ID and info on mammals in Awash, Ethiopia
I have several questions about mammals of Ethiopia.
Two mammals photographed near Doho Resorh, Awash region, Ethiopia:
– a gerbil. Ammodile, Ammodillus imbellis?
-a bat. Heart-nosed Bat Cardioderma cor? Remarkable was its audible song-like chirping. High cricket-like chirping was heard in many places, and one traced to a bat roosting on a bush ca 2-3 m up. ca 7 cm bat, with short wings, long broadly rounded ears close together, and long face. Wings had clearly paler bones. Call was accelerated chirping: ci-ci-cicicicicici-ci and of other animals 4-chirps: cicicici. Description of its territorial song (4-9 calls in 1s, audible for humans to 200m) and territorial behavior in HMW matches well C. cor. Yellow-winged Bat Lavia frons also makes calls audible for humans, but I would likely see its distinctive coloration.
– Do Desert Warthog Phacochoerus aethiopicus and Somali Dwarf Mongoose Helogale hirtula occur in Awash National park? Local guides said so, but the distribution map in the IUCN Red List does not show these species there. Warthogs looked clearly different: taller, longer legged, buff brown, with higher skull and more vertical face.
– Hares at southern Lake Hangano, around Hara Langano Resort are which species? Ethiopian hare, Lepus fagani or Abyssinian hare, Lepus habessinicus?
The following paper might be of help for your hare query: Tolesa et al (2017) – Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA reveals reticulate evolution in hares (Lepus spp., Lagomorpha, Mammalia) from Ethiopia. Agree with Ian on the warthog. Paul
Concerning the bat, the photo appears to show that it has a big eye, which would be indicative of Cardioderma or Lavia. The Cardioderma is a grey colour with light wings; if you saw got a reasonable look at it with natural light and it wasn’t yellow, then it wasn’t Lavia. Cardioderma would therefore be a good bet.
If you manage to figure out the hares let us know!
Ammodile has been recorded in Ethiopia only once (in Ogaden a century ago). See https://doi.org/10.25225/fozo.030.2019 (I can send you the PDF if you’d like). I suspect Gerbilliscus pusillus but am away from home and can’t check.
Good luck sorting out the hares 🙂 Personally, I gave up on them and am waiting for large-scale geographically comprehensive whole-genome studies.
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With respect to warthogs, the ones in Awash are all Common Warthog, I believe. Desert Warthog occurs in Borena National Park near Yabello. Do you have photos? The two most distinguishing features of the Desert Warthog are the downward- facing facial warts and the folded tips on the ears. My photos from Borena are of quite distant views, but these two features are both visible.