugalla Game Reserves.  Population trends are unknown.

  1. CHEETAH

(Acinonyx jubatus)

  • Kiswahili name; DUMA;
  • Distribution/Range of Cheetah in Africa;

The main population centres are located in the northern parts of Southern Africa and in East Africa. There is probably some movement apparently isolated populations survive in parts of the Middle East, particularly Iran. The largest national population are found in Namibia;

  • Races/ Subspecies of Cheetah in Tanzania;

No record of races or subspecies of Cheetah in Tanzania.

  • Total length;

1,8-2,2m

  • Tail length;

60-80cm.

  • Shoulder Height: 80cm
  • Weight: 30-72 kg (average 40-60kg) – Male average larger than Female/Male (35-65kg);

 

  • Cheetah’s identification pointers;

Large; slender, grey hound- like build;  long, spotted white- tipped tail, black- ringed towards tip; coat single, rounded black spots; small head, rounded face;  black line from inner corner of eye to corner of mouth (tear-line);

  • Similar species;

Leopard (separated on appearance).

  • Habitat;

Preference is shown for more open country, such as semi -desert and desert plains, grassland and woodland grassland but they also make use of more closed woodland. Access to drinking water is not essential.

Colouration;

Tawny to pale buff and lighter on the belly; a black stripe present from the eye to the mouth.  Coat covered with black spots.

Behaviour/ Habits/ Lifestyle;

Normally seen singly, in pairs or small family groups consisting of a female and her dependent cubs. Adult males move singly or in small bachelor groups of related animals (coalition of males), while females establish territories from which they will drive other females. Males are apparently not as territorial and may move over the area held by several females. Group size is variable but appears smaller on average in East Africa.

Mainly diurnal, but most hunting takes place during the cooler hours. They have a complex and drawn out courtship, loading after seven to 14 days to the female coming into oestrus. Competition for mating rights amongst males is intense and mortality can be high, with up to 50% being recorded in the Serengeti.

Cub mortality is also high, particularly in areas where other large predators, such as Lion and Spotted hyaena are abundant. When hunting, they stalk to within a short distance of their intended prey and then sprint in for the kill at up to 70 km/h but this can only be sustained for a few hundred metres;

  • Food/Diet;

Prey on small antelopes such as gazelles, oribi, grysbok, hares and even birds (Guinea Fowl, Francolins, Bustards and Young Ostriches);

  • Gestation period; 91 to 95 days. Litters of 1 to 5 cubs (usually 3 or 4) may be dropped at any time of the year, but peaks during the rainy season are noticeable in some areas.  Birth weight average is about 250 to 300g at birth.  For the first six weeks they are usually hidden in dense vegetation cover. The female brings them up alone, and the young stay with mother for up to 2 years.
  • Longevity/Lifespan;

10 years.

  • Predators/ Natural enemies;

Man;

  • Distribution/ Range of Cheetah in Tanzania;

The plains of the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority are one of the best places in the world to observe cheetahs. They can be seen throughout the Serengeti at any time of year, with the best dry season viewing in the woodland at the edge of the plains around Seronera, Ndutu Kusini and Serengeti Sopa; wet season sightings are best on the plains around Ndutu, Naabi Hill, Lemuta and Gol Kopjes. Cheetahs tend to be shy in other areas in Tanzania, although they are occasionally seen in Tarangire National Park and Ruaha National Park, particularly along the River Drive and Mwagusi Sand River.

Cheetahs are found throughout the Serengeti ecosystem. They range from Lake Natron to west Kilimanjaro, across the Maasai Steppe, and  into Manyara, Mkomazi and Tarangire National parks; there are also records from the Yaeda Valley and Wembere Wetland. They occur in Ruaha National Park and Rungwa, Rukwa, and Ugalla Game Reserves and surrounding areas.

  • Cheetah’s population size in Tanzania.

The cheetah is rare in much of Tanzania outside the Serengeti ecosystem, seldom reaching densities above 1 animal per 100km2 (3 animals per 100 mi 2). Estimates from the Serengeti ecosystem suggest a population of 210-280 individuals, and an estimated total of 1,180 cheetah in the country, representing just over 10% of the global population. In the Serengeti ecosystem, the population has been roughly stable over the last 40 years, although there has been a recent decline on the short grass plains. Very little is known about population status elsewhere, although the cheetah is now restricted to just 14% of its historical range in Tanzania.

FAMILY MUSTELIDAE (MUSTELIDS)

FAMILY MUSTELIDAE (MUSTELIDS)

(e.g. Weasels, Otters, Zorilla, Ratel, etc.);

Mustelids are found throughout Eurasia (Europe & Asia), Africa, the Americas (South and North America).  Although mostly occurring in forest or bush, they have adapted to populate almost every habitat type. The group/ family (Mustelidae) includes terrestrial forms (such as Skunks), arboreal species (such as Martens), burrowing species (such as Badgers), semi-aquatic species (such as Minks), and fully aquatic (such as Otters).  With such a range of  lifestyles, the main physical link between species is short legs and an elongated body.

Of all the carnivores -  the mustelid family is the most diverse and contains the highest number of species. It includes some 64 to 67 different species (classification disagree) in 26 genera and 5 subfamilies.  Only 7 species of mustelids occur in sub –Saharan Africa, the stronghold of  the Civet- Mongoose family ),  with which the mustelids have much in common. All mustelids have short ears and 5 toes on each foot (most carnivores have only 4 on each back foot).  Most have a short snout, a long, non- retractable, curved claws. Body form tends to be either slender (as in Weasels) or heavy and squat (as in Badgers).

5 subfamilies of the family - Mustelidae are as follows;

  • 1. Subfamily-Lutrinae (Otters).
  • 2. Subfamily- Mephitinae (Skunks) not found in Africa.
  • 3. Subfamily- Mellivorinae (Ratel / Honey Badger).
  • 4. Subfamily- Melinae (Badgers) not found in Africa.
  • 5. Subfamily - Mustelinae (Weasels, Ferrets, Mink, Marten, Wolverine etc ).

 

  • 1. RATEL / HONEY BADGER (Subfamily- Mellivorinae)

Mellivora capensis;

  • Kiswahili name; NYEGERE;
  • Distribution / Range of Ratel (Nyegere) in Africa.

Ratel or Honey Badger are very wide in Africa but absent from true desert. (Africa, south of the Sahara). Ranges north to Morocco in West Africa. Also widespread in (Asia) - throughout the Middle East and as far as India.

  • Races /Subspecies of Ratel / Honey Badger in Africa;

At least 11 subspecies/ races have been named but these are mainly based on variations in melanisms of the mantle.

  • Races/ Subspecies of Ratel in Tanzania;

No record of races/ subspecies in Tanzania.

  • Total Length; 90-100cm
  • Tail Length; 18-25cm.
  • Shoulder height; 30cm
  • Weight; 8-14kg (Male &Female);
  • Ratel's identification pointers;

Stocky, short legs; upperparts silvery- grey,  underparts, legs black; short, bushy tail, often held erect when walking.

  • Similar species

None

  • Habitat;

Virtually all, with the exception of true desert.

  • Habits/ Behaviour /Lifestyle;

Tough and aggressive, and recorded to attack large mammals such as elephant, buffalo and Man when threatened. They are usually seen singly, but pairs and family parties may be observed. They are mainly nocturnal and to a lesser extent crepuscular.  No  information available on territoriality or home range size. Has powerful claws used for digging the ground.

  • Food/Diet;

Very wide range, including invertebrates and rodents, and to a lesser extent reptiles,  birds, carrion and wildfruits.  The name derived from the tendency to break into beehives to eat honey and larvae.  They also frequently scavenge around dumps and in camp in savanna parks and reserves.

  • Gestation period;

6 to 7 months. 1 to 4 young being dropped at any time of the year (Non –seasonal breeder)

  • Longevity / Lifespan;

20 years;

  • Predators/ Natural enemies;

Large predators.

  • Distribution/ Range of Ratel in Tanzania;

They are quite often seen on the plains close to Ndutu and sometimes seen on the open grass plains in the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, around Gol Kopjes, and on the Makao road in the early morning and late afternoon. They are frequently encountered on night drives in Katavi National Park, and occasionally in Tarangire National Park.

The Honey Badger is extremely widespread in Tanzania, where it is known from all Mainland National Parks (except for Rubondo National Park) and Game Reserves.

  • Ratel's population size in Tanzania.

There are no density records for Tanzania.  This species is common in Mkomazi National Park and Maswa Game Reserve and fairly common on the short-grass plains of the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro. It is also fairly common in the west of the country, around Lake Rukwa, Katavi National Park, Mlele Forest Reserve and Moyowosi Game Reserve, and in Mikumi National Park. It  is  uncommon in Ruaha, Saadani, Tarangire, and Kilimanjaro National Parks and the Selous Game Reserve.

  • 2. SPOTTED- NECKED OTTER (Subfamily- Lutrinae);

(Lutra maculicollis);

  • Kiswahili name; FISI MAJI MDOGO / MADOA;
  • Distribution/ Range of Spotted-Necked Otter in Africa;

Sub-Saharan Africa in larger Rivers, Lakes, and Swamps. Absent from many apparently suitable lakes and rivers of eastern Africa, notably Luangwa valley and the Zambezi below Victoria Falls.  Most abundant in Lake Victoria and rivers and lakes of Zambia. Good places to see it (clear lakes like Victoria, Kivu, Tanganyika, Malawi).

  • Races/ Subspecies of Spotted- Necked Otter in Africa.

7 races/ subspecies have been described (one from a 20km2 lake).  All are probably invalid.

  • Races/ Subspecies of Spotted- Necked Otter in Tanzania;

Hydrictis/Lutra maculicollis kivuana (is the only subspecies/ races) found in Tanzania.

  • Total Length;

Less than 1m;

  • Tail length

Less than 30-50cm;

  • Shoulder Height;

Less than 30cm;

  • Weight;

3-5kg/ (Male-4.5kg)/ (Female 4.1kg).

 

  • Spotted- Necked Otter’s Identification Pointers;

Overall colouration brown to dark brown; pale blotching on throat, upper chest, rarely far from water.

  • Similar species;

Clawless otter, water mongoose.

  • Habitat;

Rivers, Lakes, Swamps and Dams; rarely moves away from water.

  • Behaviour/Habits/ Lifestyle.

Diurnal, usually associating in groups of two to six animals, although large groups occur on occasion; quite vocal, group members retaining contact with whistling calls. Droppings deposited at Latrine sites close to water’s edge. Most prey is caught in water and usually carried to the bank for eating. Unlike the clawless otters, they hunt mainly by sight; clear water is therefore essential.

  • Food/Diet;

Mostly fish but also crabs, insects, frogs and birds.

  • Gestation period;

60 days. Two to 3 cubs are born;

  • Distribution/ Range of Spotted- necked otter in Tanzania.

Can be reliably seen at Rubondo National Park in Lake Victoria by taking a boat trip around the Island. Other good sites include Lukuba Island, also in Lake Victoria, Lake Shore Lodge near Kipili village on Lake Tanganyika and Lake Ngwazi at Sao Hill. The spotted- necked otter is found in all of Tanzania’s major lakes, including Victoria, Tanganyika, Nyasa and Lukwa. It was formerly widespread in Lake Victoria, occurring along the entire coastline, but is now restricted to less disturbed areas including Rubondo Island, Spekes Bay, Lukuba Island and probably the Islands east of Bukoba. In Lake Tanganyika it is known from Mahale Mountains National Park and Kipili village, though now extinct in Gombe Stream National Park. It is also known from Lake Ngwazi, Lake Inzivi, Lake Kyanga and Ruaha Marsh in the Sao Hill area South of Iringa, and Lake Sagara near Ugalla Game Reserve. There is a scat record possibly from this species for Lake Manyara, and it may also be found in the Wetlands of Moyowosi and Burigi- Biharamulo Game Reserves, although there are no confirmed records from the areas.

  • Spotted- Necked Otter’s Population Size in Tanzania;

No overall population figures are available. Otter densities are highest in protected parts of Lake Victoria, including Rubondo Island National Park, where a high density of approximately 1 otter per km (1-6 otters per mile) of shoreline was recorded. Population in other parts of the lake are much lower. This species is also locally common along the shores of Lake Nyassa and Tanganyika.

  1. AFRICAN CLAWLESS OTTER (Aonyx capensis)
  • CONGO CLAWLESS OTTER (Aonyx congica)

Subfamily –Lutrinae

Kiswahili name: Fisi maji mkubwa.

They are probably the same species as there is some uncertainty about the status of these.

  • 1. Races/ Subspecies of Cape clawless otter (Aonyx capensis) and its distribution/ range in Africa.

Eleven races have been described. Three are in provisional use; A.c. capensis(S&W Africa), A.c. hindei (E. Africa, E DRC&N. Zambia, A.c. meneleki (Ethiopia);

  • 2. Races/ Subspecies of Cape clawless otter in Tanzania;

No record of races/ subspecies of cape clawless otter in Tanzania. Only known as Cape clawless otter (Fisi maji mkubwa) in Kiswahili language.

  • Races / Subspecies of Congo clawless otter (Aonyx congica) and its distribution/ range in Africa.

A.c. congica (DRC basin to Gabon), A.c. microdon (rivers off Cameroon highlands), A.c. Philips (Mountains of E. DRC&Uganda to Burundi),  A.c. poensis( Bioko I. form);

  • Total length : 1,1-1,6m
  • Tail length : 50cm
  • Shoulder height: 35cm
  • Weight: 10-18kg (Maximum 25kg)

 

  • Identification pointers;

Quite large, elongated; dark- brown coat, appearing black when wet; lips, upper chest white; arched back walking on land; unclawed, finger-like digits.

  • Similar species;

Spotted- necked otter, Water mongoose (Separated on size);

  • Habitat:

Most wetland types, including dry stream beds with permanent pools. Coastal habitats also utilized. Unlike the two other otters species, they may wander several kilometres from water but they are more amphibious and less aquatic than Spotted- necked otter.

  • Behaviour/ Habits / Lifestyle;

Mainly crepuscular but activity is recorded at all times of day or night. Occur singly, in pairs, or small family parties, and lie up in dense vegetation, or in self-excavated dens (Holts) in sandy soils of waterbodies during non- active periods. Latrine areas with numerous droppings made up largely of crab- shell fragments are a useful indication of their presence. Although the clawless hunt by sight in water, much of their food is located by feeling with the fingers and they are thus not adversely affected by dirty water with poor visibility. They hunt regularly in vegetation fringing water- bodies.

  • Food/ Diet;

Crabs, fish, frogs, as well as small mammals, birds, insects and molluscs.

  • Distribution/ Range of African Clawless Otter in Africa;

Sub- Saharan Africa in streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, swamps, and estuaries; also along Indian and Atlantic coasts in vicinity of freshwater, in mangrove swamps and along rocky shores. Absent from various large rivers like the lower Zambezi and parts of the Limpopo. The smaller, less specialized congo clawless otter replaces it lowland rainforest; they overlap in Uganda, the south-eastern congo basin, and parts of west Africa.

  • Gestation period & Natural enemies/ Predators; 60- 65 days. Two to 3 cubs are born.

Adults sometimes eaten by crocodile’s;  juveniles vulnerable to eagles.

  • Distribution/ Range of African Clawless Otter in Tanzania.

African clawless otters are not easy to observe as they are shy and mainly nocturnal. They are occasionally seen in Lumemo River in Udzungwa Mountains National Park, and in small ponds and rivers at altitudes between 1,200-1,900m (4,000-6,200ft) within the tea estates around Sao Hill, Iringa. Also seen infrequently along the edge of Lake Tanganyika in Mahale Mountains National Park very early morning and at dusk. In Tukuyu district in the Rungwe area, they can be seen in the catchment of the Kiwira, Lufirio and Mbaka rivers at altitudes between 1,000-1,500m (3,300-4,900ft).

The distribution of the African clawless otter in Tanzania is poorly known, and they are probably more widespread than records suggest. They are known from Rubondo Islands National Park, although there are no other known records from Lake Victoria. They are also present in Serengeti, Manyara, Arusha, Udzungwa, Mikumi, Ruaha, Mahale, Gombe, Kitulo, and Saadani National Parks, as well as the Selous Game Reserve.

They occur on the southern slopes of Mount Meru , much of the Udzungwa Mountains, including Sao Hill River, on Mount Rungwe, the Ufipa Plateau down to Lake Tanganyika and in the Loasi and Kalambo river watersheds; they are also found in higher ground on the border between Tanzania and Zambia as far south as Tunduma. They are probably widespread on the Tanzanian coast, and there are records from the Salander Bridge in Dar es- salaam. There are also records from the Wami River, the Nguru Mountains, and Ugalla and Moyowosi Game Reserves. Although there are no data, it is likely to occur in the Ruvuma River on the border with Mozambique.

  • African Clawless Otter’s Population Size in Tanzania.

The population size of the African clawless otter in Tanzania is unknown. Although it is locally common in the Moyowosi Wetlands, in most part of the country it is either uncommon or rare.

  1. ZORILLA/ STRIPED POLECAT (Ictonyx striatus);

Subfamily- Mustelinae (Family- Mustelidae);

  • Kiswahili name: Kicheche;
  • Distribution/ Range of Zorilla/ Striped polecat in Africa;

Sub- Saharan Africa in savanna and arid zones; absent from forests (lowland forest and adjoining high rainfall savanna). They are common.

  • Races/ Subspecies of Zorilla in Africa;

Twenty two (22) have been described with three (3) regional groupings as follows;

  • 1. Ictonyx striatus striatus ( South Africa );
  • 2. Ictonyx striatus erythrae (North- East & East Africa);
  • 3. Ictonyx striatus senegalensis(West Africa);
  • Races/ Subspecies of Zorilla in Tanzania.

No record of races/ subspecies of zorilla in Tanzania. Only known as Zorilla/ Striped polecat;

  • Total length : 57-67cm
  • Tail length : 26cm
  • Shoulder height: 10-15cm;
  • Weight: 600-1400g/ Male 0.68-1.5kg/ Female (0.6-0.9kg);

 

  • Zorilla’s identification pointers:

 

Longish black and white coats; white hair longer, more dominant in weasel. Legs have shorter black hair; head black, white blaze between eyes.

  • Colouration;

Head is black with a white spot on the forehead and a band (white) on each side of the face running backwards. From nape to tail there are four white stripes/ bands alternating with black stripes.

  • Sex difference;

Sexual organs.

  • Similar species:

Striped (White- napped) weasel.

 

  • Habitat:

Polecat very tolerant but absent from lowland forest. Weasel in arid and semi- arid habitats;

  • Behaviour/ Habit/ Lifestyle;

They are strictly nocturnal and usually solitary but pairs and family parties may be seen. They shelter in burrows excavated by other species, amongst rocky outcrops, dense vegetation and not infrequently in association with human habitation, but will also excavate their own burrows. If  threatened they turn their rump towards the aggressor, with the back arched and tail erect, and as a last resort spray foul- smelling fluid from anal glands. Nothing is known about home range, or territoriality;

  • Food/ Diet;

Mostly insects and rodents as well as other small animals.

  • Gestation period:

36 days; 1 to 3 young/ litter (sometimes up to 5 pups).

  • Lifespan / Longevity;

5-10 years;

  • Predators / Natural enemies;

Large predators and snakes.

  • Distribution/ Range of Zorilla in Tanzania.

The Zorilla probably occurs across most of Mainland Tanzania, although there are no records from the southwest of the country. It has been recorded in all of the Northern National Parks, except Rubondo National Park, and in the south it is known from Ruaha, Udzungwa, Kitulo and Mahale Mountains National Parks, and the Selous Game Reserve.

  • Zorilla’s Population Size in Tanzania.

There are no population estimates for this species in Tanzania, The Zorilla is locally common in parts of the country, including Kitulo National Park and in the forests of Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, where it was camera trapped regularly.

  1. AFRICAN STRIPED WEASEL/ WHITE- NAPED WEASEL;

(Poecilogale albinucha)

Subfamily- Mustelinae (Family- Mustelidae);

  • Kiswahili name: Chororo.
  • Distribution/ Range of African striped weasel in Africa;

Has a limited range in southern and central Africa. They are uncommon.

  • Races / Subspecies of African striped weasel in Africa.

6 subspecies/ races have been named.

  • Races/ Subspecies of African striped weasel in Tanzania;

No record of races/ subspecies of African striped weasel in Tanzania.

  • Total length: 40-50cm
  • Tail length: 12-16cm
  • Weight: 220-350g;
  • Identification pointers;

Long, thin body; bushy white tail; very short legs; black colour, with white cap, four white or yellowish stripes.

  • Similar species;

Striped polecat (Zorilla)- separated on size and hair length.

  • Habitat:

Mainly savanna associations but recorded from lowland rainforest in DRC. Most records from grassland.

  • Behavior/ Habit/ Lifestyle;

Mainly nocturnal and solitary but pairs and family parties have been recorded. Although efficient diggers, they readily use burrows excavated by small rodents.

  • Food/ Diet;

Principally rodents, many of which are caught in their burrows. Their surplus prey is hoarded.

  • Gestation period;

32 days . 1 to 3 young are born, weighing about 4kg. In southern Africa, most births are from November to March.

  • Distribution/ Range of African striped weasel in Tanzania.

This species is very difficult to see in Tanzania as it is nocturnal and probably spends much of its time in burrows. Spotlighting along the roads in the Minziro Forest Reserve probably provides the best opportunity to observe it, and with time and luck it might be seen around the villages of Mount Rungwe and in Kitulo National Park.

This species is sparsely distributed in Tanzania. Most records are from the west  and southwest of the country, particularly around Mbeya, the Rukwa valley, Mount Rungwe, and Kitulo and Udzungwa Mountains National Parks. There are also records from near Iringa, Tabora, Ugalla Game Reserve, and from Minziro Forest Reserve and Bukoba. In the north, there are two published records from Singida and the Mount Hanang area. There was also a sighting in 2012 from the grounds of Rhino Lodge in the Ngorongoro crater, and a possible record from Monduli. It appears to be absent from east and southern Tanzania.

  • African striped weasel’s population size in Tanzania.

The African striped weasel is probably uncommon or rare in most parts of the country, although its mainly nocturnal habits and small size mean it is easily overlooked.

CANIDS (FAMILY-CANIDAE) DOGS& THEIR RELATIVES

CANIDS (FAMILY-CANIDAE) DOGS& THEIR RELATIVES;

Members of the dog family (dogs, wolves, coyotes, jackals, and foxes) are collectively described as CANIDS. They are known for great endurance (rather than sudden bursts of speed) and for opportunistic and adaptable behaviour. Worldwide there are about 35 to 37 species of CANIDS in at least 10 genera. Africa has about 10 to 12 living species namely (Common (Golden) Jackal, Side- Striped Jackal, Black- Backed Jackal, Ethiopian Wolf, Red Fox, Ruppell's Fox, Cape Fox,  Sand Fox (Pale Fox),  Royal( Hoary Fox), Fennec Fox, Bat- Eared Fox and African Hunting Dog).

Canids have been around for some 55 million years, the genus (Canis) appeared only within the last 2 million years. By then, several dozen genera and at least 3 subfamilies had come and gone. The earliest African canids appear in Miocene deposits and are closely allied to forms found in Europe, whence they probably came.

Males and Females generally look alike, although males are often slightly larger than females. Unique among carnivores, canids regurgitate meat to feed pups and non- hunting members. The basis unit is the monogamous pair, which defends a territory.

Canids have a muscular, deep, chested body covered with a fur coat that is usually uniformly coloured or speckled. The lower limbs are developed for strength and stamina; some of the wrist bones are fused, and the stamina, some of the wrist bones are fused, and the front of the legs can not be rotated (the bones at the front of the leg are locked) There are 4 digits on the back feet, and each digit has a hard pad. The claws are short, non- retractable, and blunt (other carnivores have sharp claws);

Canids also have long jaws, long, fang- like canine (for stabbing prey), and well- developed carnassial (the slashing teeth at the back of the jaws). Canids track their prey by scent, and the long, pointed muzzle houses large olfactory organs. Hearing is also acute, and the ears are large, erect, and usually pointed. Sight is less important, but is still well developed.

Smaller species, which usually feed mainly on small rodents and insects, tend to have a flexible social organization but often live either in pairs (For example jackals) or alone (For example Foxes).How ever, larger species, such as the wolf and the African wild dog, live in social groups called packs.

Throughout history, canids have proved useful to human kind in many ways. For example, the domestic dog which descend from the wolf over10, 000 years ago has always played an important role in a number of human activities.

Canids feed on all kinds of vertebrates and invertebrates, plus fruits and some vegetables. Mammals, especially rodents, hares, antelopes and other hoofed mammals, are main prey of most canids. All but the most specialized species (bat-eared fox, wild dog) readily scavenge. Highly opportunistic and intelligent, most eat whatever is available with least effort.

  • 1. BAT-EARED FOX

(Otocyon megalotis);

  • Kiswahili name: Mbweha masikio popo;
  • Distribution/ Range of Bat Eared Fox in Africa;

Two separate populations, one in Southern Africa ( S. Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and South Africa), marginally extending into Angola, Zambia, and Mozambique, and the other in East Africa, from Tanzania into Ethiopia and Somalia. The southern part of the range has expanded considerably in recent decades. Distribution is linked with that of the harvester termite-  its most important item of prey.

  • Races/ Subspecies of Bat- eared fox in Africa.

Otocyon megalotis megalotis (S.W. Africa),  Otocyon megalotis virgatus (E.Africa), Otocyon megalotis canescens (Horn and Ethiopia).

  • Races/ Subspecies of Bat- eared fox in Tanzania;

Otocyon megalotis virgatus ( is the only subspecies/ races found in Tanzania;

  • Total length: 75-90cm
  • Tail length: 23-34cm
  • Shoulder height: 30-40cm
  • Weight: 3-5 kg(3.2-5.4kg);

 

  • Bat eared fox’s identification pointers

 

Jackal/ foxlike; very large ears. bushy, silver-grey coat, black legs;  bushy tail black above and at tip. Facial markings black and silvery- white; arched back when on the move.

  • Similar species;

Cape fox.

  • Habitat:

Open country, such as short scrub, grassland and lightly wooded areas, and farmland;

  • Behaviour/ Habit/ Lifestyle;

Both nocturnal and diurnal, largely dependent on disturbance levels and, in some areas at least, the time of year. Activity usually ceases during the hot midday hours. They are active diggers and although they dig their own burrows, will frequently modify those of other species. They normally occur in groups of two to six individuals, consisting of a pair, which mate for life, and their offspring. Occasionally more may be seen together but such groupings are temporary. Records of more than two adults at a den may indicate that more than one female is present.

Home range size varies from 0.25 to about 3 square kilometers, with varying levels of overlap. The density of individuals range from one to 28 per square kilometers. When foraging they appear to wander aimlessly, stopping periodically with the ears turned to the ground; when food is located, shallow holes are dug with the front paws.

  • Food/Diet;

Mostly insects, particularly harvester termites (Hodotermes).  Occasionally eat small vertebrates and wild berries.

  • Gestation period;

60 to 75 days. A litter of 1 to 6 pups is dropped. Young also reach adult size earlier than most canids, at 4 to 6 months.

  • Longevity/ Lifespan;

20 years;

  • Predators / Natural enemies;

Birds of prey, particularly large eagles.

  • Distribution / Range of Bat- eared fox in Tanzania.

Often seen on the plains and along the woodland edge across much of Serengeti National Park. They are also easily observed around Ndutu in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), particularly early morning and late afternoon. In Ruaha National Park they can often be found along the river or near Mwagusi Camp. This species mainly occurs in the Acacia- Commiphora bushland, and occasionally in grassy areas in Miombo Woodland.  Its distribution is similar to that of the Aardwolf, which also feeds principally on termites.  It is found throughout the Serengeti ecosystem, Lake Natron, West Kilimanjaro, Tarangire and Mkomazi National Parks, the Maasai Steppe, and the Ruaha- Rungwa ecosystem.  It is also occurs in Chunya Open Area and Pit Game Reserve. It is absent from the most of the south, east and west of the country.

  • Bat- eared Fox’s Population Size in Tanzania;

Density estimates for the Serengeti vary between 0.3 -1.0 animals per km2 (0.8-3.0 animals per mi 2). There are no population estimates for the rest of Tanzania, although it is generally common in the north of the country and increasingly uncommon in the southern parts of its range. The species is abundant in the Gelai Game Controlled Area, and common across most of the Serengeti ecosystem, the Yaeda Valley, West Kilimanjaro, Tarangire National Park, the Maasai Steppe, Mkomazi National Park and Eastern Ruaha National park. It is uncommon around Lake Rukwa.

  • 2. AFRICAN WILD DOG/ CAPE HUNTING DOG (Lycaon pictus.)
  • Kiswahili name: Mbwa mwitu.
  • Distribution/ Range of African wild dog in Africa.

Once found virtually throughout sub- Saharan Africa, with the exception of forests, but has been greatly reduced; distribution very fragmented. Stable populations probably only survive in six countries, namely Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa (Kruger National Park only), Zambia and Zimbabwe.

  • Races/ Subspecies of African wild dog in Africa.

Lycaon pictus pictus (S. Africa, Angola to Mozambique), Lycaon pictus lupinus (E. Africa),  Lycaon pictus somalicus (Horn of Africa), Lycaon pictus saharicus (S. Sahara), Lycaon pictus manguensis(W. African Savanna);

  • Races/ Subspecies of African wild dog in Tanzania;

No recognized races/ subspecies of African wild dog known in Tanzania.

  • Total length: 1,05-1.5m
  • Tail length: 30-40cm
  • Shoulder height: 65-80cm;
  • Weight: 17-36 kg (animals from East Africa on average smaller than those from Southern Africa). Genetic difference also known. East African dogs(both male and female-20-25kg);
  • African wild dog’s identification pointers;

Heavily blotched black, white, yellow- brown, slender body, long legs; tail usually white tipped; large, and dark, rounded ears. Black muzzle, black stripe from eyes overtop of head; Largest African canid. Always in packs.

  • Similar species;

None

  • Sex difference;

Differentiated by sex organs;

  • Habitat:

Savanna , plains, semi- desert, mountains up to 10,000ft (3000m). They have also been found and photographed at the summit of Mount-Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

  • Behaviour/ Habit/ Lifestyle;

Hunting dogs live in packs of 6 to 30 or more, sometimes up to 90 individuals with a high degree of social cooperation and interaction between individuals in the pack. Each pack includes several related adult males, and one or more related adult females originating from different pack. Usually only the dominant female in a pack will successfully raise a litter of pups. There is intensive rivalry among adult females for the top breeding position and they may fight savagely. She, and her young at the den, are fed with regurgitated meat by other members of the troop.

Nomadic animals, hunting dogs roam over a wide area looking for their prey and only remain in one place for more than a few days when the young are too small to travel. Pack home ranges vary from about 450 to probably more than 1500km2, with considerable overlap (up to 80% has been recorded). Pack ranges contact considerably when there are small pups at the den requiring regular feeding. They do not establish,  or defend, territories. Primarily diurnal, with most hunting take place during the cooler morning and late afternoon hours.

They are very vocal, with a wide range of calls. During much of the day, the dogs rest and groom themselves in the shade. Most hunting is done in the early morning and evening or on bright, moonlit nights. After a mass greeting ceremony between pack members, the dogs move off to search for prey, such as gazelle, impala and Zebra.

  • Food/ Diet;

Feeds on different types of animals; small antelopes, waterbuck, Impala, Gazelle and reedbuck are favourite prey.

  • Gestation period;

69 to 73 days. Interval between litters 12 to 14 months. Two to 19 (average 7 to 10) pups are born. Young are born in abandoned burrows of other species; remain in close proximity to den for first three months. Pups begin to follow pack at about three months, only joining hunt at 12 to 14 months.

  • Longevity/ Lifespan;

10-12 years;

  • Predators/ Natural enemies;

Man and other large predators.

  • Distribution/ Range of African wild dog in Tanzania;

The Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park offer the best opportunities to observe African wild dogs. In Selous Game Reserve they are most often seen around Mwanamungu, and in the area between Lake Mzizima and Lake Manze. The best times of year are from June-August and January-March. They may be seen in Ruaha National Park along the Mwagusi river, and on the never-Ending road early in the morning between Ruaha National Park and Iringa Town. There are occasionally sightings around some of the lodges and camps around Loliondo, and in southwest Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, although frequency of sightings varies annually.

This species is widely distributed in Tanzania, with resident populations in the south, west, and north of the country. They are found in Mikumi and Udzungwa Mountains National Parks, and Selous Game Reserve south to the Mozambique border.

They also occur in Singida District, the Ruaha-Rungwa ecosystem, Katavi and Mahale National parks, and Ugalla, Moyowosi and Kigosi Game Reserves. In northern Tanzania they are found in Tarangire National Park, the Maasai Steppe, the eastern boundary of Serengeti National Park to West Kilimanjaro, and in Mkomazi National park. Formerly distributed throughout the Serengeti ecosystem, they were largely absent from the Serengeti National Park since the early 1990S until their recent re introduction. They are also found in the surrounding areas, including Loliondo, Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority and Maswa Game Reserve. There are records of non- resident populations in Saadani National Park and Wami-Mbiki Wildlife Management Area.

  • African Wild Dog’s Population Size in Tanzania.

African wild Dogs are dependent on large areas of contiguous habitat, and are rare everywhere but are at their highest densities in the Selous and Ruaha ecosystems. In 2007 there were an estimated 1, 800 African wild Dogs in Tanzania, comprising 20% of the global population of this species, thus making Tanzania critical for their conservation. The Selous ecosystem alone harbors an estimated 800 African wild Dogs, one of the world’s largest single populations. Very little is known about population trends, although their range in Tanzania is contracting;

  • 3. JACKALS;

All three kinds of Jackals are found in East Africa as well as in Tanzania. Jackals are widely distributed in Tanzania, are represented by three species.

  • 1. BLACK-BACKED JACKAL OR SILVER- BACKED JACKAL;

(Canis mesomelas)

  • Kiswahili name: Bweha mgongo mweusi;
  • Distribution/ Range of Black- Backed Jackal or Silver- Backed Jackal in Africa.

Two separate populations, the one restricted to Southern Africa (S. Angola, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and South Africa), the other East Africa (Tanzania to Ethiopia).

They are common, but local extinctions have occurred, mainly in South Africa, as a result of hunting pressure.

  • Races/ Subspecies of Black- Backed Jackals in Africa.
  • 1. Canis mesomelas mesomelas( Southern Africa)
  • 2. Canis mesomelas schmidt (North- East Africa)

 

  • Races/ Subspecies of Black Backed Jackals in Tanzania;

Canis mesomelas schmidt  ( is the only subspecies/ races found in Tanzania.

  • Total length: 71-130cm
  • Tail length:26-40cm
  • Shoulder height: 30-48cm
  • Weight: 6-12kg(Male average somewhat larger than Female, and considerable regional size variation(Male & Female 7-13.5kg);
  • Black- Backed Jackal’s Identification Pointers;

Dog-like;  dark- white flecked saddle on back; most of tail black; fairly large, pointed reddish- backed ears; distinctive call.

  • Similar species:

Golden (Common) and Side- striped jackals.

  • Habitat:

Extremely wide tolerance, from desert (relatively dry areas preferred) to areas with rainfall exceeding 2000mm. Absent from forests. Acacia- commiphora woodland is mostly preferred by Black- Backed Jackal.

  • Habit/ Behaviour/ Lifestyle;

Mainly nocturnal in farming areas and locations where they come into conflict with man but in undisturbed regions they forage during the cooler daylight hours.

Normally solitary or occur in pairs, but family parties are not unusual. Pairs form a long- term bond, with both sexes marking and defending a territory which can vary considerably in size, depending on factors such as the availability of food and competition with other jackal. Recorded pair ranges cover 2 to 33 km2. The call is characteristic and has been described as a screaming yell, finishing off with three or four short yaps.

  • Food/ Diet;

Very wide range of a food items, including young antelope, rodents, hares, birds, reptiles, invertebrates, as well as wild fruits and berriers. Carrion readily taken. Some individuals, but not all, prey heavily on domestic stock, particularly the young of sheep and goats.

  • Gestation period;

60 to 65 days. 1 to 8 (usually 3 or 4) pups born. Both sexes begin breeding at 1 to 2 years. Male, female and sub adult “helpers” from previous litter bring food to young.

  • Distribution/ Range of Black- Backed Jackals in Tanzania.

Frequently seen in Serengeti National Park, particularly in the long- grass plains and woodlands, including around Ndutu and Seronera, and at dawn or dusk in Tarangire and Manyara National Parks. It can also be reliably seen along Mwagusi River in Ruaha National Park. Distributed across northern and central Tanzania but absent from the south and much of the coastal area. Its distribution in the west of Tanzania is patchy/ limited, with a single camera trap record from Moyowosi Game Reserve, and one camera trap record and several sighting records from Ugalla Game Reserve and the adjacent Ipole Wildlife Management Area. There are also records from Katavi National Park, Lwafi Game Reserve, Loasi Forest Reserve and possibly Kalambo Forest Reserve, and the hunting blocks north of Lake Rukwa. Formerly widespread across the Tabora Region, it probably still occurs there in areas with lower human impact. It is found in all of the northern National Parks, as well as in Ruaha and Mikumi, and possibly in the lowlands of Udzungwa Mountains National Park. There are a few records from Saadani National Park and it is occasionally recorded in northern Selous Game Reserve and the Kilombero Valley.

  • Black- Backed Jackal’s Population Size in Tanzania.

They are common across much of the Acacia- commiphora across much of the Acacia, - commiphora savanna bushland in Tanzania including in the Maasai steppe, Ngorongoro crater, Serengeti ecosystem, West Kilimanjaro, Mkomazi National Park, and the Ruaha ecosystem. It is typically rare in the Miombo woodlands in the west and south of the country, where it is mostly replaced by the Side -striped jackal. It is uncommon in Katavi and Mikumi National Parks and rare in Saadani National Park, the northern section of the Selous Game Reserve, and the Kilombero Valley, which forms the southern edge of its range in Tanzania.

  • 2. GOLDEN JACKAL/ COMMON JACKAL (Canis aureus)
  • Kiswahili name: Bweha dhahabu / Mbweha.
  • Distribution/ Range of Golden (Common) jackal in Africa.

Occurs throughout the North and Horn of Africa, extending southward to north- western Tanzania, and from sea level to altitudes of 3800m. Probably best observed in Africa in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. They are widespread and abundant. Same species as Asiatic jackal.

  • Races/ Subspecies of Golden (Common) jackal in Africa.

Twelve (12) races/ subspecies have been named but individual variation conceals any regional pattern.

  • Races/ Subspecies of Golden (Common) jackal in Tanzania;

No recognized races/ subspecies of Golden( Common)  jackal in Tanzania known. Only known as Golden (Common) jackal.

  • Total length: 80-130cm
  • Tail length:20-30cm
  • Shoulder height: 38-50cm
  • Weight: 7-15kg (Male & Female);

 

  • Golden (Common) Jackal’s Identification Pointers.

Usually pale golden- brown, black/ grey hair on back; tail black tipped.

  • Similar species:

Black- backed and Side- striped jackals (separated on appearance), red fox (separated on size and colouration);

  • Habitat:

Wide habitat tolerance, with preference of open country, with scattering of trees and bushes. Often the most numerous carnivore on the East African plains.

  • Habits/ Behavior/  Lifestyle.

Normally a mating pair occupies and defends a territory of 0.5 to 2.5 kilometers square, but this may be larger in the more arid parts of its range. A pair tolerates sub- adults from previous litter as they help in the care and feeding of current litter. Generally diurnal but in areas of disturbance may switch to mainly nocturnal activity.  In areas of high food abundance the normal social structure may be disrupted and as many as 20 individuals may associate in a group, and home ranges may be very small. Co- operative hunting by mating pairs greatly increases prey capture success.

  • Food/ Diet;

Omnivorous, taking fruits, small mammals, including young antelope, birds, reptiles and Invertebrates. Carrion is also readily taken. In the Serengeti the time of birthing is January and February coincides with the dropping of Thomson’s gazelle fawns, which are an important food source at that time.

  • Gestation period:

About 63. Litter of 1 to 9 (usually 5 or 6) pups dropped. Weaned at about 8 to 10 weeks. In Tanzania mating takes place during October /November, and occasionally June/ July, with most births taking place in January/ February.

  • Sex difference: Sexual organs.
  • Colouration: The reddish grey coat has greyish yellow markings on the upperpart of the body. The tail is reddish fawn, with a black tip.
  • Lifespan/ Longevity;

Up to 16 years.

  • Predators/ Natural enemies:

Large carnivores;  eagles and snakes prey on pups.

  • Distribution/ Range of Golden (Common) Jackal in Tanzania.

The most reliable areas to search for Golden( Common) jackals are the short- grass plains between Ndutu and the main Serengeti- Ngorongoro road, around Naabi Hill, and on the Serengeti-  Ngorongoro boundary road leading to Loliondo. They are also commonly seen on the floor of the Ngorongoro crater. Although they can be active at all times of the day, particularly during cloudy weather, they are more likely to be encountered during the early morning and late afternoon.

The Golden (Common) jackal is restricted to a small section of northern Tanzania between the central Serengeti and the western slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. In the Serengeti ecosystem it is concentrated around the short- grass plains, the floor of Ngorongoro crater, and on the plains between Olmoti and Empakai crater. It is sparsely distributed in Serengeti, Loliondo, and Maswa Game Reserve. It is found across the Lake Natron area and West Kilimanjaro, as far East as the Kitendeni corridor on the Northern slope of Mount Kilimanjaro, and is occasionally recorded in the north of Arusha National park. The most southerly record for this species is from Manyara Ranch.

  • Golden (Common) Jackal’s Population Size in Tanzania.

Golden jackal density ranges between 0.5-1.5 animals per  km2 (1.3-4.0 animals per mi 2) on the short grass plains in the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, where they are regularly seen during the day. How ever, they are uncommon or rare on the long- grass plains and in western Serengeti National Park where the vegetation is thicker. They are very common in Ngorongoro crater, and are also common on the northern slopes of Mount Meru, particularly around villages, where they scavenge for food. They are uncommon around Lake Natron and rare on Manyara Ranch.

  1. Side – striped jackal (Canis adustus)
  • Kiswahili name: Bweha miraba
  • Distribution/ Range of Side- striped jackal in Africa.

Central Africa, with distributional extensions into Eastern Southern Africa, Ethiopia and also Westward to north-eastern Benin, but apparently absent from the northern Congolean forests. Generally rare but not threatened.

  • Races/ Subspecies of Side- striped jackal in Africa.

Differences may be a consequence of individual variation.

  • 1. Canis adustus adustus (Southern Africa)
  • 2. Canis adustus lateralis(Equatorial Africa)
  • 3. Canis adustus kaffensis (Ethiopia)
  • Races/ Subspecies of Side- striped jackal in Tanzania.

No recognized races/subspecies of Side- striped jackal known in Tanzania. Only known as Side- striped jackal.

 

  • Total length: 96-120cm
  • Tail length: 30-40cm
  • Shoulder height: 40-48cm
  • Weight: 7.5-12 kg (up to 14 kg recorded but unusual)/ Male-7.3-12 kg/ Female-7.3-10 kg.
  • Side- striped jackal’s identification pointers;

Overall grey; light and dark stripe along each side; no 'saddle' on back; tail nearly always white tipped; ears smaller than black- backed; more moist habitats favoured.

  • Similar species;

Black-backed and Golden (Common) jackals.

  • Habitat;

Well- watered, wooded areas are preferred, but not forest, and very open grassland is avoided. Recorded from sea level to altitudes of about 2700m.

  • Behaviour/ Habit/ Lifestyle;

Predominantly nocturnal but there may also be some crepuscular activity. Most sightings are of solitary animals, although pairs and family parties are not in frequently observed. A home range/ territory is occupied by a mated pair. The call has been likened to an owl like hoot or series of short yaps, quite unlike that of the black-backed jackal.

  • Food/ Diet;

Omnivorous, taking a wide range of food items, including small mammals, birds, reptiles, invertebrates, carrion, as well as wild fruits and berries.

  • Gestation period;

57 to 70 days. Three to 6 pups per litter are dropped between August and January in Southern Africa. Mating recorded in June/ July and September/ October in East Africa, and June to November in Southern Africa.

  • Distribution/ Range of Side- striped jackal in Tanzania.

In the Serengeti National Park it can occasionally be seen near Mukoma Hill, along the road from Seronera to Serengeti Sopa Lodge, around the Seronera airstrip, and in the vicinity of Kusini Camp. Another place to try is Simba Farm on West Kilimanjaro at night. It is also quite frequently encountered in Kitulo National Park.

The most widely distributed jackal in Tanzania and the only jackal species found in the Miombo Woodland in the south and much of the west of the country. It is found in most National Parks, except Tarangire, Manyara, Saadani, and Rubondo. It has not yet been recorded in Arusha and Mikumi National Parks, although its presence in nearby areas, such as the coffee farms around Arusha and in the Selous Game Reserve photographic area, adjacent to Mikumi National Park, suggests it is likely to occur in both National parks. It is absent from most of the Maasai Steppe and Lake Natron.

  • Side- Striped Jackal’s Population Size in Tanzania;

The only density estimate in Tanzania is from the Serengeti National Park (0.5 animals per km2/1.3 animas per mi 2), where it is fairly common across northern, central, and western areas, and in Maswa Game Reserve. It is uncommon on Mount Kilimanjaro, in the Ruaha- Rungwa ecosystem, and across most of central Tanzania. It is fairly common in the southern Highlands, including Kitulo Plateau National park, Mount Rungwe and other Montane Forests up to an altitude of 2,800m (9,185ft). It is also common in parts of western Tanzania including Ugalla, Moyowosi and Lukwati Game Reserves. The species is rare in the Selous Game Reserve and uncommon in southern Tanzania.

HYRAXES OR DASSIES/CONIES (Family- Procaviidae)

HYRAXES OR DASSIES/CONIES (Family- Procaviidae)

Kiswahili name: Pimbi

Hyraxes or Dassies are small herbivores found in Africa and the Middle East, the hyraxes, conies or dassies generally look like rabbits with short rounded ears. Originally terrestrial, hyraxes were dominant medium- sized herbivores some 40 million years ago.

Some hyraxes/ dassies are agile climbers in trees, while others inhabit rocky koppies, or small hills. The feet have flattened nails, resembling hoofs. Hyraxes are grouped into three genera/ groups as follows;

  • 1. Genus (Procavia)- Rock Hyraxes;

According to specialists, there are 5 kinds of Rock Hyraxes/ Large – Toothed Rock Hyraxes. They are found from Arabian Peninsula, Africa (North- East Senegal to Somalia and Northern Tanzania, S. Malawi, S. Angola and Namibia to South Africa, Cape Province. They inhabit/ occupy Rocky hill sides, rock piles.

There are also Rock Hyraxes found in Isolated Mountains in Algeria and Libya. Rock Hyrax is the most widespread, ranging from Horn and the Sahel, with Isolated Populations in the Mountains ranges of the Sahara.

  • 2. Genus (Heterohyrax)- Bush hyrax/ Yellow- Spotted Rock Hyrax;

According to Specialists, there are 3 kinds of Bush Hyraxes/ Yellow- Spotted Rock Hyraxes. Also  known as Small- Toothed Rock Hyraxes. Despite its name, this hyrax lives among trees as well as rocks. Depending on its habitat, it finds shelter in crevices or holes.

They are found from North- eastern and east Africa to north Transvaal (Egypt to South Africa; Transvaal; Botswana and Angola).

  • 3. Genus (Dendrohyrax)- Tree hyrax or Dassie;

According to specialists, there are 3 kinds of  Tree Hyraxes or Dassies. Also known as Perere or Pimbi Mti in Kiswahili language.  They are found from Gambia to northern Angola; Bioko; central and north east DRC; northern Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. The tree hyrax is an excellent climber and lives in a tree hole / cavity or rocky crevice where it rests during the day. Generally, they inhabit forests.

  • 1. ROCK HYRAX/ LARGE -TOOTHED ROCK HYRAX

(Procavia capensis);

  • Kiswahili name: Pimbi /Pimbi miamba
  • Distribution/ Range of Rock Hyrax/ Large- Toothed Rock Hyrax in Africa.

Rock Hyrax/  Large- Toothed Rock Hyrax (Procavia capensis) is the most widespread, ranging from “Cape to Cairo” through Horn and the Sahel, with isolated populations in the mountain ranges of the Sahara. This hyrax lives among rocky outcrops and it is an agile climber.

  • Races/ Subspecies of Rock Hyrax/ Large- Toothed Rock Hyrax in Africa.

As per the scientists or specialists, there are 5 kinds of Rock Hyrax/ Large -Toothed Rock Hyrax in Africa.

  • Races/ Subspecies of Rock Hyrax/ Large- Toothed Rock Hyrax in Tanzania;

Procavia  capensis matschiei (is the only races/ subspecies found in Tanzania.

  • Total length: 40-60cm
  • Shoulder height: 15-30cm
  • Weight: 2-5 kg (1.8-5.4 kg both male & female);

 

  • Rock hyraxe's identification pointers.

 

Coat harsh; yellow- brown to dark brown, with dorsal spot black, brown, or yellowish. Snout blunt; nose relatively broad.

Often lives in association with Bush Hyrax/  Yellow- Spotted Rock Hyrax, which have soft gray or grayish- brown fur and white underparts.

Small, stocky build; no tail; small, rounded ears; patch of erectile hairs in the centre of back, from black to straw- yellow or white in different species and subspecies/ races.

  • Similar species;

None

  • Habitat:

Rocks of all kinds, from small kopjes to mountain peaks and gorges. Locations must offer vegetation, sunning places and cavities for shelter and refuge. They are diurnal.

  • Behaviour/ Habit/ Lifestyle;

Adult males of all species are territorial.  Rocky hyraxes are polygynous, and the number of females in a harem depends on the size of the home range and available resources; it can vary from 2 to 26 females and young.

Gregarious/ colonial, several females living and breeding with a territorial male.

Both Rock Hyraxes and Bush Hyraxes often sharing the same rocks and even the same sleeping and sunning spots, these two species associate more closely than any other African mammals.

Males are aggressive at mating time and reassert their dominance over rivals and younger males. Rock Hyraxes are diurnal.

  • Food/ Diet;

It feeds mostly on the ground on leaves, grass , small plants and berries, but readily climbs to feed on fruits, such as figs. In winter bark is eaten. The hyraxes spend much of the rest of the day lying in the sun or shade in order to maintain their body temperature, and at night they huddle together in order to minimize loss of body heat. These hyraxes are sociable and live in colonies of 50 or more individuals.

When grass is unpalatable, they browse on bushes, trees, fruit, and succulents.

  • Gestation period;

Between 7 and 8 months. The female gives birth to 1 to 6 young, usually 2 or 3. Birth weight varies according to litter size but ranges from 150 to 300g.

  • Longevity/ Lifespan;

9 to 14 years.

  • Predators/ Natural enemies;

The black or verreaux’s eagle specializes on Hyraxes; Martial eagle almost equally dangerous. Leopard, Caracal, and Snakes are other ranking predators. The Rock hyrax is the most arid- adapted hyrax. These animals minimize exposure to predators by visiting pastures as a group and eating rapidly for only an hour each morning and afternoon.

  • Distribution/ Range of Rock Hyraxes in Tanzania.

Rock Hyraxes can be reliably seen on the kopjes at many of the lodges in the Serengeti National Park, particularly around Seronera and Lobo, and at the Serengeti entrance gate at Naabi Hill. The Rock Hyrax is restricted to a narrow area of northern Tanzania. It occurs in Serengeti National Park, Maswa Game Reserve, Western Loliondo and the Yaeda Valley. It is not known from Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority although may occur in the Kakesio Hills. There are records from the 1970s from northern Shinyanga and Musoma Districts, although the current status of the species in these areas is not known. Its distribution in the Lake Natron-Kilimanjaro area is unclear, with only one sight record from the lower western slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. There are also sight records from the Mbono area in western Mkomazi National Park, and probable records from around the Minja Forest in the north Pare Mountains.

  • Rock Hyraxe’s Population Size in Tanzania;

There are no population estimates for this species in Tanzania .It is very common in the Kopjes of central and northern Serengeti, although populations outside the Serengeti ecosystem are mostly small and isolated, and therefore susceptible to local hunting pressure. The species is rare in west Kilimanjaro, Mkomazi National Park and the Pare Mountains, and nothing in known about the status of the populations in northern Shinyanga region and around Lake Victoria.

  • 2. BUSH HYRAX / YELLOW- SPOTTED ROCK HYRAX / SMALL- TOOTHED ROCK HYRAX (Heterohyrax brucei)
  • Kiswahili name: Pimbi
  • Distribution/ Range of Bush Hyraxes in Africa.

The Yellow- Spotted Rock Hyrax/ Bush Hyrax/  Small- Toothed Rock Hyrax occurs throughout the Horn, East Africa and marginally into Southern Africa, with an isolated populations in Angola (North- eastern and east Africa to north Transvaal)/ Arabian Peninsula; Africa (North- East Senegal to Somalia and Northern Tanzania, S. Malawi, S. Angola to South Africa; Cape Province).

  • Races/ Subspecies of Bush Hyrax /Yellow- Spotted Rock Hyrax in Africa.

According to specialists, there are 3 kinds of Bush Hyraxes/ Yellow- Spotted Rock Hyraxes.

Also known as the Small- Toothed Rock Hyrax. Despite its name, this Hyrax lives among trees as well as rocks.

  • Races/ Subspecies of Bush Hyraxes in Tanzania.

7 subspecies/ races are named for Tanzania;

  • 1. Heterohyrax brucei dieseneri
  • 2. Heterohyrax brucei frommi
  • 3. Heterohyrax brucei lademanni
  • 4. Heterohyrax brucei munzneri
  • 5. Heterohyrax brucei prittwitzi
  • 6. Heterohyrax brucei ssongeae
  • 7. Heterohyrax brucei victoria- njansae.
  • Total Length; 40-60cm
  • Shoulder height: 15-30cm
  • Weight: (1.3-2.4 kg)
  • Similar species : None

 

  • Bush hyraxe's identification pointers;

A small hyrax with soft gray or grayish brown fur and whitish underparts. Dorsal patch white or yellowish, depending on races/ subspecies. Head small; conspicuous white spot over eye, snout pointed, with small nose. Patch of erectile hairs in the center of back. No tail.

 

  • Habitat:

Depending on its habitat, it finds shelter in crevices or holes as they inhabit among trees as well as rocks.

Any vegetation type as long as rocky refuges available (open country, plains to mountains, forest, and savanna).

  • Behaviour/ Habit/ Lifestyle;

Diurnal. Bush Hyraxes/  Yellow- Spotted Rock Hyraxes are sociable animals and they form colonies of up to 30 animals, each colony (group) generally consists of several old males, many breeding females and their young (Gregarious/ colonial, several related females living and breeding with a territorial male).  Social behaviour is similar to that of the Rock Hyrax/ Large- Toothed Rock Hyrax; clans range in size from 5 to 34 females and offspring.

Both  Bush Hyraxes/  Yellow - Spotted Rock Hyraxes and Rock  Hyraxes / Large - Toothed Rock Hyraxes share the same rocks and even the same sleeping and sunning spots, these two species associate more closely than any other African mammals.

  • Food/ Diet;

Predominantly browsers, bush hyraxes spend much of their foraging time in trees, where their small size enable them to crop leaves beyond the reach of the Rock Hyrax/  Large - Toothed Rock Hyrax. Bush Hyraxes also graze fresh green grass. The Bush Hyraxes feed during the day, mainly on leaves of trees, but also on small plants and grass.

  • Gestation period;

Between 7.5 and 8 months. The females gives birth to 1 or 2 young, rarely 3. Birth weight varies according to litter size but ranges from 150 to 300g.

  • Longevity / Lifespan;

9 to 14 years.

  • Predators/ Natural enemies;

The black or verreaux’s eagle specializes on Hyraxes; Martial eagle almost equally dangerous. Leopard, Caracal, and Snakes are other ranking predators.

  • Distribution/ Range of Bush Hyraxes in Tanzania.

Bush Hyraxes are easily seen on the rocks at Naabi Hill at the entrance to Serengeti National Park, and at most of the Lodges in the National Park.  In Manyara National Park they are common around the TAHI Lodge on the edge of the escarpment. In Tarangire National Park they can be reliably seen on the rocks just south of the main bridge in the north of the National Park. They are also easily seen at the Ruaha River Lodge in Ruaha National Park.

The Bush Hyrax is widely distributed across northern, central and southern Tanzania. There are populations in the Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation   Area Authority, Tarangire, Manyara, Mkomazi, Ruaha, Udzungwa Mountains, Kitulo Plateau and Mahale Mountains National parks. They are also found in parts of the Selous Game Reserve, Mbangala Forest Reserve,  Ugalla Game Reserve and in the rocky kopjes in Singida District. There are no records for the far north west of the country, nor from much of the coastal area between the Kenya border and the Rufiji River.

  • Bush Hyraxe's Population Size in Tanzania.

There are no population estimates for this species in Tanzania. They can be very common in suitable habitat, with densities of up to 75 individuals per hectare (30 per acre) found on some kopjes in the Serengeti. Bush Hyraxes are widely distributed across protected areas where numbers are generally stable.

  • 3. TREE HYRAX ( Dendrohyrax arboreus );

 

  • Kiswahili name: Pimbi Mti/ Perere.

According to specialists, there are 3 kinds of  Tree Hyraxes or Dassies.

  • Distribution/ Range of Tree Hyraxes in Africa.

Gambia to northern Angola; Bioko; central and north east DRC; Northern Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania to South Africa, Cape Province.

  • 3. KINDS OF TREE HYRAXES;
  • 1. Southern Tree Hyraxes (Dendrohyrax arboreus);

Grizzled grey to brown coat with creamy- white dorsal gland hairs, a cream or white belly, white patches above the eye and white patches stretching from the lower and upper lip to the cheeks.

  • Races/ Subspecies of Southern Tree Hyrax in Tanzania.

Dendrohyrax arboreus stuhlmanni ( is the only subspecies/ races found in Tanzania.

  • 2. Eastern Tree Hyraxes

(Dendrohyrax validus)

Dark brown above with yellow- orange belly and russet- brown to yellow dorsal gland hairs. Much darker overall than the Southern Tree Hyrax;

  • Races/ Subspecies of Eastern Tree Hyraxes in Tanzania.
  • 1. Dendrohyrax validus validus (Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru)
  • 2. Dendrohyrax validus terricola (Pare and Usambara mountains)
  • 3. Dendrohyrax validus schusteri(Uluguru and Udzungwa Mountains)
  • 4. Dendrohyrax validus neumanni(Zanzibar, Pemba)

NOTE & REMEMBER: The subspecies/ races are differentiated primarily by call.

  • 3. Western Tree Hyrax (Dendrohyrax dorsalis)

Dark brown or black coat with yellowish- white dorsal gland hairs. White spot under the chin.

  • Races/ Subspecies of Western Tree Hyraxes in Tanzania.

Only Dendrohyrax dorsalis marmota  ( is the only race found in Tanzania).

  • Total length: 40-60cm
  • Shoulder height: 15-30cm
  • Weight: 2-5 kg(1.7-5 kg male & female)
  • Similar species: None.

 

  • Tree Hyraxe's identification pointers;

About the size of a Rock- Hyrax,  but coat longer, dense, and soft. Grizzled dark brown above, Lighter or ochreous below. Dorsal patch elongated and ringed with long white or yellow hairs.

Eye patches light but in distinct in most races/ subspecies. Large head darker than body. Snout rather blunt.

 

Tree hyraxes spend much of their feeding time in trees but will also feed on the ground. During the day they may sunbask or retreat into tree holes. They are far more difficult to observe than their rock cousins. Tree hyraxes have colonized a range of forest, woodland and thicket types.

  • Habitat:

A range of forest, woodland and thicket types. The tree hyrax is an excellent climber and lives in a tree hole or rock crevices where it rests during the day. It emerges in the afternoon or evening to feed in the trees and on the ground on leaves, grass, ferns, fruit and other plant material. Insects, lizards and bird’s eggs are also eaten on occasion.

  • Behaviour/ Habit/  Lifestyle;

Solitary and Nocturnal (Tree hyraxes are solitary or live in families composed of a mated pair and their offspring.  How ever, this hyrax also lives in colonies very similar to the other two high on certain mountains.

  • Food/ Diet;

Plants, including leaves, flowers, fruits and also bark.

  • Gestation period;

About 8 month (7-8 months).  A litter of 1 or 2 (rarely 3) young is born. In East Africa, young born mainly in March and April. In rainforest,  may breed year round.

  • Longevity/ Lifespan;

9 to 14 years.

  • Predators /Natural enemies;

Crowned hawk eagle, Leopard, Golden cat, Serval, Python, even Genets. Also hunted by humans for their hides.

  • Distribution/ Range of Tree Hyraxes in Tanzania.

The Southern Tree Hyrax occurs in riverine habitat and lowland forests throughout Tanzania. The Eastern Tree Hyrax occurs in many montane forests, including Arusha and Kilimanjaro National Parks, the Pare Mountains, and most of the Eastern Arc Mountains. It is also found on the north east coat and on Zanzibar and Pemba, but not Mafia. The Western Tree Hyrax is only known from the Minziro Forest RESERVE.

The Southern Tree Hyrax is frequently seen in large fig trees along the Tarangire River in Tarangire National park, and also on the grounds of Sopa Lodge in Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority. The Eastern Tree Hyrax is most easily seen in Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park on Zanzibar where it is sometimes active during the day. The only known place to see the Western Tree Hyrax is in Minziro Forest Reserve.

  • Tree Hyraxe's Population Size in Tanzania;

The Southern Tree Hyrax is common in many parts of Tanzania, including Tarangire National Park and the northern section of the Selous Game Reserve. The Eastern Tree Hyrax is abundant on the southern and northern slopes of Mount Kilimajaro and is common in Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park on Zanzibar. The population of Western Tree Hyrax is restricted to one small corner of Tanzania and thus is likely to be small.

PRIMATES (First ones)

PRIMATES (First ones)

  • Order- Primates.

Man and his closest relatives in the Animal Kingdom belong to the order- primates. The name, which means “ First ones” . Worldwide ( central and south America, Africa and Asia),  there are about 11 families and 56 genera, with 185 to 356 species.

  1. BABOONS/ FAMILY- CERCOPITHECIDAE ( CERCOPITHECIDS );
  • 1. SAVANNA (COMMON) BABOON

(Papio cynocephalus)-including the chacma, yellow, sacred,  olive and guinea baboons.

  • Kiswahili name: Nyani.

Some taxonomists give each of the following races/ subspecies a full status.

  • 1. Western Baboon/ Guinea Baboon (Papio cynocephalus papio);
  • Ranges from Mauritania to Siera Leone. The largest race, with the biggest mane; short hair on rump and limbs; very thick, dense cheek whiskers; tail carried in curve, not kinked; coat brindled reddish brown; calluses reddish or purplish.
  • 2. OLIVE BABOON/ Anubis Baboon (Papio cynocephalus anubis);

Occurs from Mauritania to Somalia,  south to n. Tanzania; isolated populations in Sahara. Heavy set; mane and whiskers as in western Baboon, making head and shoulders look more massive; tail kinked at sharp angle;  coat brindled olive- brown, with bare areas blackish; calluses shiny purple- black.

  • 3. YELLOW BABOON(Papio cynocephalus cynocephalus);

Ranges from Somalia to Mozambique and Zimbabwe; S.C. Africa from Angolan coast to Indian Ocean; In s.e.Kenya, occupies hot arid lowlands, leaving uplands to Olive Baboon.

 

  • 4. CHACMA BABOON( Papio cynocephalus ursinus);

Lives from C. Angola to tip of Cape of Good Hope, northeast to Zambezi  in Mozambique, and north to e. Zambia. Slender but large race; course coat light gray to dark greenish brown, with blackish lower limbs; male has short blackish mane on neck and shoulders.

  • NOTE AND REMEMBER:

All races/ subspecies of Baboons have the same non- territorial, multi- male social organization. Troops, which range in size from seven to around 200 animals, are aggregations of family groups of females and their offspring, with a small number of mature males.

Relations between such groups are competitive, as baboons of high rank enjoy priority access to food, water, and sleeping sites.  Male baboons compete for dominance status. High- ranking males tend to obtain first matings, with the troop’s estrous females; how ever,- Lower- ranking males form alliances that enable them to dominate rivals. Males can also achieve reproductive success by ingratiating themselves with particular female groups or individuals, staying with and helping to protect them and their offspring. Such friends are often preferred as mates over the highest- ranking males. Troops avoid one another but often have to share sleeping trees or cliffs and water holes.

  • Total length:

Male (120-180cm)

Female (100-120cm)

  • Tail length:

Male (60-85cm)

Female (50-60cm)

  • Shoulder Height: 40-75cm
  • Weight:

Male (25-45 kg)

Female (12-28 kg);

 

  • Habitat

Primarily different savanna associations but also found in montane areas, dense forest fringes and, in some areas, coastal habitats. They can penetrate arid areas along river courses, provided drinking water is accessible. Large trees or cliffs are a requirement for sleeping out of reach of predators.

  • Food/ Diet;

Omnivorous, taking a wide range of plants, including flowers, seeds, fruits, resin, bark, leaves, roots, and bulbs. Also take a variety of mainly invertebrate animal food, and if the opportunity presents itself, young antelope, hares, mice, birds and reptiles. In agricultural areas they will raid a variety of crops.

  • Reproduction;

Female exhibits vastly swollen protuberances in the anal and vaginal region when receptive. The gestation period is about 180 days.

At birth the single young has a pink face, and for the first few weeks clings to its mother’s chest hairs; as it gains strength it begins to ride on her lower back, often using her tail as a back rest. 1 (rarely2) young born. It takes its first solid food at 5 or 6 months and is weaned and independent at 8 months. It is guarded by the mother until it is about 2 years old.

  • Longevity/ Lifespan;

10 years;

  • Predators/ Natural enemies;

Leopard, Lion and big carnivores.

  • SPECIES OF BABOONS IN TANZANIA;
  • 1. OLIVE BABOON/ ANUBIS BABOON (Papio cynocephalus anubis);
  • Distribution/ Range of Olive Baboon/ Anubis Baboon in Tanzania.

This species is easily seen in many northern National Parks, including Tarangire, Manyara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority. The olive baboon is restricted to northern and northwestern Tanzania. It is found in Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Tarangire and Serengeti National Parks, Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, Lake Natron, the Yaeda Valley, Moyowosi- Kigosi Game Reserves, Gombe National Park, Burigi- Biharamulo Game Reserves, Ibanda- Rumanyika Game Reserves and Minziro Forest Reserve. There is an extensive hybrid zone where the ranges of the Olive and Yellow Baboons overlap and interbreed. This stretches from the Malagarasi River in the west, through Ugalla and Swagaswaga Game Reserves and the southern Maasai Steppe to West Kilimanjaro and Mkomazi National Park. In these areas, pure olive and yellow baboons may be found, as well as baboons with traits of both species. The Baboons in Swagaswaga Game Reserve have stronger olive than yellow baboon features, while this trend is reversed in animals in Mkomazi National Park and the lower northern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. The exact extent of the hybridization zone is unclear and requires further research.

  • Olive Baboon’s Population Size in Tanzania.

The olive baboon is very common in many protected areas including Arusha, Manyara and northern Tarangire National Parks, the Serengeti ecosystem, Moyowosi- Kigosi Game Reserves, Burigi-

Biharamilo Game Reserves and Gombe Stream National Park. It occurs at lower densities outside protected areas, although is locally common in the Lake Natron to West Kilimanjaro area.

  • 2. YELLOW BABOON

(Papio cynocephalus);

  • Races/ Subspecies of Yellow Baboon in Tanzania.
  • 1. Papio cynocephalus cynocephalus (is found throughout Tanzania, except for the southwest; large with a long muzzle.
  • 2. Papio cynocephalus kindae (is found in Mahale Mountains National Park along the southern lake shore of Lake Tanganyika; smaller and more slender with short muzzle.
  • Distribution/ Range of Yellow Baboons in Tanzania.

The Yellow Baboon can be seen in many of the National Parks on the southern circuit, including Mikumi, Ruaha and Saadani National Parks.

It is also one of the few species that is likely to be seen outside protected areas along the main highway. Subspecies/ races (Kindae) is easily seen in Mahale Mountains National Park in the forests along the edge of  Lake Tanganyika, where troops frequently pass through the grounds of the main lodges and camps.

Yellow Baboons are found across southern, central, eastern and much of western Tanzania. On the northern boundary, their range overlaps with that of the Olive Baboon, with hybrids between the two species known from Swagaswaga Game Reserve, where males resemble olive baboons and females resemble yellow baboons.

Hybridization is also common in West Kilimanjaro and Mkomazi National Park, where individuals have mostly yellow baboon traits.

The approximate extent of the hybridization zone may need to be refined based on further research. Yellow Baboons are found in Saadani, Mikumi and Udzungwa Mountains National Parks, the Ruaha- Rungwa and Katavi-Rukwa ecosystems and the Selous and Ugalla Game Reserves. They are also widely distributed outside Protected areas, occurring throughout much of the coastal region, southern Singida and Morogoro District.

  • Yellow Baboon’s Population Size in Tanzania.

The yellow baboon is locally abundant in Mikumi and Ruaha National Parks and parts of the Selous Game Reserve, and is generally common across much of its range, particularly in Protected areas. There are no population figures or trends for the country.

  • 3. BLUE/ SYKES MONKEY/ MITIS MONKEY (Cercopithecus (nictitans) Mitis/ C.albogularis);
  • Kiswahili name: Karasinga /Kima
  • Distribution/ Range of Blue Monkey in Africa.

Congo basin; Ethiopia; SW Somalia to NW Angola and south in all countries but Namibia and Botswana.

Restricted to the eastern seaboard and adjacent interior from the Eastern Cape, South Africa,  to southern Somalia.  They are also present in Ethiopia, on either side of the Great rift in East Africa and extending into north- central DRC, and in coastal Angola. Many populations are isolated, resulting in the great variation that is seen today. Some of the best locations to observe this species are the St. Lucia Wetland (South Africa), Mt. Kenya and Aberdares (Kenya), and Ngorongoro and Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania.

  • Races/ Subspecies of Blue Monkey in Africa;

Many races/ subspecies have been described but some authorities consider them to be one species.

These many races/ subspecies are probably 20-25, many in isolated populations, including;

  • 1. Cercopithecus mitis albogularis

Found in highlands east of east of e. rift valley in e. Kenya, lacks diadem; has white throat, greenish to reddish upperparts, black forelimbs,  and no black on shoulders, nape, or crown.

  • 2. Blue monkey

( Cercopithecus mitis stuhlmanni);

 

Found from e. DRC to W. Kenya and n. Tanzania, has grizzled blue- gray back, with intensely black arms and black cap that contrasts with pale, grizzled brown patch.

  • 3. Samango monkey ( Cercopithecus mitis labiatus );

Ranges from e. Zimbabwe and Mozambique to e. cape province, has dark brown face, with white limited to lips and chin; grizzled gray- brown upper parts and dirty white underparts; black legs, shoulders, and outer two- thirds of tail;

Some races are abundant but others, such as the “golden” monkey (Cercopithecus mitis kandti),  found in a limited area of the Virunga volcanoes, probably number in the low hundreds (endangered).

( 4 ) MOUNT KENYA SYKE'S MONKEY ( Cercopithecus mitis kolbi );

Found in Mount Kenya and Aberdare Mountains, has most striking colouration; broad, snow- white collar set off by black shoulders and dark red back; Long ear tufts.

  • Races/ Subspecies of Blue Monkey in Tanzania;
  • 1. Cercopithecus mitis albogularis;

Found in northern Tanzania (Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru), Zanzibar; (Russet or Green back, white on throat);

  • 2. Cercopithecus mitis moloneyi;

Southern Highlands to the southern and western Udzungwa Mountains (deep red back, throat pale grey);

  • 3. Cercopithecus mitis monoides;

Found in Saadani National Park, Udzungwa Mountains, Selous Game Reserve to Mozambique border, (russet rump, grey underparts.)

( 4 ). Cercopithecus mitis doggetti;

West and northwest Tanzania ( Grizzled grey or orange back, backlegs );

  • Total length:

Male (1,4m)

Female (1,2m)

  • Tail length:

Male (80cm)

Female (70cm)

  • Weight;

Male (8-10kg)

Female (4-5kg)

 

  • Blue monkey’s identification pointers;

Typical monkey appearance; in most races/ subspecies hair relatively long and dark, especially on hands and feet; long facial whiskers; some races have white throat ruff; forest, woodland associations.

  • Similar species;

Other monkeys and guenons within its range.

  • Habitat;

Forests of all kinds (3000m).

  • Behaviour/ Habit/ Lifestyle;

Certain aspects of behaviour vary in the different races/ subspecies but overall it is very similar. They live in troops of up to 30 and 40 individuals but often these are smaller. Most troops are controlled by a single adult male. Much of their time is spent in the trees but they do occasionally forage on the ground and move across clearings.  In the tropics they freely associate with other monkeys,  guenons and colobus, but are not as excitable as many primates.

They are vocal with a range of calls, of which the most obvious is the very loud far- carrying bark, sounding superficially like “Jack”, uttered by the males. Calling and their crashing progress through the trees are often the only signs of their presence; how ever, in some areas they have become habituated to man and easy to observe. As with most monkeys they will sun themselves in the early morning but retreat to deep shade during the hottest midday hours. Troop home range size is dictated by many factors, but in one study a troop of the stuhlmanni race covered only one tenth to one sixteenth of a square Kilometres and the density in the area was estimated at 200 to 300 individuals per km2. Behaviour of the putty- nosed is said to be very similar to that of the blue monkey;

  • Food/ Diet;

Wide range of plants, including fruits, flowers, gum, leaves and seeds. In commercial timber plantations they are reported to debark young trees. They also take insects and have been seen to catch birds and small mammals.

  • Reproduction;

In the southern areas of their range young are born during the summer months, but elsewhere, particularly in the equatorial belt, births  are a seasonal although peaks may be discernible. A single young weighing about 400g is dropped after a gestation period of about 220 to 230 days.

  • Natural enemies/ Predators;

Crowned hawk eagle, Leopard, Chimpanzee.

  • Distribution/ Range of Blue Monkey in Tanzania;

Blue monkeys/ Mitis monkeys are easily seen in the ground water forest in Manyara National park, and in forested areas  in Saadani, Kitulo, Jozani Chwaka Bay, Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Udzungwa Mountains National Parks. The mitis monkey has a patchy distribution, covering much of the coast and parts of the north, west and central areas of the country. It occurs in most of the montane forests in northern Tanzania, including Kilimanjaro, Arusha, and Manyara National Parks, Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, Arusha city and the forests along the East African Rift wall as far south as Babati and the Ufiome Forest Reserve. There are also populations in forests across the coastal area as far south as the Mozambique border, much of the northern Selous Game Reserve, and throughout the Eastern Arc Mountains and Southern Highlands, including Mount Rungwe and Kitulo Plateau National Park. They are also widespread in forested areas in western Tanzania , including Katavi, Mahale, and Gombe Streams National Parks, and there are populations in Burigi- Biharamilo Game Reserves, Ibanda -Rumanyika Game Reserves and Minziro Forest Reserve. They are found in most National Parks, although are absent from Serengeti, Tarangire and Rubondo. An isolated population has been reported close to Nyigoti Village, west of the Serengeti National Park.

  • Blue monkey’s population size in Tanzania;

Blue monkey’s / Mitis monkeys are locally common across many parts of its range, including Kilimanjaro, Arusha , Manyara, Saadani, Udzungwa and Gombe Stream National Parks, and in forests along the Ruvu- Pangani River. Small numbers still occur in many urban or semi urban areas.

  1. VERVET MONKEY/ SAVANNA MONKEY/GREEN MONKEY; (Cercopithecus aethiops)/ Chlorocebus pygerythrus );
  • Kiswahili name: Ngedere/ Tumbili;
  • Distribution / Range of Vervet monkey in Africa;

Senegal to Somalia, south to South Africa.

The vervet monkey is more widely distributed than any other African monkey, being absent only from desert, high forest and open grassland.  They are common and widespread.

  • Races/ Subspecies of Vervet monkey in Africa;

There are many races / subspecies of this medium- to large monkey, which vary in their facial markings and whiskers. Generally, however, they have black faces, white whiskers and grayish or yellowish- olive hair, but all are readily recognizable as vervet monkeys.

21 races/ subspecies described, with several distinctive forms; vervets occur from s Ethiopia and Somalia to South Africa (Have white or whitish forehead band merging with side whiskers similar in colour to crown and other upper parts; usually black face, hands, and feet; tufts of reddish hair undertail root; black tail tip; coat colour grades from pale yellow- green in e. Africa to reddish- green in Mozambique to dark green in s. Africa);

Grivets, with races/ subspecies in Sudan and Ethiopia, have long- tufted, pure white side burns, contrasting with crown and other upperparts- tuft of white or reddish – brown hairs below tail root; whitish tail tip. Green monkeys range from Senegal to Ghana, have yellow whiskers and yellow – tinged back; Lack white forehead band.

  • Races/ Subspecies of Vervet Monkey in Tanzania.
  • 1. C. p. rufoviridis

Found in western Tanzania (Large, the back is yellow or reddish and darker towards the base of the tail.

  • 2. C.p. nesiotis

Found in Pemba Island (similar to C.p. rufoviridis, although smaller.).

  • 3. C.p. tantalus

Central, Coastal and Western Tanzania. The back is olive- green. The animals on the Island of Zanzibar are probably this subspecies, but may be hybrids between different subspecies/ races.

  • Total Length;

Male (100-130 cm)

Female (95-110cm)

  • Tail Length;

Male (60-75 cm)

Female (48-65cm)

  • Weight:

Male (4-8kg)/ Average 5,5 kg)

Female (3, 5- 5kg)/ Average 4kg)

  • Vervet monkey’s identification pointers;

Typical monkey appearance with long tail; feet and hands darker than rest of usually grizzled- grey coat; Most races / subspecies with black face; more lightly wooded habitat than most monkeys;  lives in troops. Sex difference is through sexual organs. The scrotum can easily be noticed hanging below the anus in males.

  • Similar species;

Should not be mistaken for any other monkey.

  • Habitat:

Savanna and riverine woodland, and coastal scrub forest.

  • Behaviour / Lifestyle / Habit;

Lives in troops of up to 20 or  more individuals, but most groups tend to be smaller. The formation of large groups is generally associated with an abundant food source or water.

They are diurnal and sleep at night in trees or occasionally on cliffs when suitable trees are not available. A clear “pecking order” or social ranking is well established and maintained in each troop. Foraging takes place in a well- defined home range, with much of the time being spent on the ground.

  • Food/ Diet;

A wide range of fruits, flowers, leaves, gum and seeds, and when opportunity occurs, invertebrates and small vertebrates such as nestling birds.

  • Reproduction;

Births, may occur at any time of the year but in some areas there is evidence of peaks. After a gestation period of about 210 days, a single young weighing between 300 and 400g is dropped.

  • Longevity/ Lifespan;

Up to 15 years;

  • Predators/ Natural enemies:

Man, Leopard, Large birds of prey such as a crowned hawk, eagle, python and other poisonous snakes.

  • Distribution / Range of Vervet Monkey in Tanzania.

This species is commonly seen around many lodges and picnic sites, both on the northern and southern tour circuits.  Sightings are almost guaranteed in Ruaha, Mikumi, Manyara, northern Tarangire and central Serengeti National Parks.

The vervet monkey is probably the most widely distributed large mammal species in Tanzania, occurring throughout the country. It is found in all National Parks, with the exception of Kitulo Plateau National Park, where it is known only from lower slopes of the plateau outside the boundaries of the park. It also occurs in all Game Reserves and in many towns and cities. It is absent from Mafia Island.

  • Vervet Monkey’s population size in Tanzania;

There are no population estimates for the vervet monkey in Tanzania, but it is locally common or abundant in many parts of the country and frequently seen outside protected areas.

  1. PATAS MONKEY

(Erythrocebus patas)/ Cercopithecus patas)

Genus- Erythrocebus/  (Cercopithecus);

  • Kiswahili name: Kima mwekundu;
  • Distribution/ Range of Patas Monkey in Africa;

Senegal, east to Ethiopia, south to Tanzania (Throughout the Savannas of West Africa, from Senegal eastward to Ethiopia).  They are not threatened. Isolated populations in Air Mountains of Niger and on Ennedi Plateau in Chad.

  • Races/ subspecies of Patas Monkey in Africa.
  • 1. Cercopithecus / Erythrocebus patas baumstarki (Pallid Serengeti National Park Isolate- Tanzania)
  • 2. Cercopithecus / Erythrocebus patas patas ( Main sahel population from Mauritania to Kordofan)
  • 3. Cercopithecus / Erythrocebus patas pyrrhonotus (Main nile valley population from Sudan to Uelle and Kenya)
  • 4. Cercopithecus / Erythrocebus patas villiersi ( Air massif isolate)
  • Races/ Subspecies of Patas Monkey in Tanzania;

Erythrocebus/ Cercopithecus patas baumstarki (is the only subspecies / race found in Tanzania.

  • Total Length;

Male( 1, 1-1,6m)

Female (1-1,5m)

  • Tail length: 50-74 cm
  • Weight: 4-13kg (Male is consistently larger than Female);
  • Patas monkey’s identification pointers;

Long legs; slender body, “ grey hound” appearance; coat brick –red to yellowish, underparts paler; white moustache and nose patch contrasting with dark face; only “ true'' monkey on open savanna.

  • Similar species

None.

  • Habitat:

Dry savannas and rocky areas, but avoiding dense cover. Also forest edge. Able to go without water for long periods, but during drought must have access to water.

  • Behaviour / Habit/ Lifestyles;

The most terrestrial of the primates, apart from baboons and the gelada. They range over open and lightly wooded savanna country and are able to run at great speeds. Virtually all foraging takes place on the ground but they sleep in trees and use them as vantage points to watch for predators. Although small troops averaging 15 individuals are seen;  up to 100 have been recorded in West Africa but these may constitute temporary groupings. Each troop has a dominant female and one adult male, and a very clear “pecking order” is maintained. They frequently stand on the hind legs to scan over long grass. Unlike forest monkeys,  patas cover very large home ranges of 80km2 or more;

  • Food/Diet;

Very wide range of plant and animal food, the latter primarily insects (Fruits, seeds, leaves, roots, insects, lizards and bird’s eggs)

  • Reproduction /Breeding;

Breeding is seasonal. A single young is dropped after gestation of 170 days.

  • Distribution / Range of Patas monkey’s in Tanzania;

Sightings of Patas monkeys are becoming increasingly infrequent in Tanzania. They are sometimes observed on the Msabi Plains and in the Mbalageti area in the western Serengeti National Park, and occasionally in Ikona Wildlife Management Area. The patas monkey is at the very southern end of its range in Tanzania, and the population is small and fragmented. There were historically three separate populations in Tanzania; in the western Serengeti, west Kilimanjaro and around the volcanic mountains west of Arusha. In west Kilimanjaro, small groups of patas monkeys were recorded in the Lerangwa wildlife corridor and on Ndarakwai Ranch in 1990, and again near TingaTinga in 2001. However, there have been no sightings in this area since then. There is a small group of patas monkeys in the southern foothills of Burko mountain, and another around Lolkisale Mountain, although there have been no records from the Lolkisale population since 2005. In the western Serengeti ecosystem, the majority of records have come from outside the National Park in the Ikona WMA, although sightings there have declined significantly since 2008. It is possible that individuals from this population have migrated to the western corridor of the Serengeti National Park.

  • Patas Monkey’s Population Size in Tanzania;

The largest population of patas monkeys in Tanzania is in the western Serengeti, with perhaps 200-300 individuals. The population on the slopes of Burko Mountain has approximately 20-30 animals, and it is possible that there are still some 20-30 individuals in the Lolkisale area. The total Tanzanian population is therefore now likely to number fewer than 400 individuals.

  1. CRESTED MANGABEY / AGILE MANGABEY (Cercocebus galeritus);
  • Kiswahili name: SANJE;

Apart from the two widespread crested mangabey races/ subspecies, two (2) isolated subspecies/ races are recognized;

  • 1. Cercocebus galeritus sanjei / Sanje Crested Mangabey;

Sanje crested mangabey (Cercocebus galeritus sanjei) is restricted to s. Tanzania’s Udzungwa mountains, a small forested area on the eastern slopes of the udzungwa mountains national park. This species is endangered.

  • 2. Cercocebus galeritus galeritus / Tana River Crested Mangabey;

Tana river crested mangabebey ( Cercocebus galeritus galeritus)- is restricted to a few isolated forest pockets on that river in coastal Kenya (Has crown fringe that almost conceals ears);

  • Other races/ subspecies of crested mangabey in Africa;
  • 1. Cercocebus galeritus agilis (Agile mangabey);

Ranges from Bioko east through DRC (Has black ears and face; fringe only above face; short whiskers);

  • 2. Cercocebus galeritus chrysogaster (Golden mangabey);

Ranges south of Congo River in DRC (Lacks fringe above face; underside bright gold; tail held stiffly out behind in downward arc);

  • Crested mangabey’s identification pointers.

Despite its name, a true crest does not occur in any races; Overall pelage color is dirty yellowish- brown, with an olive tinge in some races; white to yellowish underparts. The Tana river race has a fringe of longish hairs around the face. Tail frequently bent forward over the head.

  • Similar species;

Other mangabey and guenon species.

  • Habitat;

Rain Forests, Swamp Forests, and Galley Forests in Savannas.

  • Behaviour / Habit/ Lifestyles;

Live in multi- male troops of 10 to 40 individuals, with group size varying from species to species and region to region. For example, up to 40 animals have been recorded for the sanje subspecies of the crested mangabey (average 20 to 25); while troops of the Tana river subspecies (crested) range in size from 13 to 36 individuals but up to 60 have been recorded , involving temporary aggregations of two or more troops. All are extremely agile climbers, although not to the same extent as most of the guenons.

For all species, the home range sizes, which to a large extent are a measure of the quantity and quality of available food, are likely to be small. All species associate freely with other primates, principally guenons.  They are very vocal and their calls are often the first and only indication of their presence.

  • Food / Diet;

Principally fruits and seeds, and also small quantities of leaves. Powerfully developed incisors enable them to include even the hardest seeds. Insects are also eaten, while the grey- cheeked mangabey is known to catch and eat small vertebrates.

  • Reproduction / Breeding;

Evidence indicates that some species and races/ subspecies are seasonal breeders, others non- seasonal. The Tana River race gives birth between November and February. Gestation of the grey- cheeked is up to 180 days,  those of other species probably similar.

  • Distribution / Range of Sanje- Crested Mangabey in Tanzania.

There is a habituated group of sanje mangabey that can be reliably seen in Udzungwa Mountains National Park. Trips can be arranged at the National Park Headquarters at Mang'ula, where a dedicated guide can lead people to the troop.

The sanje mangabey is edemic to Tanzania and restricted to only two forests in the Udzungwa Mountains; the Mwanihana Forest in udzungwa National Park and the Udzungwa Scarp Forest.

  • Sanje –crested mangabey’s population size in Tanzania.

Recent surveys suggest that the total population of sanje mangabeys is approximately 2,800-3,500 individuals. The larger Mwanihana Forest has an estimated 50-60 groups with a total of 1,750-2,100 individuals, and the Udzungwa Scarp Forest Reserve has another 30-40 groups with approximately 1,050-1,400 animals.

  1. COLOBID MONKEYS (Leaf- eating monkeys) FAMILY(COLOBIDAE) /SUBFAMILY (COLOBINAE);

There are 27 species of  Leaf – eating monkeys worldwide, with 7 in Africa. The 2 major groups of Old world monkeys are usually referred to as subfamilies of a single family ( CERCOPITHECIDAE), namely, 1. CERCOPITHECINAE and 2.  COLOBINAE, but many authorities now prefer to recognize two full families;  1. the CERCOPITHECIDAE and 2. COLOBIDAE.

  • 1. COLOBID MONKEYS (FAMILY- COLOBIDAE);

Tend to be specialized leaf- eaters. Like ruminants or Kangaroos, they have stomachs with fermentation chambers containing bacteria that break down cellulose into short- chain fatty acids and so make extra nutrients available from the monkeys food. The colobid digestive specializations are unique among primates.

  • 2. CERCOPITHECIDS (FAMILY- CERCOPITHECIDAE);

Have simple stomachs, and deep food storage pouches in the lining of the cheeks.

  • RECOGNITION OF COLOBID MONKEYS/ THUMBLESS MONKEYS;

Colobids are medium- sized,  variously coloured monkeys with big bodies and small head. Some are black, or black and white; some have red tints, some have dull olive colouring.

More arboreal than guenons and mangabeys, and rather sluggish much of the time,  Colobus monkeys can be spectacular leapers. Their hindquarters are longer and stronger than their forequarters. Their absent or reduced thumb gave them their name- COLOBUS is Greek for “Mutilated”/ Thumbless;

Fruit is grasped between the palm and fingers; foliage is often eaten directly by bending branches in and biting off  leaves.

  • SPECIES OF COLOBID MONKEYS IN TANZANIA;
  • RED COLOBUS MONKEYS(Genus- Piliocolobus /Procolobus);

Red colobus occur in numerous populations and species, some of which show much variation at the individual level while others are more uniform. All tend to be some permutation of red, white, black, brown and grey but build is the surest guide to recognition. The red colobus monkey is broadly divided into 5 species, all generally grouped under the “super species”- badius.

  • IDENTIFICATION POINTERS;

Should not be confused with any other primate within its range.

  • TOTAL LENGTH;

Male (100-150cm)

Female (90-140cm)

  • TAIL LENGTH;

Male (55-80cm)

Female (42-80cm)

  • WEIGHT;

Male (9-13 kg)

Female (7-9 kg);

 

  • HABITAT;

All truly arboreal, rarely coming to the ground except to cross clearings. Reds spend most of their time in the canopy and higher reaches of the forest strata. A range of forest types are occupied by the different races, including lowland rainforest, galley forests, mangrove and montane forest. Very occasionally they will venture into dense savanna woodland (e.g. Temminck's in far West Africa);

  • BEHAVIOUR/ HABIT/ LIFESTYLE;

Group size is variable in the different races but in general ranges from 25 to 50 individuals, although can be as low as four to six. Each group is accompanied by one or more adult males, with multi- male groups being most common. In most races males and females may move between groups on reaching maturity but in some only females leave the birth troop. Home range size is very variable, being largely dependent on food quality, but in general averages from 9 to 35 ha, with considerable overlap between troops. Reds mingle freely with several other monkey species, particularly in food trees. Although quite vocal, they are probably less 50 than the black and white colobus group.

  • FOOD/DIET;

Some 80 percent or more of their food is made up of leaves, primarily young growth, for which they have a highly developed digestive system. Fruits, flowers and other plant parts make up the remainder.

  • REPRODUCTION/ BREEDING;

Red colobus monkeys are poorly known in the wild, but at least some races / subspecies appear to be seasonal breeders.

  • 1. ZANZIBAR RED COLOBUS/ KIRK’S RED COLOBUS (Procolobus / Piliocolobus kirkii);
  • Kiswahili name: Kima punju;
  • Identification pointers of Zanzibar red colobus;

Long- haired white brow- line; white cheeks, underparts and hindlimbs; black on shoulders, with red on rest of back; pale tail; restricted distribution. They are about 1,500 animals remaining.

  • DISTRIBUTION / RANGE OF ZANZIBAR RED COLOBUS IN TANZANIA;

Only occurs on the island of Zanzibar. The Zanzibar Red Colobus sightings are guaranteed at Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park, where guides take tourists to see habituated groups in the forest. They are also frequently seen in Mtende, Kiwengwa and Masingini Forests. The Zanzibar Red Colobus is endemic to Zanzibar, where it occurs in the north east and across the south- central parts of the Island. It may, however, have formely occurred on the mainland. A population was introduced into Ngezi Vumawimbi Forest on Pemba Island in 1973. On Zanzibar, it occurs in Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park and the adjacent agricultural land, on Uzi Island, and in isolated populations along the eastern coast from Kiwengwa Forest to Mtende Forest in the south. In western Zanzibar, it is found in Maji Mekundu Forest, and a population was introduced to Masingini Forest in 1977-78.

  • ZANZIBAR RED COLOBUS MONKEY’S POPULATION SIZE IN TANZANIA;.

The Zanzibar Red Colobus population has been estimated to be 2,000-3000 individuals, and it is one of the most threatened primates in Africa. The largest population occurs in and around Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park, which may have some 500-750 individuals, with the highest densities found on the agricultural land on the southern border of the National Park. A population of 15 individuals introduced onto Pemba in 1973 had increased to 35-40 animals by 2011. Almost 50% of the Zanzibar Red Colobus population lives in areas where they have little or no official protection, and numbers are continuing to decline.

  • 2. UDZUNGWA RED COLOBUS/ IRINGA RED COLOBUS/ GORDON’S RED COLOBUS/ OR UHEHE RED COLOBUS

(Procolobus gordonorum/ Piliocolobus gordonorum);

  • Kiswahili name: Mbega mwekundu;
  • Distribution/ Range of Udzungwa Red Colobus in Tanzania;

The Udzungwa Red Colobus is regularly seen on the main Mwanihana trail in Udzungwa Mountains National Park. Udzungwa Red Colobus is a Tanzanian endemic, restricted to the forests of the Udzungwa Mountains and a few small forest blocks and riverine forest areas in the Kilombero Valley. Within the Udzungwa Mountains, it occurs in Udzungwa Mountains National Park and in the majority of forest- blocks except those in the far south west of the mountain range in the Mufindi area.  In the Kilombero Valley it is found in very small patches of forest including the Magombera and Kiwanga Forests, and in riverine forest along the Msolwa river. A population that occurred north of the Udzungwa Mountains National Park in the Vidunda Mountains is believed to have gone extinct.

  • UDZUNGWA RED COLOBUS MONKEY’S POPULATION SIZE IN TANZANIA.

The total population of Udzungwa Red Colobus was estimated at 25,000-35,000 individuals in 2009. The greatest numbers occur in the Mwanihana Forest in the Udzungwa Mountains National Park, where it is most common between altitudes of 300-700m (1,000-2,300 ft).  There is an estimated population of roungly 1,000 individuals in the Magombera Forest in the Kilombero Valley, the high population density being due to habitat loss elsewhere. Endangered and recognizable as a red colobus.

  • 3. EASTERN RED COLOBUS/ CENTRAL AFRICAN RED COLOBUS OR ASHY RED COLOBUS (Procolobus/ Piliocolobus rufomitratus );
  • Kiswahili name: Mbega mwekundu.
  • Races/ Subspecies of Eastern Red Colobus in Africa.

Includes the subspecies;

  • 1. Oustalet’s
  • 2. Elliot’s
  • 3. Foa
  • 4. Thollon’s
  • 5. Uganda and Tana River colobus, and several others not clearly defined.
  • DISTRIBUTION/ RANGE OF EASTERN RED COLOBUS IN AFRICA.

In a relatively narrow belt on both sides of the Congo River, and then through western Uganda (Best sighting location Kibale Forest) into western Tanzania along Lake Tanganyika. An isolated population is located in the riparian forest of lower Tana River in Kenya. Little is known about the forms occurring in DRC but the Uganda red (P.r.  tephrosceles) is threatened by habitat loss and hunting and the Tana river race (P.r. rufomitratus) is on the verge of extinction, with possibly fewer than 300 surviving.

  • IDENTIFICATION POINTERS OF EASTERN RED COLOBUS;

Most variable of all in colour spread but easily recognizable as “red colobus

'. Crown colour varies from black to rufous and yellow in different races; most forms have reddish-  brown colouration on upperparts and paler underparts.

  • RACES/ SUBSPECIES OF EASTERN RED COLOBUS IN TANZANIA.

Procolobus rufomitratus  tephrosceles/ Uganda red colobus ( is the only subspecies/ races found in Tanzania).

  • DISTRIBUTION/ RANGE OF EASTERN RED COLOBUS IN TANZANIA;

Eastern Red Colobus is commonly seen in Mahale Mountains National Park in the lowland forest around many of the lodges and camps. It can also be reliably seen in Gombe Stream National Park, as well as Mbizi Forest Reserve close to Sumbawanga Town.

The Eastern Red Colobus is known from the forests of Burigi- Biharamulo Game Reserves, along the northeastern edge of Lake Tanganyika, including Gombe and Mahale Mountains National Parks, and the Mbizi and Mbuzi Forests on the Ufipa Plateau. It has also been recorded in the riverine forests that spread in land from Lake Tanganyika, including Issa, west of Ugalla Game Reserve. This species is probably more widely distributed in relict forest populations in western Tanzania than previously thought.

  • Eastern Red Colobus Monkey’s Population Size in Tanzania.

There are no accurate numbers for the Eastern Red Colobus in Tanzania. A count in Mbizi Forest in 2006 indicated a population of 1,217 individuals. The population in the nearby Mbuzi Forest, which was estimated at 137 individuals in 2006, had declined by 50% in 2011 due to habitat loss. There are no figures for Gombe and Mahale Mountains National Parks, although numbers were stable in one part of Mahale Forest Reserve between 1996 and 2002, despite high levels of chimpanzee predation.

  • PIED COLOBUS MONKEYS / THE BLACK & WHITE COLOBUS MONKEYS (Genus- Colobus)/ Pied;

The Genus (Colobus) includes,

  • 1. Guereza colobus (Colobus guereza( (syn. abyssinians)
  • 2. Angolan pied colobus (Colobus angolensis)
  • 3. Western pied colobus (Colobus polykomos)
  • 4. Geoffroy’s pied colobus(Colobus vellerosus)
  • 5. Black colobus (Colobus satanus);
  • Recognition/ Identification;

Pied colobus are long- fingered agile monkeys. Each species has a distinctively shaped face but they are best distinguished by their colouring.

General form and structure are the same but the races are based primarily on the extent and length of the white hair on a black background,  as well as the colour and bushness of the tail.

  • Division of Pied Colobus Monkeys/ Black & White Colobus.

They can be broadly divided into 3 groups,

  • 1. The Western or Polykomos group
  • 2. The Angolan (angolensis)
  • 3. The Abyssinian or Ethiopian (Guereza abyssinicus);
  • Total length; 1,1-1,6m
  • Tail length; 65-90cm
  • Weight; 9-23 kg (female is only slightly smaller than male)/ Male 9-14.5 kg/ Female (6.5-10 kg);
  • Habitat:

Spend much of their time in the upper canopy and middle sector of the forest trees. They occupy forests from sea level to montane reaches exceeding 3000m. Many forest types are occupied, as well as dense woodland and riparian habitats penetrating otherwise unsuitable areas.

  • Behaviour / Habit/ Lifestyle;

Highly arboreal, only coming to the ground to cross clearings. They live in troops of 10 to 25 individuals, and occasionally more, with one or more adult males. Each troop occupies a relatively small home range of about 15 ha but it varies according to food availability and quality.

Troops are territorial but in optimal habitat, density is high . This is one of the easiest monkeys to observe in areas where they are not disturbed. They frequently bask on exposed branches in the mornings, looking like giant “blossoms” decorating the trees. A characteristic call is a far carrying deep croak uttered by both males and females; calling is done primarily from the sleeping trees, then after having moved to the feeding sites, and again at sunset. Aggression is minimal when compared to the guenons.

  • Food/Diet;

Almost entirely leaves, principally young growth, but also small quantities of lichen,  fruits, seeds and insects.

  • Reproduction/ Breeding;

Apparently non-  seasonal breeders but in areas where food supply fluctuates there may be seasonal peaks. A single, all white- young weighing about 450g is dropped after a gestation period of about 180 days (literature records differ by up to 40 days). The youngsters take on adult colouring at between two and three months of age.

SPECIES OF PIED COLOBUS  MONKEYS/ BLACK & WHITE COLOBUS MONKEYS IN TANZANIA;

  • 1. GUEREZA (ABYSSINIAN ) BLACK AND WHITE COLOBUS ;

( Colobus guereza(abyssinicus);

  • Kiswahili name: Mbega Mweupe/ Kuluzu
  • Distribution/ Range of Guereza / Abyssinian Black & White Colobus in Africa;

From Gulf of Guinea eastward, north of Congo River, to Lake Victoria. Separate populations in south- western Kenya and central Ethiopia. Not threatened but greatly reduced in some areas.

  • Races/ Subspecies of Guereza Colobus in Africa;
  • 1. Colobus guereza caudatus (East African Mountains )
  • 2. Colobus guereza guereza (Ethiopia)
  • 3. Colobus guereza accidentalis (E. Nigeria to W. Kenya);

 

  • Races/ Subspecies of Guereza Colobus in Tanzania;
  • 1. Colobus guereza caudatus;

Found in Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru;

  • 2. Colobus guereza matschiei;

Found in Serengeti ecosystem.

  • Identification Pointers of Guereza Colobus;

Overall black; mantle of long white hair around sides and lower back; tail black to grizzled towards base, then white and bushy, the extent varying in different races but all easily recognizable; facial whiskers and short beard white.  Infants totally white. This is the species most frequently seen by visitors to East Africa, specifically to Lake Nakuru, Mt. Kenya, Aberdares,  Ngorongoro and Mt. Meru (Tanzania);

  • HABITAT;

All types of closed forests, gallery forests, and Montane forests to 15,000ft (4,500m);  also acacia woodlands, bamboo stand, and thickets.

  • Reproduction/ Breeding;

Year- round;  1 young born after gestation of 5-6 months/ 7 months.

  • Sex difference;

Sexual organs.

  • Colouration;

Black and white; white beard and whiskers; tail black on the base, then white and bushy.

  • Lifespan /longevity;

20 years;

  • Predators/ Natural enemies;

Man,  much hunted for meat and skins.

 

  • Distribution/ Range of Guereza Colobus in Tanzania.

Guereza Black and White Colobuses are frequently seen in Arusha National Park, particularly along the roads between the National Park Gate and the Ngurdoto Museum, and the road up to the Meru Crater. They can also be seen on many of the trails up Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as on Simba Farm in West Kilimanjaro.  The gardens of  Ngaresero Lodge outside Arusha are also a reliable location for this species.

The Guereza Black- and -White Colobus is restricted to a few populations in Tanzania. It is found throughout to forests of Kilimanjaro National Park and there are isolated populations in the Rau and Kahe Forests to the south east of Moshi Town and in the north Pare Mountains. In Arusha National Park, they are found both on Mount Meru and in the forests surrounding Ngurdoto Crater. There are also small populations on private or community land on the lower slopes of Mount Meru, including at Ngaramtoni and Ngaresero. There is a separate population in the Serengeti ecosystem, in the western corridor of Serengeti National Park, Grumeti Game Reserve,  and in the Loliondo Forest and the Ng'arwa and Itira Forests bordering Kenya.

They are absent from the forests of Ngorongoro and the mountains west of Mount Meru. Guereza Black-and- White Colobuses were introduced onto Rubondo Islands National Park during the 1960s and a small breeding population has now become established.

  • Guereza Black- and- White Colobuse’s Population Size in Tanzania;

There are no population figures for this species, although it is very common in both Arusha and Kilimanjaro National Parks. In the forests of Mount Kilimanjaro, it is most common on the north and western slopes between altitudes of 1,800- 2,300m (5,900-7,500ft), but less 50 on the southern slopes although very common on the Umbwe route. It is locally common in the small forests in Loliondo and uncommon in the riverine forest along the Grumeti River.

  • 2. ANGOLA BLACK AND WHITE COLOBUS;

(Colobus angolensis);

  • Kiswahili name; Mbega (mweupe)/  Kuluzu;
  • Distribution/ Range of Angola Black- and- White Colobus in Africa;

Extensive in the Congo basin, with an isolated population occurring from south-eastern Kenya into Tanzania, to the north of Lake Nyasa (Malawi).  They are not threatened generally. Groups of the Angolan Black- and -White Colobus average 5 animals.

  • Races / Subspecies of Angola Black- and - White Colobus in Africa;
  • 1. Colobus angolensis angolensis;

Found in (DRC basin, south of river);

  • 2. Colobus angolensis cottoni;

Found in (NE DRC basin, north of river);

  • 3. Colobus angolensis palliatus;

Found in (Eastern Arc Forests and Kenya /Tanzania coastal forests);

  • 4. Colobus angolensis ruwenzorii;

Found in (Ruwenzori (Uganda) to Burundi.

  • Races/ Subspecies of Angola Black- and - White Colobus in Tanzania.
  • 1. Colobus angolensis palliatus;

Found in northeast, central, and southern Tanzania (distal one third of the tail is white);

  • 2. Colobus angolensis ruwenzorii;

Found in northwest Tanzania (Tip of the tail is white);

  • 3. Colobus angolensis sharpei;

Found in Southern Highlands (Long epaulettes down to forearms and very bushy white side- whiskers);

  • 4. Colobus angolensis subspecies nov;

Found in western Tanzania (Tip of the tail is white, no white pubic band);

  • Identification Pointers of Angola Black- and- White Colobus;

Black, glossy coat; white hair patches of variable length on shoulders; tail black, white or both and has bushy tip in some races; white facial whiskers long and erect.

  • Habitat;

Forests ( Lowland, Riverine,  and Montane rainforests,  including bamboo stands, to (3000m);

  • Size;

Body (50-67cm)

Tail (63-90cm)

  • Reproduction /Breeding;

Year-round; 1 young born after gestation of 5-6 months.

  • Distribution/ Range of Angola Black- and- White Colobus in Africa;

Northern Angola north east through DRC to Rwanda and Burundi; s.e Kenya- south to n.e Zimbabwe and n. Malawi;

  • Distribution/ Range of Angola Black- and- White Colobus in Tanzania;

Readily seen along the riverine forest in Saadani National Park. Also frequently seen along the Rufiji River in the Selous Game Reserve, where they are common around the Stiegler's Gorge, and they can be observed daily at Selous Mbega Camp. Other reliable sites are the Livingstone Forest in Kitulo Plateau National Park and the Mount Rungwe Nature Reserve.

The Angola Black- and- White Colobus is widely distributed across eastern Tanzania, with  isolated populations in western Tanzania.  There are records from all of the Eastern Arc Mountains, with the exception of the Mahenge Mountains, and it also occurs in many forested areas along the coast. It is known from Mkomazi, Saadani, Mikumi, Udzungwa, Kitulo and Mahale Mountains National Parks, northern Selous Game Reserve and Mount Rungwe Nature Reserve.There is also a population in Minziro Forest Reserve. There are no substantiated records from south of the Rufiji or Kilombero Rivers.

  • Angola Black -and - White Colobuse’s Population Size in Tanzania;

There are believed to be  at least 10,000 Angola Black- and-  White Colobuses in the Udzungwa Mountains, which is probably the largest population in the country. The highest densities within this area, based on hourly encounter rates during ground surveys, are in Udzungwa Mountains National Park, Kilombero Nature Reserve and Uzungwa Scarp Forest. This species is also locally common in appropriate habitat in Mikumi,  Saadani and Kitulo Plateau National Parks,  Amani Nature Reserve, northern  Selous Game Reserve and on Mount Rungwe. It is uncommon in Mahale Mountains National Park.

  1. 8. CHIMPANZEE (Pan troglodytes)
  • Kiswahili name: Sokwe mtu.
  • Distribution/ Range of Chimpanzee in Africa;

West African populations is highly fragmented, occurring in south- western Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra-Leone, Guinea and south-western Mali. In central and eastern populations are more or less continuous. Populations on the north- eastern shores of  Lake Tanganyika and in the forest reserves of Uganda offer the best opportunities of observing this species in the wild. Fewer than 200,000 animals remain, western population estimated at only 17,000.  Threatened by habitat loss and hunting, particularly in West Africa.

  • Subspecies/ Races of Chimpanzee in Africa;

Differences among races/ subspecies are minimal.

  • 1. Pan troglodytes troglodytes;

Found in (River cross to River Zaire/  River Ubangi). Has pale, freckled face, darkening with age, and shows early balding.

  • 2. Pan troglodytes verus;

Found in (Guinea, West Africa). Has dark mask, light muzzle, darkening with age, bearded.

 

  • 3. Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii;

Found in River Ubangi/ River Zaire to W. Uganda and Tanzania). Has light to dark face, dense dark fur, bearded.

  • Races/ Subspecies of Chimpanzee in Tanzania;

Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii( is the only race/ subspecies found in Tanzania);

  • Total length;

Male (75-95cm)

Female (65-85cm); standing height about 1m.

  • Weight;

30-55 kg(Male is generally heavier than Female / Male -40kg; maximum in wild 55 kg;

Female 50 kg,  but in males sometimes up to about 70 kg;

  • Chimpanzee Identification Pointers;

Human- like appearance; fur,  skin generally black; facial skin pink, black or mottled with both; does not occur south of Congo River.

  • Sex difference;

Males are larger and heavier than females;

  • Colouration;

Black but colouration depends also on age. As the animal gets old, colour changes to dark brown or brown and grey.

  • Similar species;

None.

  • Habitat:

Has the widest habitat tolerance of the three man – like apes, occupying or utilizing a range of forest and woodland types. In some areas they live in savanna woodland or in more open savanna types where they can easily retreat to small evergreen forest patches, usually located in gorges and gullies. They are equally at home at sea level and at altitudes of about 3000m. The principal limiting factors appear to be access to water and tree suitable for sleeping.

  • Behaviour/ Habit/Lifestyle;

Probably the most studied primate,  both in the wild and in the captivity, with most studies in the wild having taken place on the north-eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika and three locations in West Africa.

Chimpanzees live in loose communities of 15 to over 100 individuals, but averaging some 35 animals, with each community occupying a home range of 10 to 50km2. They forage on the ground and in trees, in small groups rarely numbering more than six animals and often a female and her dependent offspring. Males nearly always remain within the community into which they were born, but females, on reaching maturity, usually disperse and join neighbouring communities.

Males frequently travel through the community's home range in groups and patrol the boundaries. Migratory communities have also been recorded, particularly in savanna habitats, and home ranges may cover between 200 and 400km2..  They are promiscuous and a female in oestrus will mate with several different males. High- ranking males compete with each other for the right to mate with a female as she approaches ovulation.

  • Food/Diet;

Very varied diet including many different plant parts, and invertebrates and vertebrates which may be opportunistically or deliberately hunted, including young antelope, small duikers, monkeys and guenons, and also birds and their eggs.

  • Reproduction/ Breeding;

A single young is usual,  but occasionally twins are born. Breeding is non-seasonal.  A young chimpanzee passes through a five- year period of infancy during which it is entirely reliant on its mother. Years of development closely follow those of a human child.

Links and bonds between a mother and her offspring usually endure throughout her life .The gestation period is about 240 days and birth weight 1,5 to 2kg.

  • Longevity/Lifespan;

30-50 years.

  • Natural enemies/ predators;

Man and for young ones, snakes.

  • Distribution/ Range of Chimpanzee in Tanzania;

Gombe streams and Mahale Mountains National Parks in Kigoma Region both have habituated groups that are used for chimpanzee- based tourism, and trips can be organized through a safari company or directly with the National Park. In Mahale Mountains National Park, sightings are very likely on a 3- day trip between the months of July and April.  Sightings in May and June may be less reliable as the chimpanzee groups are often fragmented at the end of the rainy season when food is abundant throughout the National Park.

Chimpanzees are restricted to the far west of Tanzania,  mainly along the edge of  Lake Tanganyika.  There are populations in Gombe Streams and Mahale Mountains National Parks;  east of Mahale Mountains National Park, they occur in the Lubaliti and Ntakata Hills, along the Masito Escarpment and extend east as far as the Ugalla Niensi Open Area. They are also distributed between Mahale Mountains National Park and the Wansisi Hills to the northwest of Katavi National Park, including the Mwese and Lugalla Hills. The most southerly population of chimpanzee in Africa is found on the escarpment above the southwestern shore of  Lake Tanganyika at Loasi Forest Reserve, Tembwa and the Lwafi Game Reserve. In the 1960s, 17 chimpanzees from European zoos and circuses were released onto Rubondo Islands National Park and have now formed a breeding population of free- ranging individuals. Atleast some of these animals are believed  to have originated from West Africa and, if this is the case, would be a different subspecies/ races from the other Tanzanian populations.

  • Chimpanzee’s Population Size in Tanzania;

The total population of chimpanzees in Tanzania in 2006 was estimated at 2,700-2,800 individuals. The majority of these (approximately 2,600 animals) are in the Mahale- Ugalla Niensi Area. The largest population, approximately 1,500 animals, lives in the Lubaliti and Ntakata Hills to the east of Mahale, with a further 600 in Mahale Mountains National Park, 200 in Masito, and 330 in Ugalla Niensi. There are 100 animals in Gombe Streams National Park and an estimated 40 individuals on Rubondo Islands National Park. There are probably a further 100 Individuals in Loasi Forest Reserve and Lwafi Game Reserve. Nearly 60% of Tanzania’s chimpanzee population occurs outside protected areas.

  1. GALAGOS/ BUSHBABIES (FAMILY-GALAGONIDAE) PREVIOUSLY GALAGIDAE;
  • Kiswahili name : Komba.

Bushbabies are an exclusively African family of up to 11 species of small nocturnal creatures that strikingly resemble the earliest primates. Their hands and feet have long slender digits, with an opposable thumb and big toe. They have rounded heads and short, pointed faces. Their eyes, adapted to see in the faintest light, are frontally placed, reflective, and immobile in their sockets; like owls, bushbabies can rotate their heads 180 degrees. The lower incisor and canine teeth are modified as a scraping/ grooming comb.

  • SPECIES OF GALAGOS/ BUSHBABIES;
NO. SPECIES GENUS/ GENERA
1. Greater Galagos/ Bushbabies Otolemur
2. Needle- Clawed Galagos Euoticus
3. Squirrel Galagos Galago sciurocheirus
4. Lesser Galagos/ Bushbabies Galago
5. Dwarf Galagos Galagoides

 

  • Recognition of Galagos/ Bushbabies;

Long – tailed, woolly, nocturnal primates with long- hindlegs and elongated bases to the feet (Tarsi).  The head is rounded, with forward- facing eyes and large, naked ears which can retract into compact, folded structures.

  • 1. Genus (Otolemur) Greater Galago
No SPECIES SCIENTIFIC NAMES
1. Greater Galago (Large-Eared Greater Galago) Otolemur crassicaudatus
2. Silver Galago Otolemur argentatus
3. Small- Eared Greater Galago Otolemur garnettii
4. Mwera Galago Otolemur sp.

 

  • Recognition of Genus (Otolemur) Greater Galago;

Cat – sized, long- tailed, woolly, arboreal animals of relatively uniform brown, grey or sandy colouring. Melanistic (black) morphs are common in some areas; the tail is sometimes of a paler tint. These are the largest and among the most primitive of living galagos. They lack strong colour contrasts on the body and face.

  • 1. GREATER BUSHBABY/ GREATER GALAGO OR LARGE- EARED GREATER GALAGO/ THICK TAILED GREATER GALAGO/ BUSHBABY;

 (Otolemur crassicaudatus)

  • Kiswahili name: Komba masikio makubwa.
  • Distribution/ Range of Greater Galago in Africa;

Kenya, south to South Africa, Natal (Southern Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda south to Natal and west to Angola, from sea level to (1,800m).

  • Races/ Subspecies of Greater Galago in Africa.
  • 1. Otolemur crassicaudatus crassicaudatus;

Found in (South of River Limpopo).  Has brownish with tail less than 40 cm long;

  • 2. Otolemur crassicaudatus montieri / monteiri;

Found in (Angola to Tanzania). Has greyish with long tail and large ears.

  • 3. Otolemur crassicaudatus badius;

Found in (central Tanzania).  Smaller reddish brown- galago resembling O. garnetti in certain cranial features.

  • Size:

Body (27-47cm)

Tail (33-52cm)

  • Weight: Male (1.4 kg)/ Female (1.2 kg)
  • Races/ Subspecies of Greater Galago in Tanzania;
  • 1. Otolemur crassicaudatus argentatus /Silver galago;

Found in east, south east, and western shores of Lake Victoria, including Serengeti National Park and Minziro Forest Reserve; the largest subspecies.

  • 2. Otolemur crassicaudatus montieri/ monteiri;

Rest of Tanzania, including western shores of Lake Victoria; smaller body than O .c. argentatus/ Silver galago.

  • Habitat:

Dense evergreen forests and bush, including plantations of exotic trees and sub urban gardens. Fruit must be abundant for at least half the year.

  • Behaviour/ Lifestyle/ Habit;

Much of the bushbaby’s life is spent in the trees, where it is active at night and feeds on insects, reptiles, birds and birds'eggs and plant material. It makes a rapid pounce to seize prey and kills it with a bite. It has a call like the cry of a child (hence the name bushbaby) made most frequently in the breeding season. The female is territorial. She gives birth to a litter of 1 to 3 young between May and October, after gestation of 126 to 136 days. Males leave the mother’s territory following puberty, but young females maintain their social relationship with the mother.

  • Predators/ Natural enemies;

They become vulnerable to large predators while on the ground.

  • Distribution/ Range of Large- Eared Greater Galago in Tanzania.

The large- eared greater galago is frequently seen in the trees in many of the lodges in Katavi National Park, and in the grounds of the Vuma Hills Lodge in Mikumi National Park. It can also be seen at night around the lodges and bungalows in Mahale Mountains National Park in Kigoma Region.

The large- eared greater galago is widespread in Tanzania. It is known from all of the Mainland National Parks, with the exception of Mkomazi and Rubondo National Parks, and it is unclear whether this species or the small- eared greater galago occurs in the Sangaiwe Hills in Tarangire National Park. There are no confirmed records from Manyara National Park, although it may occur in the Marang Forest on top of the East African Rift Escarpment. The species occurs throughout the Miombo woodland in western and southern Tanzania, but is absent from the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, and Mafia.

  • Large- eared greater galago’s population size in Tanzania.

There are no abundance figures for the large- eared greater galago in Tanzania. It is common across much of western Tanzania, including Katavi National Park, and the lower forests of Mahale Mountains National Park, Ugalla Game Reserve and Minziro Forest Reserve. It is also common in Mikumi in Mikumi National Park and probably across much of the Selous Game Reserve.

  • 2. SMALL-EARED GREATER GALAGO OR GARNETT’S GALAGO/ BUSHBABY;

(Otolemur garnettii)

  • Kiswahili name: Komba masikio madogo
  • Races/ Subspecies of Small- eared greater galago in Tanzania.
  • 1. Otolemur garnettii garnettii;

Found in the Islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia (Reddish back);

  • 2. Otolemur garnettii panganiensis;

Found in northern Tanzania (Grey- brown back);

  • 3. Otolemur garnettii lasiotis:

Coastal Tanzania (grey or grey- brown back);

  • Distribution/ Range of small- eared greater galago in Tanzania.

Common in some of the lodges in stone town on Zanzibar, where they are fed at night. They also occur in the grounds of many lodges on the outskirts of Arusha,  Including Arusha Coffee Lodge and the Mount Meru Game Lodge, and are frequently seen on night drives in Manyara National Park.

The small- eared greater galago is restricted mainly to eastern and southern Tanzania,  ranging from the border with Kenya to the border with Mozambique. In the north it is found in Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) and in Manyara, Arusha , Kilimanjaro and Mkomazi National Parks. It is unclear whether it is this species or the large- eared greater galago that occurs in the Sangaiwe Hills of Tarangire National Park. The species is found in most of the Eastern Arc Mountains including the Pare, Usambara , Nguru, Rubeho and Uluguru Mountains, although in Udzungwa Mountains National Park it is only known from one record at Mbatwa. It occurs in Mikumi National Park and in the Selous Game Reserve, and all along the coast including Kilulu Hill Forest Reserve in the north, Saadani National Park, Dar es Salaam, and Rondo and Ziwani Forests in the far south. There are a few records from the Livingstone Mountains. It also occurs on the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia.

  • Small- eared greater galago’s population size in Tanzania.

The species is common in many areas, including Manyara National Park, Arusha city, much of the coast, and the Islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. Densities of up to 38 individuals per km2 (100 individuals per mi 2) have been recorded in coastal forests in Kenya and similar densities probably occur in coastal forests in Tanzania. This species adapts well to human environments.

  1. Genus (Galago) LESSER GELAGOS

 

No. SPECIES

 

SCIENTIFIC NAMES
1. Senegal Galago/ Lesser Bushbaby or Lesser Galago/Northern Lesser Galago Galago senegalensis
2. South African Galago/Southern Lesser Galago or Southern Bushbaby / Mohol Galago Galago moholi
3. Somali Galago Galago gallarum
4. Spectacled Galago Galago matschiei

 

  • Recognition/ Identification of the Genus (Galago) Lesser Galagos;

Medium- sized, mostly savannah galagos with a grey or brownish back and a round head with large eyes and a short muzzle. They have a dark eye mask and pale nose stripe. Tails are not densely furred. All utter short phrases or single cries that have a regular timing repeated many times.

  • 1. LESSER BUSHBABY / SENEGAL GALAGO/ LESSER GALAGO (Galago senegalensis)/Northern Lesser Galago.
  • Kiswahili name: Komba;
  • Distribution/ Range of Lesser Galago in Africa;

Senegal to Somalia and Tanzania (widespread throughout sub- Saharan Africa (1,500m).

Has the widest distribution of all of the Galago species, within a wide range of savanna associations. Most of other small galago species have limited distribution.

  • Races/ Subspecies of Lesser Galago in Africa.
  • 1. Galago senegalensis senegalensis;

Found in (Senegal to Sudan and W. Uganda)

  • 2. Galago senegalensis braccatus;

Found in Uganda, Kenya, and N.Tanzania

  • 3. Galago senegalensis albipes;

Found in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania

  • 4. Galago senegalensis sotikae;

Found in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania

  • 5. Galago senegalensis dunni;

Found in Ethiopia.

  • Races/ Subspecies of Lesser Galago in Tanzania;
  • 1. Galago senegalensis braccatus;

Found in north east Tanzania (yellow on front part of limbs)

  • 2. Galago senegalensis sotikae;

Found in north, central, and western Tanzania (bright yellow on front and hindlimbs);

  • Total length: 30-40cm
  • Tail length: 20-25 cm
  • Weight: 120-210g (average 150g)
  • Identification Pointers of Lesser Galago;

Small size, long fluffy; Large, forward –pointing eyes, short snout;  Large, thin, highly mobile ears; prodigious jumping ability; arboreal habitat.

  • Similar species;

Other small galago

  • Sex difference: sexual organs;
  • Colouration: A grey coat with a yellow tinge;
  • Habitat;

Woodland savanna, particularly acacia and riverine associations. The other small galagos live mostly in true forest associations or their margins (Forest edges);

  • Behaviour/Habit/ Life style/ Social organization;

Entirely nocturnal, foraging mainly in trees and only occasionally descending to the ground. Family groups of two to eight individuals sleep together, in self- constructed nests of leaves, tree holes, or in dense vegetation tangles. Group members usually forage alone, or in very loose associations. They are territorial, with groups occupying home ranges of about 3 ha, but this varies according to food availability. Densities of up to 400 individuals per km2 have been recorded in optimal habitat. Their jumping ability is amazing given their small size, and this is facilitated by the long, well developed hindlegs. They are very vocal, with a wide range of calls, including low croaks, chittering and grunts. The general behaviour of all of the small galago species is probably similar but has been little studied this far. In the case of the Zanzibar galago, densities of as many as 150 animals per hectare have been recorded. This mas’s galago is said to associate in groups of 10 or more.

  • Food/ Diet;

Gum, or exuding sap of trees, but a wide range of insects are also eaten, which are caught with the hands. All of the small galagos have similar diets but percentages vary; some species take more insects, such as the Zanzibar, but in the case of the western needle- clawed, up to 80% of the diet is made up of gum and resin. All take a small percentage of fruits.

  • Breeding/ Reproduction;

One or 2 young are dropped after a gestation of slightly more than 120 days. Birth weight is about 9g, and young are well haired and have the eyes open. Up to 2 litters a year, usually coinciding with early and later summer in the southern part of range. Some species, such as the Dwarf and Zanzibar, give birth to a single young. Young are carried by the female when she forages but are left clinging (known as “parking” to branches while she moves about. The young are fully developed at approximately 4 months.

  • Life span/ Longevity;

About 10 years

  • Predators/ Natural enemies;

Big owl, Genet, Wildcat, Python and Leopard.

  • Distribution/ Range of Lesser Galagos in Tanzania.

Northern lesser Galagos are regularly seen on night drives in west Kilimanjaro, Ndarakwai Ranch, and in Manyara and Tarangire National Parks. They can also be seen on the grounds of some of the tented camps in Katavi National Park, including Chada Camp, and at Kisima Ngeda camp at Lake Eyasi.

The Northern Lesser Galago occurs in wooded areas throughout central and northern Tanzania, approximately north of Rufiji River. It is found in all Mainland National Parks except for Kitulo, Rubondo and Kilimanjaro, although  it is present in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. It has not been recorded in Saadani National Park but it may occur in the Acacia woodland. There is one record of the Northern Lesser Galago from Udzungwa Mountains National Park in the woodland west of Ndundulu Forest.

The Southern Lesser Galago (Mohol galago) may replace the Northern Lesser Galago in Southern Tanzania, approximately south of the Rufiji River. To date, the only confirmed records of Southern Lesser Galago in Tanzania are from Lwafi Game Reserve and Loassi Forest Reserve, and more work is needed to establish the status of this species.

  • Lesser Galago’s population in Tanzania.

There are no population estimates for the Northern Lesser Galago in Tanzania, although it is very common in many parts of the country including Serengeti National Park, West Kilimanjaro, Yaeda Valley, Southern Tarangire National Park and Mikumi , Katavi and Manyara National parks. It is, however, typically less common in Miombo Woodland than in Acacia Woodland. There are no population estimates for Southern Lesser Galago in Tanzania.

  1. Genus (Galagoides) Dwarf Galagos.
No. SPECIES SCIENTIFIC NAMES

 

1. Rondo galago Galagoides sp. nov.”rondoensis”
2. Usambara galago Galagoides sp.
3. Eastern needle- clawed galago Galagoides inustus
4. Zanzibar galago Galagoides zanzibaricus
5. Mozambique galago Galagoides grauti
6. Demidoff’s galago Galagoides demidoff/demidovii
7. Dwarf galago Galagoides demidovi
8. Thomas galago Galagoides thomasi
9. Western needle-clawed galago Galagoides elegantulus
10. Allen’s galago Galagoides alleni
  • Recognition/ Identification of Genus (Galagoides) Dwarf galagos;

Diminutive galagos with greenish grey-  brown coats, yellowish underparts and elongated, upturned noses. Until about 1980 all dwarf galagos were regularly classified as a single species because they all display similar body forms and coloration.

  • 1. Zanzibar galago (Galagoides galaigodes zanzibaricus);

Has a browner colouring and a different call to the Bushbaby; (Along the Kenyan and Tanzanian coasts);

 

  • 2. Thomas galago (Galagoides thomasi);

Has a very dark coat (Thomas galago occupy the forests in DRC and Uganda);

  • 3. Eastern needle- clawed galago ( Galagoides inustus);

 

Has a very dark coat. The Eastern needle- clawed galago occurs in forests in DRC nas Uganda;

  • 4. Allen’s galago (Galagoides alleni);

Has smoky- grey fur with reddish flanks and may have a white- tipped tail.

  • 5. Dwarf galago (Galagoides demidovi);

Is the smallest (50 to 90g),  has dark fur (the dwarf galago occupy tropical rainforest)-  the Western Congolean forest between the Niger and Congo rivers.

  • 6. Western needle- clawed galago ( Galagoides elegantulus);

 

Has reddish dorsal fur and a white- tipped tail.

  • SPECIES OF DWARF GALAGOS IN TANZANIA OF THE GENUS (Galagoides);
  • NOTE AND REMEMBER:

There are currently 8 species of dwarf galago known from Tanzania, and it is likely that new species will be described in the future. The dwarf galagos are very small, arboreal, nocturnal primates with large eyes and ears, long, upturned noses and long tails. All species have a white stripe running from the lower forehead to the nose.

The species look very similar and can be very difficult to separate, even by experts. The most reliable identification features are their advertising calls and the shape of the penis, although range and habitat type can also be useful.

  • 1. THOMAS’S DWARF GALAGO (Galagoides thomasi);
  • Kiswahili name: Komba
  • Distribution/ Range of Thomas’s galagos in Tanzania.

Known only from the Minziro Forest Reserve in Tanzania. Thomas's dwarf galago was encountered on the edge of the forest and in the forest canopy during a survey of the Forest Reserve.

  • Thomas’s Dwarf Galago is locally common in Minziro Forest Reserve, although the population is likely to be small.
  • 2. DEMIDOFF’S DWARF GALAGO (Galagoides demidovii);
  • Kiswahili name: Komba
  • Distribution/ Range of Demidoff’s Dwarf Galago in Tanzania;

The only opportunity to see this species in Tanzania is by spotlighting in Minziro Forest Reserve. Known only from the Minziro Forest Reserve, Demidoff’s Dwarf Galago was only recorded in the forest interior, in the vicinity of pit saw and tree- fall sites.

  • Demidoff’s Dwarf Galago’s Population Size in Tanzania.

Demidoff’s Dwarf Galago is uncommon in Minziro Forest Reserve. Since Minziro Forest Reserve is only 290 km2 (112m i 2), the total population of this species is likely to be small.

  • 3. ZANZIBAR DWARF GALAGO

(Galagoides zanzibaricus);

  • Kiswahili name: Komba
  • Distribution/ Range of Zanzibar Dwarf Galago in Tanzania.

Frequently seen in and around Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park Zanzibar at dusk and early evening, and is occasionally seen in Saadani National Park and the areas surrounding the park,  including around Kisampa lodge.

The Zanzibar Dwarf Galago is endemic to Tanzania and occurs in the coastal forests north of the Rufiji River and most of the Eastern Arc Mountains, except for the North Pare and Mahenge Mountains. It is found in Udzungwa, Saadani, Mikumi and Jozani Chwaka Bay National Parks, and on the Islands of Zanzibar and Mafia, but not on Pemba. (Galagoides zanzibaricus zanzibaricus) is found on Zanzibar islands, while (Galagoides zanzibaricus udzungwensis is found on Tanzanian Mainland.

  • ZANZIBAR DWARF GALAGO’S POPULATION SIZE IN TANZANIA.

The population density is estimated to be 500 animals per km2 (1,300 animals per m i 2) in the Matundu Forest in udzungwa National Park, and the species is generally common in the lowland Udzungwa Mountains but uncommon in the lowland Uluguru Mountains. It is common on Zanzibar, with estimated populations of up to 200 animals per km2 (520 per m i 2) in places.

  • RUNGWE DWARF GALAGO (Galagoides sp. nov.)
  • Kiswahili name: Komba
  • Distribution/ Range of Rungwe Dwarf Galago in Tanzania.

This species can be observed by spotlighting in the Livingstone Forest around Kitulo National Park and in parts of the Mount Rungwe Nature Reserve. The Rungwe Dwarf Galago is endemic to Tanzania and, to date, has been recorded from Mount Rungwe, Mporoto Ridge Forest Reserve, Livingstone Forest Reserve in Kitulo Plateau National Park, Madehani Forest Reserve, and other smaller Forest Reserves in the Southern Highlands.

  • Rungwe Dwarf Galago’s Population Size in Tanzania.

Rungwe Dwarf Galagos are locally common on  Mount Rungwe and parts of the Mporoto Ridge and Livingstone Forests. The total area of remaining forest in these areas is probably less than 300 km2 (116 m i 2) and these forests are all affected by logging and charcoal production.

  • 3. MOUNTAIN DWARF GALAGO (Galagoides orinus);
  • Kiswahili name: Komba
  • Distribution/ Range of Mountain Dwarf Galago in Tanzania.

This is not an easy species to see. A good place to look is the Amani Nature Reserve, on the trail from the guest house to Mbomole hill, at dusk, before they disperse into the forest. Also try the forest above Tchenzema village in the Uluguru Mountains, or forests around Mufindi.

The Mountain Dwarf Galago is endemic to the Eastern Arc Mountains. It is known from the South Pare, Usambara, Nguu, Nguru, Ukaguru, Rubeho, Uluguru and Udzungwa Mountains, including Udzungwa Mountains National Park.

  • Mountain Dwarf Galago’s Population Size in Tanzania.

During nocturnal surveys, this species was most frequently encountered in disturbed forest in the Uluguru and Usambara Mountains. It is found at low densities in the Udzungwa Mountains and probably throughout most of its range.

  • 6. RONDO DWARF GALAGO(Galagoides rondoensis);
  • Kiswahili name: Komba
  • Distribution/ Range of Rondo Dwarf Galago’s in Tanzania.

Spotlighting in the Rondo Forest Reserve for one or two nights should be sufficient to see this species. The Rondo Dwarf Galago is endemic to Tanzania, recorded from just nine locations. In the south, it is found in the Rondo, Litipo, Ziwani, Ruawa, and Chioa Forests. There are three populations close to Dar es – salaam in the Pugu- Kazim zumbwi and Ruvu South Forests and the Pande Game Reserve, and a further population in the Zeraninge Forest in Saadani National Park.

  • Rondo Dwarf Galago’s Population Size in Tanzania.

The Rondo Dwarf Galago is one of the rarest primates in the world, with a total known range of approximately 100km2 (40 mi 2) . It is locally common in Pugu and Rondo Forests, within a very localized area. Many of the sites where it occurs have little or no  effective protection, and  are being rapidly degraded due to charcoal production, logging and agricultural expansion. The most secure populations are in Zeraninge Forest in Saadani National Park and in the Chitoa Forest, which is surrounded  by plantation woodland.

  • 7. GRANT’S DWARF GALAGO OR MOZAMBIQUE DWARF GALAGO (Galagoides granti);
  • Kiswahili name: Komba
  • Distribution/ Range of Grant’s Dwarf Galago in Tanzania.

Frequently seen at night in the Rondo Forest.  The Grant’s Dwarf Galago is found between the Ruvu and Rufiji Rivers, with most records coming from coastal forest in the south east, including the Rondo Plateau. It is also known from the Mahenge Mountains, Lulanda Forest in the Udzungwa Mountains, Milo Forests in the Livingstone Mountains, the Sitebe Mountains and Mahale Mountains National Park.

  • Grant’s Dwarf Galago’s population size in Tanzania.

The highest hourly encounter rates for Grant’s Dwarf Galagos during nocturnal counts were in the Namatimbili, Mtopwa and Noto Forests and the Rondo Forest in the south east of the country. The species in uncommon in the Lulanda Forest in the Udzungwa Mountains, but it is believed to be widespread and not threatened across much of its range.

  • 8. DIANI DWARF GALAGO / KENYA COAST DWARF GALAGO(Galagoides cocos);
  • Kiswahili name: Komba
  • Distribution/ Range of Diani Dwarf Galagos in Tanzania.

Restricted to the very northeast corner of Tanzania, although may occur in other mixed woodlands along the coastal area. Known only from Bombo East I and II Forests and the Magambo Forest on the northern slopes of the East Usambara Mountains.

  • Diani Dwarf Galago’s Population Size in Tanzania.

Nothing is known about its status in Tanzania.