Tapping into technology and the biodiversity informatics revolution: updated terrestrial mammal list of Angola, with new records from the Okavango Basin
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Using various sources, including the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), published literature, recent (2015–2017) collections, as well as bat detector and camera trap surveys with opportunistic sightings and live capture in the upper Okavango catchment in central Angola, we present an updated mammal checklist of 275 species from 15 different orders for Angola (including the Cabinda region). Recent surveys (captures and bat detectors) of small mammals from the upper Okavango catchment yielded 46 species (33 species of bats, ten species of rodents and three species of shrews). One bat (Pipistrellus rusticus, rusty pipistrelle); two rodents (Mus setzeri, Setzer’s mouse and Zelotomys woosnami, Woosnam’s broad-faced mouse) and one shrew (Suncus varilla, lesser dwarf shrew) were captured for the first time, in Angola. While our species lists of bats conformed to predicted totals, terrestrial small mammals were under sampled, with only 13 species recorded by our trapping survey compared to a total of 42 shrew and rodent species expected based on GBIF records for the central Angolan highlands. Seven terrestrial small mammal species (one shrew and six rodents) are endemic to the central and western Angolan highlands but none of these were captured in our survey. The bat detector surveys added three further bat species to the country list: Pipistrellus hesperidus, Kerivoula argentata, and Mops midas. Camera trap surveys and opportunistic sightings in the upper Okavango catchment in 2016 yielded a total of 35 species of medium-large mammals, from 17 families, although all of these had been reported previously in Angola. GBIF proved to be an excellent source of biodiversity data for Angolan mammals, most importantly for documenting dramatic historical range changes of larger mammals such as the sable (Hippotragus niger niger), Kirk’s sable (H. niger kirkii) and the giant sable (H. niger variani).
- RESEARCH: Taylor, P