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Canthariphilous insects, representing three different orders, were attracted to cantharidin baits in the years 1989 to 1999 in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Two Aulacoderus, seven Formicomus, two Mecynotarsus, 11 Notoxus, three Tomoderus and one Cyclodinus, Omonadus, Pseudoleptaleus, Sapintus, and Tenuicomus species respectively were noted from the beetle family Anthicidae. The chrysomelid species Barombiella vicina and Barombiella sp. (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) were caught at cantharidin as well as Pallenothriocera rufimembris (Coleoptera: Cleridae) and two other up to now not identified clerid species. Also a bug species from the genus Dieuches (Heteroptera: Lygaeidae) was noted. Always present at the baits were a anthomyiid species (Diptera: Anthomyiidae) and ceratopogonids (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). A canthariphilous species from the dipteran family Platystomatidae was found in an indigenous forest of Mt Kilimanjaro.
The baiting sites are briefly characterised and the knowledge about the function of cantharidin in the biology of canthariphilous insects is summarised.
A list of dragonflies recorded in Kakamega Forest, Western Kenya is presented, including ten new records for Kenya. Some of the species have their centre of distribution in West Africa. Ecological notes on different adaptation strategies of rain forest dragonflies are given, mainly focusing on visibility and flight behaviour of the males. Seasonality patterns of the observed dragonflies and distinct behavioural features of selected species, e.g. Hadrothemis and Gynacantha are described.
The giant forest hog, Hylochoerus meinertzhageni, is distributed across the West African forest belt and into eastern Africa. It is known from Uganda and is reasonably common in suitable habitat in Kenya. Evidence suggests that a taxon described from a photograph as Hylochoerus schulzi Zukowsky 1921 from the Mutjek Mountains in northern Tanzania along the western Rift Valley wall is in fact a bushpig, Potamochoerus larvatus. Previously published records of the giant forest hog in Tanzania are discussed and shown to be non-definitive; the need for a specimen or unambiguous photographic record of H. meinertzhageni from Tanzania still exists.
A new cycad taxon, Encephalartos tegulaneus subsp. powysii, is described from Central Kenya. Taxonomic characteristics unique to this taxon in relation to the other subspecies are discussed. Its habitat preference, population and conservation status are also discussed.
This paper seeks to demonstrate the usefulness of the data held at the National Biodiversity Data Bank (NBDB) situated at Makerere University Institute of Environment and Natural Resources (MUIENR). We assess its value as a potential planning tool, based on the growing evidence that Uganda aspires to a robust Protected Area system that encompasses protection of biodiversity at the genetic, species and ecosystem levels. Analyses are presented of the coverage of 21 major vegetation types, and of species of birds and mammals. Several important vegetation types are inadequately conserved, whilst coverage of some categories of birds is also incomplete. The situation seems to be worse for mammals, although this is harder to assess because the distributions of many species are poorly known.
The Uganda Forest Department recently completed a major national inventory of forest biodiversity, aimed at providing the information necessary to design a representative protected area system for the country. The inventory covered five national parks and a further 60 forest reserves, and involved the collection of data on five indicator taxa of plants and animals. The project involved approximately 100 man-years of work, during which 17,600 plant site records were made, 100,000 trap-nights of small mammal work undertaken, 57,000 large moths, 21,000 butterflies and 14,000 birds trapped.
The analysis of data generated by the inventory has involved the development of a scoring system, by which the biodiversity and socio-economic values of different sites were compared, and nature conservation priorities established.
More than 95 % of species belonging to the five indicator taxa are represented in the present 10 national parks combined with 11 selected forest reserves, and a more complete network of 43 sites would encompass more than 98% of species. The proposed network of forest Nature Reserves is presently being put in place.
The length increments of seedlings and branches, and the extension growth of specimens of different age classes of 12 forest tree species were measured on Mt Kenya between May 1992 and July 1995.
Of all examined species, the camphor tree, Ocotea usambarensis showed the lowest growth rates. The growth rates of other species of the primary forests, namely Zanthoxyllum gillettii and Vitex keniensis were between 30 and 200 % higher. The seedlings of Vitex outgrew even pioneer species such as Macaranga kilimandscharica Pax and Neoboutonia macrocalyx. These trees showed growth rates at least twice as high as those of the primary species.
Juniperus procera was found to be the fastest growing species in the cedar forest, underlining its success in forming dense stands after a fire. Only young Podocarpus latifolius showed a similar fast growth. Olea europaea ssp. cuspidata, Olea capensis ssp. hochstetteri and Cassipourea malosana had nearly equal growth rates, however, considerably lower than those of Juniperus procera and Podocarpus latifolius.
Hagenia abyssinica fell within the range of the fast growing species, illustrating the ability of this species to regenerate very fast under suitable conditions.