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Keywords:

  • Galago zanzibaricus;
  • Galago garnettii;
  • Kenya;
  • reproductive patterns;
  • climatic variability;
  • birth seasonality;
  • “r-selection”;
  • “K-selection”

Abstract

The reproductive patterns (birth seasonality, litter size, litters per year) of two sympatric species of galago (Galago zanzibaricus and G. garnettii) were studied in a coastal forest in Kenya for a two-year period. Trap-retrap and radio tracking methods were employed. G. zanzibaricus has one infant twice per year; G. garnettii has one infant once per year. Both species are seasonal breeders. These East African galagos are intermediate in reproductive patterns when compared with galagos from South African woodland (G. senegalensis moholi and G. crassicaudatus umbrosis) and West African rainforest (G. alleni and G. demidovii). Climatic patterns (total annual rainfall, seasonal variability of rainfall, variability in total annual rainfall, and annual temperature variability) are also compared for the three regions. Climatically, East Africa is intermediate between West and South Africa in total annual rainfall and in seasonality of rainfall, but not in year-to-year variability in rainfall. East Africa shows the highest variability in annual rainfall. South Africa has the coldest dry seasons and highest variability in temperatures. The results of this study suggest that “r-selection” and “K-selection” do not provide adequate explanations of galago reproductive patterns.