Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter December 8, 2020

Small mammals of a West African hotspot, the Ziama-Wonegizi-Wologizi transfrontier forest landscape

Mnqobi L. Mamba ORCID logo, Desire L. Dalton, Themb’alilahlwa A. M. Mahlaba, Anna S. Kropff and Ara Monadjem
From the journal Mammalia

Abstract

The Upper Guinea rainforest zone in West Africa is considered a biodiversity hotspot and contains important habitats for threatened and endemic mammals, yet this region remains poorly known particularly for small mammals. The aim of this study was to survey small mammals in a Liberian and Guinean cross-border conservation area, the Ziama-Wonegizi-Wologizi landscape. We recorded a total of 52 small mammal species, including 26 bats, 15 rodents, 10 shrews, one otter-shrew, of which one rodent species was new to science (Colomys sp. nov.). We also documented the first country records of the bats Chaerephon aloysiisabaudiae, Pseudoromicia brunnea and Pipistrellus inexspectatus from Guinea, and the shrews Crocidura douceti and Crocidura grandiceps from Liberia. Furthermore, we recorded the recently described bat Nycticeinops happoldorum from Wologizi and Ziama, and we documented the presence of Micropotamogale lamottei at Wologizi, which represents the fourth known locality for this globally threatened species. Finally, the forests of Wologizi and Ziama support numerous threatened species. The results of our survey demonstrate the importance of this region for small mammals and support the creation of a transboundary protected area that will encompass the entire forest landscape.


Corresponding author: Mnqobi L. Mamba, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Eswatini, Private Bag 4, Kwaluseni, Eswatini, E-mail:

Funding source: Fauna and Flora International (FFI)

Funding source: USAID’s West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change Programme (WA BiCC)

Funding source: Forest Development Authority, Liberia and Centre Forestière N’Zerekore (N’Zerekore Forestry Centre)

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Wing-Yunn Crawley (research manager, Fauna and Flora International) and George Allison (biodiversity officer, Fauna and Flora International) who provided excellent logistical support for conducting the survey. We thank the following people who provided assistance in the field for successful completion on the survey: Moses Darpey (Forest Development Authority ranger), Flomo Dorbor (community auxiliary and field assistant), Mamady Ibrahima Kourouma (University of N’Zerekore student and field assistant), Albert Dennis (Project driver), and Koya Toupou (interpreter from Guinea). We thank the Liberian and Guinean governments for providing all the necessary export and import permits from Liberia (permit number: MD/0105/2019/-7, issued: 1 July 2019) and Guinea (permit number: 145/PRG/87, issued: 29 June 2019) to transport voucher specimens to the Eswatini National Museum of Natural History at the University of Eswatini. We are also thankful to the South African government for providing all necessary permits (issued: 20 December 2019) to deposit tissue samples to the National Zoological Gardens, Pretoria for molecular sequencing.

  1. Author contribution: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: This research work was carried out under the auspices of the Conserving and Connecting the Ziama-Wonegizi Wologizi Transboundary Forest Landscape between Guinea and Liberia of Fauna and Flora International (FFI) and in partnership with USAID’s West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change Programme (WA BiCC), Forest Development Authority, Liberia and Centre Forestière N’Zerekore (N’Zerekore Forestry Centre), Guinea with funding from the USAID West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change Program (USAID WA BiCC).

  3. Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding this article.

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Supplementary Material

The online version of this article offers supplementary material (https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2020-0013).

Received: 2020-02-12
Accepted: 2020-10-07
Published Online: 2020-12-08
Published in Print: 2021-03-26

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston