New Trip Report: Kenya

7 Comments
  1. tomeslice 2 months ago

    Lol Alex!
    I loved how you made it sound so tragic that I didn’t see a serval in Uganda. Truly a poor and unfortunate soul

    While I’m still missing that species, I’m not really worried about it, as I will surely see it in one of my next trips.

    Anyway, great stuff!! Super jealous of your golden-rumped and four-toed elephant shrews, your tree hyrax, tana river mangabey and, well…. the serval ;-P

    Cheers brother!
    Tomer

  2. Samuel 2 months ago

    Very nice report Alex
    I’m glad you could see hirola in Tsavo East. I’m surprised reading your report that there are only 18 hirolas in Tsavo. Well, we saw 13 of them while driving around Aruba Dam so I guess it is a great score!
    I really like your photos of tree hirax and both Tana river monkeys that I’ve never seen.
    Could you explain how you differentiate coastal to greater Galapagos because it is not obvious on the photos. Thanks

    • Samuel 2 months ago

      Oops, galagos not Galapagos damned automatic correctors…

      • Antee 2 months ago

        I guess it´s easy by the size.
        Northern greater galago weights around 6 times more than a Coastal galago.

        But…

        How do you differentiate a Coastal galago from a Senegal galago (Galago senegalensis) which also is in Arabuko-sokoke forest? And very common overall in Kenya.
        They have the same size and to me look exactly the same…

        • Venkat Sankar 2 months ago

          There are far more than 18 Hirolas in Tsavo East. I’m told the current estimate is around 80. They’ve stayed fixed at this number for a couple of decades now. A combination of Lion predation and competition with Hartebeest limits population growth. Hirola were never native to Tsavo and occur naturally only N of the Tana River, where there are no Hartebeest.

          Antee is correct, Otolemur is MUCH larger than Paragalago cocos (a small galago similar to Galagoides of Central Africa). Nearly impossible to confuse.

          Re differentiating Paragalago cocos from Galago senegalensis:
          Their calls are different, so if you can hear them that’s the best method (senegalensis has the distinctive honking call, compared to the rapid buzzes and chirps of cocos). Other than that the easiest ways are color and tail – G. senegalensis braccatus is much paler brownish gray compared to P. cocos, which is usually a somewhat dark brownish color on the back. Also the tail of G. senegalensis is quite bushy especially towards the end compared to the relatively thin tail of P. cocos.

          Also, G. senegalensis and P. cocos use different habitats typically. G. senegalensis will be found in low, drier Acacia/Combretum while P. cocos is in taller wet coastal forests. Only in lower Tana River are they known to be sympatric (where P. cocos is common and G. senegalensis rare). They MIGHT co-occur in the Brachystegia forest at Arabuko but I never saw galagos in that habitat. Only in the tall, denser “mixed forest” at Arabuko, where the small galagos are 100% P. cocos on basis of habitat.

          I find it interesting that Galago senegalensis is always mapped as occurring in Arabuko Sokoke. I’ve never seen recent evidence (photos or calls) to confirm this.

  3. Samuel 2 months ago

    Ok thanks Antee and Venkat for the explanation

  4. Alex Meyer 1 month ago

    Thank you all for the kind words! I put a lot of effort into putting these reports together so it’s nice to see they’re appreciated!

    My mistake on the Hirola count at Tsavo East. I was speaking with the researcher there over the phone and I must’ve misheard 18 from 80.

    Thank you Antee and Venkat for the in depth galago breakdown!

    Oh that Tragic Tomer, Desperate with Servals. One day…one day.

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