Distribution and Population Status of the Endemic Rock Hyrax Sub-species (Procavia capensis capillosa) of the Bale Mountains, Ethiopia

Gebremeskel Teklehaimanot, Mundanthra Balakrishnan


Hyraxes are diurnal mammals limited in their distribution in Africa and the Middle East. Procavia capensis capillosa is endemic to Bale Mountains, and its ecology is not studied. The present investigation deals with the distribution and population ecology of this subspecies through field observations and point counts following simultaneous double observer method. This subspecies is distributed from Gaysay Valley through the base of Tulu Dimtu towards southeast to Rira and at the northern edge of the Harenna forest in altitude ranges of 2774 m – 4134 m a.s.l. The population density of P. c. capillosa in the recorded sites ranged from 25.4 + 4.2 to 1696.4 + 172.3 individuals/km2. Among them, adults constituted 70.5% and juveniles 21.2%. Out of the sexed hyraxes, 57.7% was females and 42.3% was males. Colony size ranged between 4–86 individuals with larger colonies during the wet season. Hyrax colony consists of one territorial male, one to several adult females and sub-adults and juveniles of both sexes. One to several males occupies colony peripheries. High proportion of females and juveniles in the counted population of the rock hyrax indicate a healthy population, which can sustain if intensive human interactions are controlled in these mountain ranges.


Bale Mountains National Park; Population Ecology; Population Structure


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