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This study is aimed at examining the litter production and seasonality of Avicenniamarina, Bruguiera gymnorhiza, and Rhizophora mucronata. Litter was collected using nylon litter traps of 1 mm2 mesh size in the Uzi-Nyeke mixed mangroves, Zanzibar, over a period of 2 years. Contents were sorted, dried, weighed, and the average daily litter production for each component was calculated. A distinct seasonality and species variation were found in all mangrove litter components. The average annual litterfall rate was higher in B. gymnorhiza, followed by R. mucronata and A. marina (3.0, 2.8, and 2.0 ton dry wt. ha-1 year-1 respectively). Leaf fraction was the main component of litter in all species, but fruit and flower for R. mucronata also had a considerable contribution to the total litterfall. The presented patterns of litter production are associated with average temperature and wind speed which are both strongly correlated with litter seasonality. Our data contributes to the body of knowledge on patterns of litter production and the ecological integrity of mangrove forests in Zanzibar.
We present the first annotated amphibian checklist of Shimba Hills National Reserve (SHNR). The list comprises of 30 currently known amphibians (28 anurans and two caecilians), which includes 11 families and 15 genera. In addition, individual records per species, distribution in the reserve and brief remarks about the species are presented. The checklist is based on information from museum collections, field guides, unpublished reports and newly collected field data. We are able to confirm the presence of two Eastern Afromontane species in the SHNR: Scolecomorphus cf. vittatus and Callulina cf. kreffti. The latter has not been recorded since the original collection of a single specimen over 50 years ago. SHNR contains the highest number of amphibian species of any known locality in Kenya (about 30% of the country's total number); therefore it is of national conservation importance. Finally, we briefly discuss the biogeography of the SHNR and its connections to nearby biogeographic regions.
Toe nails on front and hind feet of 689 culled elephants from three populations, two from Uganda and one from Kenya, were counted. Nineteen combinations were found, recorded as nails present on right front foot/left front foot/right hind foot/left hind foot. In addition, toenails from 33 foetuses are compared with their dams' toe nail combinations. The results nullify previous use of toe nail numbers for taxonomic purposes.