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Species identity and behaviour of cave-dwelling tree hyraxes of the Kenya coast
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  • Hanna Rosti,
  • Henry Pihlstrom,
  • Norbert Rottcher,
  • Simon Bearder,
  • Lucas Mwangala,
  • Marianne Maghenda,
  • Jouko Rikkinen
Hanna Rosti
University of Helsinki
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Henry Pihlstrom
University of Helsinki
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Norbert Rottcher
Pwani University
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Simon Bearder
Oxford Brookes University
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Lucas Mwangala
Taita Taveta University
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Marianne Maghenda
Taita Taveta University
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Jouko Rikkinen
University of Helsinki
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Abstract

The eastern tree hyrax is thought to be a solitarily living arboreal species of the forests of East Africa. However, in the coast of Kenya, indigenous forests have been almost entirely cleared, and some of the last tree hyrax populations live in limestone rocky formations and caves. Interestingly, they seem to be living in social groups. Here, we describe and document photographically these unique tree hyrax populations. We also describe their acoustical communication and their calling activity in three different habitats. Based on these animals' physical appearance and acoustic analyses of their calls, they represent the species eastern tree hyrax, Dendrohyrax validus. Due to immence pressure from humans, the future of these small and isolated, cave-living tree hyrax populations does not seem bright.
19 Sep 2022Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
21 Sep 2022Assigned to Editor
21 Sep 2022Submission Checks Completed
21 Sep 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned