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Taxonomy and Translocations of African Mammals: A Plea for a Cautionary Approach

Ecotourism can fuel an important source of financial income for African countries and can therefore help biodiversity policies in the continent. Translocations can be a powerful tool to spread economic benefits among countries and communities; yet, to be positive for biodiversity conservation, they require a basic knowledge of conservation units through appropriate taxonomic research. This is not always the case, as taxonomy was considered an outdated discipline for almost a century, and some plurality in taxonomic approaches is incorrectly considered

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The large fossil mammals from Buia (Eritrea): Systematics, Biochronology and paleoenvironments

This paper offers a preliminary overview on the large fossil mammals (Primates, Hyaenidae, Proboscidea, Rhinocerotidae, Equidae, Hippopotamidae, Suidae, Giraffidae, and Bovidae) from the Early Plestocene sedimentary succession of the Dandiero (Buia) Basin (Danakil Depression, Eritrea). The 1995-1997 Eritrean-Italian fossil collection has been revised and studied. A few significant remains collected during the 2022-2004 field activities have also been included. Eighteen species of mammals have been identified, described and illustrated in the principal specimens. The systematic study allows general conclusions on

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Comparing an automated high-definition oblique camera system to rearseat-observers in a wildlife survey in Tsavo, Kenya: Taking multi-species aerial counts to the next level

In aerial wildlife counts, human observers often fail to detect animals. We conducted a multi-species sample count in Tsavo National Park, Kenya, with traditional rear-seat-observers (RSOs) and an automated ‘oblique-camera-count’ (OCC) imaging system to compare estimates of 23 wildlife species derived from these two survey methods. An aerial Total Count of elephant, buffalo and giraffe, conducted a month previously, provided a further comparison. In the Tsavo Core (9560 km2), which harbours 80% of Tsavo’s elephants, the OCC system acquired 81

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Spatial and temporal dynamics of human–wildlife conflicts in the Kenya Greater Tsavo Ecosystem

Biodiversity conservation in developing countries is faced with many and mounting challenges, including increasing human–wildlife conflicts (HWCs). In Africa and other developing countries, increasing HWCs, particularly those adjacent to protected areas, can adversely affect local stakeholder perceptions and support for conservation. We analyzed HWC reports for multiple wildlife species compiled >23 years (1995–2017) from the Greater Tsavo Ecosystem (GTE) in Kenya to determine HWC trends. The GTE is the largest protected area in Kenya, covering 22,681 km2. Overall, 39,022 HWC

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What are the parameters that influence giraffe population decline in Africa and which solutions are practicable?

Giraffes are internationally popular in zoos and represent an emblem of the ecosystems and countries in which they live. However, despite this iconic status, giraffes are relatively poorly studied and there is a general lack of knowledge on the key factors affecting their demographic rates. In the last thirty years, giraffe populations across Africa have declined by 40%. However, this demographic decline is not homogeneous across the African continent. According to the latest IUCN red list, the nine subspecies of

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Giraffe and okapi: Africa’s forgotten megafauna

The Giraffidae family includes only two living species of ungulates: the giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) and the okapi (Okapia johnstoni), both restricted to the African continent. Taxonomically, the Giraffa and Okapia genera separated from each other approximately 16 million years ago (Hassanin et al., 2012), and they now exhibit as many differences as similarities. Today Okapia is represented by one species (Okapia johnstoni; Hart, 2013), though with surprisingly high genetic variation (Stanton et al., 2014), whereas nine subspecies of giraffe are

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Contemporary niche contraction affects climate change predictions for elephants and giraffes

Aim: Climate change assessments are largely based on correlative species distribution models (SDMs) that are sensible to spatial biases or incompleteness of input distribution data. We tested whether changes on the species’ climatic niche resulting from recent human-induced range contractions have a significant influence on SDM predictions of future species distributions. Location: Africa. Methods: For this study, we selected two highly detectable species with acknowledged human-induced range contractions, namely the African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) and giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis). We

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Comparison of aerial counts with ground counts for large African herbivores

1. Over the past 50 years, aerial counts have been widely used in African wildlife management; however, the accuracy of the resulting estimates has rarely been questioned. The reliability of aerial counts of large African herbivores was examined by comparing the results of a series of systematic aerial sample counts with those from a series of line transect foot counts conducted in the Lupande Game Management Area in Zambia. 2. For most large herbivore species, the estimates from the aerial

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Chapter 14: Giraffidae

792 specimens attributed to the Giraffidae were recovered by the Eyasi Plateau Paleontological Expedition (EPPE) from the three Pliocene stratigraphic units at Laetoli, with Giraffa stillei the most common taxon in all three levels. Giraffids are notably well represented in the Upper Laetolil Beds, with further evidence gathered by EPPE for the three previously recognized species from this unit. In the Lower Laetolil Beds Giraffa stillei is provisionally identified, as is Sivatherium. A third, large giraffid species may also be

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Towards understanding large mammal population declines in Africa’s protected areas: A West-Central African perspective

A raft of recent studies has highlighted a major decline in large mammal populations in many of Africa’s protected areas. A recent continent-wide assessment represented a major step forward also in terms of quantifying the decline on a regional basis, but fell short in its sampling and analysis. In this paper, a way out of the “black box” of large mammal declines in Africa’s protected areas is formulated, with the aim of assisting in the preparation of further assessments in

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