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WildSolutions posted a topic in General discussionThe design and implementation of effective conservation measures for primates, warthogs and hyraxes requires an efficient, low cost, and accessible resource for the identification of species and subspecies. Although photographs cannot replace an adequate museum collection as a resource for assessing species variation, geotagged photographs are a relatively fast, inexpensive, convenient, and unobtrusive means for detecting and assessing phenotypic variation within a species/subspecies over large areas. The use of photographs to document phenotypic characters will become increasingly important as the collection of specimens for hands-on assessments becomes ever more difficult. Adult male eastern patas monkey Erythrocebus patas pyrrhonotus, Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda. Photograph by Yvonne A. de Jong & Thomas M. Butynski, Eastern Africa Primate Diversity and Conservation Program, wildsolutions.nl Our 14 newly up-graded on-line photographic maps (or ‘PhotoMaps’; www.wildsolutions.nl), with over 2400 images (September 2016) of African primates, warthogs and hyraxes, together with the latest distribution maps, provide insight into each taxon’s phenotypic characters, diversity and biogeography. These ‘living’ collections of geotagged images are a practical tool for documenting and discussing diversity, taxonomy, biogeography, distribution and conservation status and, therefore, for planning actions for conservation. Adult Somali lesser galago Galago gallarum, Meru National Park, Kenya. Photograph by Yvonne A. de Jong & Thomas M. Butynski, Eastern Africa Primate Diversity and Conservation Program, wildsolutions.nl PhotoMaps are useful to those who want to: identify species/subspecies know which species/subspecies occur in which areas; obtain species/subspecies photographs confirm species distribution describe variation within a species/subspecies, especially as it relates to geographic distribution· If you have photographs of African primates, warthogs or hyraxes from the less documented areas of Africa (i.e., gaps on the PhotoMaps), please consider contributing them to the PhotoMaps. The photographers name is attached to each photograph. Anyone wishing to use a PhotoMap photograph must obtain both permission and the photograph from the photographer. Send your photographs, and the coordinates and/or place name of the site where the photographs were obtained, to firstname.lastname@example.org We thank Arnoud de Jong for his technical expertise and great help with the PhotoMaps. http://www.wildsolutions.nl/photography/photomap/ Adult male desert warthog Phacochoerus aethiopicus, Samburu National Reserve, Kenya. Photograph by Yvonne A. de Jong & Thomas M. Butynski, Eastern Africa Primate Diversity and Conservation Program, wildsolutions.nl
This once in a lifetime sighting happened towards the end of last season. I had award winning film maker Mirra Bank and her husband with me, guiding them for a week from Musekese Camp. They were busy filming this remarkable sighting on their film cameras whilst I managed to keep steady enough to shoot a few shots with my stills camera (all be it with a 200m lens, hence the grainy crop factor of the images). The story and background to this sighting as follows: It was whilst on an afternoon drive from Musekese Camp, Jeffery & McKeith Safaris in north central Kafue National Park, Zambia that we witnessed the most unexpected and as far a we know, as yet photographically un-documented, sighting ever… We had just had the first brief rain storm of the season and the wildlife was noticeably excited and full of energy, with young animals running around merrily and the migratory birds in their hundreds picking off the newly hatching ants and termites. As we rounded a bend in a very attractive stretch of miombo woodland our guide Tyrone heard the frantic alarm calls of a herd of impala. Putting his binoculars to his eyes he shouted almost immediately, let’s go! As we moved further along the track to get a better look at what the commotion was all about he was explaining that he had seen a grey shape tussling with what looked to be an young impala, Tyrone assumed it was a baboon snatching an easy kill (as sometimes happens at this time of year of plenty). What we found however was absolutely not a baboon, but a lone, single warthog acting rather franticly, but what was it doing exactly? The other guests in the vehicle were asked to use their camcorders to record this moment, which they did. We sat and watched as a still very much alive and kicking young impala was set upon, attacked and gored to death by the warthog. In what seemed to be a frantic rage the warthog would tusk and stab and throw the kicking body of the impala around the woodland, all the time the mother of the baby was alarm calling and frantically running to and fro in an attempt to distract the killer warthog. It was so very strange to watch this unfold, it was a typical scene and setting, one that you might expect to find from a 'typical’ predator. Tyrone explained that it was not wholly uncommon to find warthog (and a number of other unexpected species) feeding on carcasses or carrion, especially at this time of year (the end of the dry season, when wildlife is a little more stressed and certain minerals and salts may not be so ready available in the bush). But to witness a warthog actively catch, kill and consume a baby impala was something that was very hard to explain away. One wonders how often this may actually happen but we simply do not see it? We did feel sorry for the impala mother however as who needs enemies when you’ve got friends like the warthog! Larger than Kruger, Kafue National Park is the largest National Park in Zambia as well as being relatively unknown and unexplored. It is one of the last real wilderness areas left in Africa, home to vital global carnivore population including wild dog, lion, leopard and cheetah as well as one of Southern Africa’s most important elephant populations.
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