Assessment of climate change vulnerability for the rondo dwarf galago in coastal forests, Tanzania.

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University of Dar es Salaam
The negative effects of climate change on organisms and their habitats pose significant conservation challenges especially for species already under threat from other factors such as habitat loss, pollution and disease. Species vulnerability to climate change in Tanzania has not been fully explored. This study was initiated to assess the extent to which the survival of the Rondo dwarf galago (Galagoides rondoensis) in the coastal forests in eastern Tanzania is threatened by climate change. Information on temperature change and variability across the species habitats was obtained from the Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA) and applied to determine the organism’s exposure to climate change. The magnitude of the G rondoensis exposure to past and projected variations in temperature and precipitation was determined by overlaying the species distribution range maps with climate change bins. Information on Rondo galago’s traits predisposing it to climate change was obtained from published literature and expert opinion. Data on the species exposure and sensitivity to climate change were analyzed using Nature serve’s Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) to determine its overall climate change vulnerability status. Results have indicate that most of the Rondo galago’s habitat and distribution range will be exposed to a temperature increase of 1.3oC by 2050, which if combined with other threats, is likely to further endanger the species survival. The Rondo galago’s dependence on narrow hydrologic regimes like seasonal precipitation patterns and localized moisture conditions significantly increase the species’ vulnerability to climate change. Any major decrease in moisture contents in the species’ range will reduce the availability of insects on which the rondo galago preferentially feeds. Moreover, the species is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts due to its limited habitats and distribution range in the tropical coastal forests of eastern Africa. As such deliberate strategies should be developed to enhance the conservation of the species’ remaining habitats through creation of buffer zones and migratory corridors to facilitate possible shift to conductive and safer habitats in the event of extreme changes in environmental conditions. Furthermore , climate change variation and variability within the Rondo galago habitat range should be continually monitored as an early warming mechanism on their potential impact to the species’ survival.
Available in print form, Eat Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library,(THS EAF QC903.2T34H34)
Climatic changes, Galago, Rondo dwwarf, Coastal forests, Tanzania
Haji, M. (2019) Assessment of climate change vulnerability for the rondo dwarf galago in coastal forests, Tanzania. Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.