The 84th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2015)

Estimates of sympatric thick-tailed galago (Otolemur crassicaudatus) and southern lesser galago (Galago moholi) population densities in an Afromontane forest


Department of Anthropology, Colorado College

March 28, 2015 , Gateway Ballroom 2/3/4/5 Add to calendar

Determining population density is crucial to evaluating the ecology and conservation status of species. Nonetheless, to our knowledge, no population density surveys of thick-tailed galagos (Otolemur crassicaudatus) or southern lesser galagos (Galago moholi) have been reported. We examined sympatric thick-tailed and southern lesser galago population densities at the Lajuma Research Center in South Africa’s Soutpansberg Mountains. Lajuma is characterized by a mosaic habitat with Afromontane forest, grasslands, and regenerating forests. We established three transects sampling a range of habitat types and conducted three surveys for galagos between 7 and 22 July 2014. We compiled results from all transects and used Distance 6.2 to calculate galago densities. Additionally, we established five habitat description transects, 100 m in length, along which we assessed tree height, dbh and species for sampled trees.

Combined density for both species was approximately 1.2/ha. Thick-tailed galago population density was approximately .9/ha while southern lesser galago density was approximately 1.1/ha. Galagos were not sighted equally along each transect. No galagos were sighted on our highest elevation transect where trees were shorter and we did not observe any Acacia trees. Our results suggest G. moholi densities at Lajuma are lower than G. senegalensis densities in riverine forests of eastern Africa, but comparable to G. senegalensis densities in drier habitats. Given the paucity of data, these results provide baseline information for comparing Galago spp. and Otolemur spp. densities between habitat types and in areas of differing community composition. Future research at Lajuma should utilize mark-recapture methods to confirm these results.

This research was funded by the Colorado College Social Sciences Executive Committee.