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Warthogs without incisors were described from the Cape of Good Hope as Phacochoerus aethiopicus and warthogs possessing incisors were first found in Senegal and later named Phacochoerus africanus. During the second half of the 18th century and the whole of the 19th century, the majority of workers recognised these two taxa as distinct. Twentieth century palaeontologists working in Africa also recognised the two species of warthogs in the Pleistocene and Holocene fossil records and were aware of the differences between the two Recent species. But in the same period, most zoologists considered all warthogs to belong to a single polytypic species. Re-examination of the literature and inspection of recent material confirm distinctive differences corresponding with geographic distribution of two species of warthogs: the widespread common warthog Phacochoerus africanus and the Cape warthog P. aethiopicus. Whereas the Cape warthog, P. aethiopicus aethiopicus, became extinct in South Africa in the 1870s, it survives in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia as a geographically isolated subspecies, P. aethiopicus delamerei. This discontinuous distribution has been noted in the literature, as are the criteria which distinguish P. aethiopicus from P. africanus.
The genus Myosorex has a classic relict distribution within sub-Saharan Africa. Montane populations in eastern and western equatorial Africa are separated by ca. 2900 km. Until this study, the closest known populations in southern Africa were separated by nearly 2000 km from the closest populations in the Albertine Rift Valley. Here we document previously unknown populations of Myosorex, representing two new endemic taxa from montane forests adjacent to the Albertine Rift. In conjunction with additional data from Malawi, we fill in major gaps in our knowledge of the biodiversity and distribution of this genus in the areas of the Albertine and Malawi Rift Valleys. We demonstrate that this gap is an artefact of survey effort and collecting serendipity. The two new species described herein, as well as other species of Myosorex from north of the Zambezi River, exhibit limited distributions and are confined to montane habitats, typically above 1000 m. Our new species of Myosorex from Kahuzi-Biega NP (DRC) is the second known species of Myosorex from that park where it is syntopic with Myosorex babaulti. This is the first time that two species of Myosorex co-occur in any forest north of the Zambezi River. This suggests either sympatric speciation or a secondary re-invasion during times of climatic amelioration and forest expansion. The two species described here (Myosorex jejei and Myosorex bururiensis) are associated with two phenetically-defined species groups: the former with a more narrow hexagon-shaped skull, long-tail, and short claws (‘narrow-headed group’) and the latter with a more broad hexagon-shaped skull, short tail and long claws (‘broad-headed group’).
An annotated checklist of the Kakamega Forest in Kakamega District is presented. The checklist includes the plants found mainly in Buyangu National Reserve, and the Nature Reserves of Isecheno and Yala. It also includes the adjacent forest fragments of Malava, Kisere and Kaimosi. Nine hundred and eighty six (986) plant taxa (including 36 introduced or cultivated, 12 probably misidentified, 111 photo recorded taxa, and 83 undocumented plant taxa) in 129 families and 527 genera are recorded. This represents about 15.2% of the total number of 6506 Kenyan vascular plant species. For each taxon documented, a short description of its habit and distribution is given. Also 181 synonyms are listed.
The genus Solanum represents a significant gap in our knowledge of the East African flora. The coastal forests of Tanzania are understudied and vulnerable due to habitat loss, and the Ruvu Catchment Forest Reserve in the Morogoro District was not botanically explored prior to the Tanzania Frontier Project in the 1990s. We describe a new Tanzanian endemic species, Solanum ruvu sp. nov., which is known from only one collection. The unusually long inflorescences with a dense covering of long straight prickles on the rachis distinguish S. ruvu from all other African species of spiny Solanum. Its likely affinities lie with another coastal forest species, S. zanzibarense, which exhibits a similar scandent habit, subentire leaves, thin stems, and prickles that are sometimes straight. The Ruvu Forest area is now increasingly populated and planted with rice and sesame. The relict natural vegetation is restricted to small areas of limestone outcrops unsuitable for agriculture and there is no forest canopy to support an understorey species such as S. ruvu. Recent recollection efforts have been unsuccessful and the species is likely to be extinct in the wild.
A gathering of Ixora scheffleri ssp. keniensis (Rubiaceae), once feared to be extinct, is recorded from Ragati Forest, Mount Kenya. The tree is exploited by local communities for charcoal burning. Conservation of the natural habitat is recommended, plus propagation for ex situ conservation in botanical gardens.