Uluguru Bushbaby – Taxonomy, Conversation and More

What is a Bushbaby?

The Uluguru bushbaby or Paragalago orinus, often called the Amani dwarf galago or the mountain dwarf galago, also known as Galagos bushbaby is a monkey species belonging to the Galagidae family. It is a strepsirrhine primate, like other galagos. It’s only found in Kenya and Tanzania’s Eastern Arc Mountains, at elevations of 1,200 to 2,000 meters, This is environment seems to be most preferred Bushbaby habitat. It has its own set of distinct sounds that help differentiate it from other bushbaby species.

Taxonomy of Uluguru African Bushbabies

The Uluguru African Bushbaby was formerly categorized as a subspecies of Prince Demidoff’s bushbaby, but its distinct cry led to its recognition as a separate species in 1995. Due to its similar sounds, overlapping customary regions, and morphological similarities, it has been classed with the Ukinga galago (not yet officially identified) and the Mughese dwarf galago (P. o. mughese).

Description of the Uluguru Bushbaby Animal

The average weight of a Bushbaby is between 74 and 98 grams and Bushbaby size is approximately 125–138 mm in length from head to body. The tail is small, typically 169–199 mm in length, and is short-haired, reddish-brownish at the bottom and darker at the top, with a uniform thickness. With a yellow-white facial strip and dark brown rings of Bushbaby eyes, the fur is dark reddish. Like Prince Demidoff’s bushbaby, the muzzle looks to be ‘turned up.’ In males, the hindfoot is quite short, measuring roughly 60mm.

The Bushbaby Sounds and Calls

The Uluguru Bushbaby monkey, like most other Bushbabies, has its own set of distinct sounds that tell it apart from other Bushbaby species. The alarm Bushbaby cry is most usually heard after dusk, however, the Bushbaby sound has been heard all night.

Name of Call Description
“Double unit call” It’s made up of two soft components. To make a phrase, the first unit is produced at a higher pitch than the second and repeated up to 6 times at a regular speed. This is most likely the “repetitive call” described by Honess (1996), however, the Ulugurus’ cry varies owing to changing pitch levels. This may be the territorial call/advertisement/contact. Counter-calling is common, and it may occasionally be heard between three animals (particularly at dawn and dusk).
“Descending screeches and yaps” “Yaps” connect a series of repeated “screeches” (very short high-pitched units). “Yaps” may continue up to 3 minutes before transitioning to “screeches,” which endure just 5–10 seconds. The whole calling session might run anything from 5 to 60 minutes. When there is a high level of alert, this mechanism is used (e.g. when a potential predator is spotted). It may be given at any hour of the night.
“Whistled buzz” An odd, falling “buzz” that lasts 1–2 seconds. Depending on the level of alarm, it may be said in a falling sequence or as the start of a series of “yaps” and/or “shrieks.” When stated alone, ‘buzzes’ convey moderate concern, surprise, or interest, maybe indicating the presence of something uncommon (e.g. torchlight).
“Grunt screech,” Quiet, low-pitched, low-volume cry produced by quickly swallowing air while producing screeches. This call generally indicates a high level of concern (due to the considerable physical effort used to make this call).
“Yap” A high-pitched, brief cry. Typically used in combination with other calls such as “screeches” and “buzzes.” Made in a range of situations, ranging from moderate to acute panic. The degree of alarm typically increases the quickness, frequency, and loudness.
“Squeak with a high pitch” Singularly or in groups of 2-3 units, or breaking into “screeches,” a very high pitch cry. Often presented from a vantage point high in the canopy. It’s unclear under what circumstances this choice is made.

A Bushbaby Conservation

The IUCN lists the Uluguru bushbaby as vulnerable, having a population that is broad but fragmented, and frequently found in low concentrations. The overall prevalence looks to be decreasing. eforestation, most typically for logging and conversion to agricultural land, is the most serious hazard. The species may be found in a number of protected areas set up to counteract deforestation, including the Taita Hills forest reserve and the Udzungwa Mountains National Park.

Uluguru Bushbaby – Taxonomy, Conversation and More

The Uluguru Bushbaby’s Presence in the Taita Hills

The Taita Hills have attracted a lot of attention in Kenya because of its extremely high density of endangered species, albeit the indigenous woods have been greatly fragmented as a result of human effects, and the residual portions of the forest are limited.

Despite the high level of biodiversity in the Taita Hills, no bushbaby surveys have ever been conducted, hence the existence of the Uluguru bushbaby in this mountain range remained unknown for a long time. However, as more species of bushbaby were discovered and given their own binomial nomenclature (largely due to extensive research into their vocalizations, breeding anatomy, and genetics), as well as the fact that the Bushbaby’s presence was already recognized in some parts of Tanzania (particularly in other parts of the Eastern Arc Mountains, of which Mount Kasigau, along with Mount Sagala and the Taita Hills, comprise the north-easternmost part, their existence was already known), the Uluguru (Paragalago rondoensis and Paragalago udzungwensis). It’s likely that these sightings are of a new Uluguru bushbaby subspecies known as the Taita dwarf mountain galago, although this hasn’t been properly recognized.

Taita Hills
Taita Hills

Other Bushbaby Facts and Important Information

  • Bushbaby Food:
    • What do Bushbabies eat? Bushbaby diet is a mixture of various species of trees, fruits, insects, and oozing gum.
  • Bushbaby Pet:
    • Bushbaby as pets – Bushbabies as pets is not really a way to go since they are not great pets. Most people have been asking themselves “can you buy a bushbaby as a pet?” Yes, you can you have a bushbaby as a pet but they are not easy to domesticate, they urinate all over themselves, and have very loud calls.
  • How to get a Bushbaby as a pet – Most likely from adopting one from a zoo, if you are lucky to get one. The reason is the animal is illegal in most countries to domesticate.
  • Frequently asked Bushbaby questions:
    • How long do Bushbabies live? – close to 16 years in their natural habitat.
    • Why Bushbaby has big eyes? – the big eyes help these monkeys to see properly in low lighting conditions.

Picture of Bushbaby

Here are a couple of Bushbaby images to explore:

Bushbaby pictures

Bushbaby book – https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/3652609-bushbaby

For more articles related to Wildlife in Tanzania (Animals), click here!

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