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Mammals in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park Uganda

Mammals in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park Uganda

Kerbis et al (1998) notes that there are 21 species of small mammals that are Albertine rift endemics in Rwenzori Mountains. Three of these which are extremely rare are Micropotamagole ruwenzorii, Paracrocidura maxima and Ruwenzorisorex suncoides, the latter two known only from a small number of specimens and classified as being of conservation concern because of their limited and relict distribution. Six of the 21 species are known to be restricted to Rwenzori Mountains. These are Myasorex blarina, Hybomys lunaris, Dasymys montanus, Hylomyscus denniae, Praomys jacksoni montis and Cephalophus rubidus.

Three endemic mammal subspecies are found in the Rwenzori Mountains namely: Rwenzori colobus monkey (colobus angolenis ruwenzorii), Rwenzori hyrax (Dendrohyrax arboreus ruwenzorii) and the Rwenzori leopard (panthera pardus ruwenzorii). The IUCN Red List of threatened animals include the Rwenzori black-fronted duiker (cephalophus nigrifrons rubidus), the elephant (Loxodonta Africana), L’Hoest’s monkey (Cercophithecus l’hoestii), the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and the dwarf otter-shrew (Micropotamogale ruwenzorii). The rare horse shoe bat (Rhinolophus ruwenzorii) is also found here (Schmitt, 1998).

The Elephants (Loxodonta Africana) live in the forest up to 2440m, and occasionally wander up to 4180m on the Congo side. A few Buffalo (Syncerus caffer) occur in the lower valleys. Other animals, which, are sometimes also seen or heard, are Blue Monkeys and Bushbuck.

The principal inhabitants of the bamboo/mimulopsis zone (2500 – 3500m) are the Red Forest Duiker, which also range to the upper limits of vegetation, and the Giant Forest Hog.

The Hyrax abounds from 3050 to 4100m and occurs in smaller numbers outside these limits. It lives among boulders and feeds on herbs, mainly alchemilla.

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