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1 December 2013 Vocal Profiles for the Galagos: A Tool for Identification
Simon K. Bearder, Thomas M. Butynski, Yvonne A. de Jong
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Young Kenya coast galago (Galagoides cocos) at Mpeketoni, north coast of Kenya. Photograph by Yvonne de Jong & Tom Butynski. For more photographs, visit

The galagos (Family Galagidae) of Africa are nocturnal, small, and often difficult to observe, and most species are phenotypically cryptic. As such, galagos are frequently difficult to identify with confidence, particularly in the field. Being nocturnal, conspecifics mainly identify each other using auditory and olfactory cues, not visual signals. All galagos produce species-specific ‘loud calls’ (or ‘advertisement calls’). Loud calls have several functions, one of which is long-distance species identification. Knowing this, field scientists are now able to identify all currently recognized species of galagos by their loud calls.

The Nocturnal Primate Research Group at Oxford Brookes University maintains a collection of the calls of African wildlife which includes more than 300 hours of recordings. These recordings have been obtained by the Group's 24 members from many field sites over the past 40 years. From this extensive collection, 27 vocal profiles for 24 taxa of galagos have been compiled. These recordings are now freely available at: <>

Each species presented on the website is illustrated by Stephen Nash, and there is an ‘audiomap’ that depicts the site at which each recording was made.

Additional recordings of galagos and other species will be added to this site as they become available. If you would like to hear further examples of each call type, or if you have good quality recordings of galago vocalizations that you would like to deposit with the Nocturnal Primate Research Group, please contact Simon Bearder at: <>

This product is the result of a joint initiative of the Nocturnal Primate Research Group and the Eastern Africa Primate Diversity and Conservation Program.

Simon K. Bearder, Thomas M. Butynski, and Yvonne A. de Jong "Vocal Profiles for the Galagos: A Tool for Identification," Primate Conservation 2013(27), 75, (1 December 2013).
Published: 1 December 2013
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