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New Large Mammal for the Laikipia Plateau

On 14 January 2020, I photographed two adult male desert warthogs on the western boundary of Suyian Ranch, central north Laikipia County. The animals in my photographs are desert warthogs, which were confirmed by Yvonne de Jong, Jean-Pierre d’Huart, and Tom Butynski, two of them well-known for their ecology research in Laikipia.

This hog is a mouthful in Latin: (Phacochoerus aethiopicus)

This is the first record for desert warthog on the Laikipia Plateau, and only the second record for Laikipia County—the first record being obtained a few years ago at Tassia, in the extreme northeast part of Laikipia County.

Archie Voorspuy, the Manager of Suyian Ranch, photographed a third adult male desert warthog at the Suyian Ranch headquarters on 30th January, 2020.

At 1,890 meters (6,200 feet) above sea level, these records are about 200 meters higher than previously reported for desert warthog. These records also extend the southwestern limit of the known range of this species by roughly 30 km. With these records, Suyian Ranch becomes one of the few places where the ranges of desert warthog and common warthog are known to over-lap.

For those of your interested in more, please check out this paper on Desert Warthogs in Tsavo, by Yvonne and Co.

Anne Powys

March 2020

Suiyan Soul

 

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