Other affiliations: Mammal Research Institute, University of Natal, BirdLife International ...read more
Bio: Ara Monadjem is an academic researcher from University of Swaziland. The author has contributed to research in topics: Population & Species richness. The author has an hindex of 32, co-authored 176 publications receiving 3437 citations. Previous affiliations of Ara Monadjem include Mammal Research Institute & University of Natal.
Papers published on a yearly basis
The Peregrine Fund1, Mbarara University of Science and Technology2, University of British Columbia3, Wageningen University and Research Centre4, University of Reading5, Centre national de la recherche scientifique6, University of York7, University of Missouri8, Makerere University9, Endangered Wildlife Trust10, University of Swaziland11
TL;DR: The first estimates of a 30-year Pan African vulture decline were presented in this article, confirming that declines have occurred on a scale broadly comparable with those seen in Asia, where the ecological, economic, and human costs are already documented.
Abstract: Vultures provide critical ecosystem services, yet populations of many species have collapsed worldwide. We present the first estimates of a 30-year PanAfrican vulture decline, confirming that declines have occurred on a scale broadly comparable with those seen in Asia, where the ecological, economic, and human costs are already documented. Populations of eight species we assessed had declined by an average of 62%; seven had declined at a rate of 80% or more over three generations. Of these, at least six appear to qualify for uplisting to Critically Endangered. Africa’s vultures are facing a range of specific threats, the most significant of which are poisoning and trade in traditional medicines, which together accounted for 90% of reported deaths. We recommend that national governments urgently enact and enforce legislation to strictly regulate the sale and use of pesticides and poisons, to eliminate the illegal trade in vulture body parts, as food or medicine, and to minimize mortality caused by power lines and wind turbines.
TL;DR: Based on these analyses, the data provide little evidence of resource partitioning between sympatric M. condylurus and C. pumilus in the Simunye region of Swaziland at the time of year when the samples were collected, although as more complete databases against which to compare the sequences are generated this may have to be re-evaluated.
Abstract: Given the diversity of prey consumed by insectivorous bats, it is difficult to discern the composition of their diet using morphological or conventional PCR-based analyses of their faeces. We demonstrate the use of a powerful alternate tool, the use of the Roche FLX sequencing platform to deep-sequence uniquely 5′ tagged insect-generic barcode cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) fragments, that were PCR amplified from faecal pellets of two free-tailed bat species Chaerephon pumilus and Mops condylurus (family: Molossidae). Although the analyses were challenged by the paucity of southern African insect COI sequences in the GenBank and BOLD databases, similarity to existing collections allowed the preliminary identification of 25 prey families from six orders of insects within the diet of C. pumilus, and 24 families from seven orders within the diet of M. condylurus. Insects identified to families within the orders Lepidoptera and Diptera were widely present among the faecal samples analysed. The two families that were observed most frequently were Noctuidae and Nymphalidae (Lepidoptera). Species-level analysis of the data was accomplished using novel bioinformatics techniques for the identification of molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTU). Based on these analyses, our data provide little evidence of resource partitioning between sympatric M. condylurus and C. pumilus in the Simunye region of Swaziland at the time of year when the samples were collected, although as more complete databases against which to compare the sequences are generated this may have to be re-evaluated.
15 Nov 2014
TL;DR: In this article, a conservation assessment for Maputaland, part of a biodiversity hotspot in southern Africa that is also the focus of the Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) initiative between South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland, is presented.
Abstract: A number of global priority region schemes have been developed, but local assessments are needed to identify priority areas for conservation within these regions. Here, we describe results from a conservation assessment for Maputaland, part of a biodiversity hotspot in southern Africa that is also the focus of the Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) initiative between South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland. The TFCA seeks to establish new state-, private- and communally-managed conservation areas to boost economic development through nature-based tourism and game ranching. The assessment will guide the TFCA process and used a systematic conservation planning approach to design a landscape to conserve 44 landcover types, 53 species and 14 ecological processes. The assessment also included data on modelled risk of agricultural transformation, of which low-risk areas were selected where possible. The current PA systems in the three countries cover 3830 km2, which represents 21.2% of the region, and meet the representation targets for 46% of the conservation features. The proposed conservation landscape adds 4291 km2 of new core areas and 480 km2 of linkages and, if appropriate, could provide potential revenues of US$18.8 million from game ranching, based on modelled large ungulate density, life history and game auction data. We also discuss the benefits of including data on widely distributed, better known conservation features together with less-well studied, range-restricted species and the advantages of using agricultural transformation risk data in conservation assessments.
TL;DR: An up-to-date annotated checklist of all mammals recorded from Kenya is developed, expecting the number of species to increase with additional surveys and as the taxonomic status of small mammals becomes better understood.
Abstract: Kenya has a rich mammalian fauna. We reviewed recently published books and papers including the six volumes of Mammals of Africa to develop an up-to-date annotated checklist of all mammals recorded from Kenya. A total of 390 species have been identified in the country, including 106 species of rodents, 104 species of bats, 63 species of even-toed ungulates (including whales and dolphins), 36 species of insectivores and carnivores, 19 species of primates, five species of elephant shrews, four species of hyraxes and odd-toed ungulates, three species of afrosoricids, pangolins, and hares, and one species of aardvark, elephant, sirenian and hedgehog. The number of species in this checklist is expected to increase with additional surveys and as the taxonomic status of small mammals (e.g., bats, shrews and rodents) becomes better understood.
TL;DR: It is suggested that the natural selection against large insertion/deletion is so weak that a large amount of variation is maintained in a population.
Abstract: The relationship between the two estimates of genetic variation at the DNA level, namely the number of segregating sites and the average number of nucleotide differences estimated from pairwise comparison, is investigated. It is found that the correlation between these two estimates is large when the sample size is small, and decreases slowly as the sample size increases. Using the relationship obtained, a statistical method for testing the neutral mutation hypothesis is developed. This method needs only the data of DNA polymorphism, namely the genetic variation within population at the DNA level. A simple method of computer simulation, that was used in order to obtain the distribution of a new statistic developed, is also presented. Applying this statistical method to the five regions of DNA sequences in Drosophila melanogaster, it is found that large insertion/deletion (greater than 100 bp) is deleterious. It is suggested that the natural selection against large insertion/deletion is so weak that a large amount of variation is maintained in a population.
01 Jan 2016
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TL;DR: In this paper, a test based on two conserved CHD (chromo-helicase-DNA-binding) genes that are located on the avian sex chromosomes of all birds, with the possible exception of the ratites (ostriches, etc.).
Abstract: Birds are difficult to sex. Nestlings rarely show sex-linked morphology and we estimate that adult females appear identical to males in over 50% of the world's bird species. This problem can hinder both evolutionary studies and human-assisted breeding of birds. DNA-based sex identification provides a solution. We describe a test based on two conserved CHD (chromo-helicase-DNA-binding) genes that are located on the avian sex chromosomes of all birds, with the possible exception of the ratites (ostriches, etc.; Struthioniformes). The CHD-W gene is located on the W chromosome; therefore it is unique to females. The other gene, CHD-Z, is found on the Z chromosome and therefore occurs in both sexes (female, ZW; male, ZZ). The test employs PCR with a single set of primers. It amplifies homologous sections of both genes and incorporates introns whose lengths usually differ. When examined on a gel there is a single CHD-Z band in males but females have a second, distinctive CHD-W band.
01 Jan 1944
TL;DR: The only previously known species of Myrsidea from bulbuls, M. warwicki ex Ixos philippinus, is redescribed and sixteen new species are described; they and their type hosts are described.
Abstract: We redescribe the only previously known species of Myrsidea from bulbuls, M. pycnonoti Eichler. Sixteen new species are described; they and their type hosts are: M. phillipsi ex Pycnonotus goiavier goiavier (Scopoli), M. gieferi ex P. goiavier suluensis Mearns, M. kulpai ex P. flavescens Blyth, M. finlaysoni ex P. finlaysoni Strickland, M. kathleenae ex P. cafer (L.), M. warwicki ex Ixos philippinus (J. R. Forster), M. mcclurei ex Microscelis amaurotis (Temminck), M. zeylanici ex P. zeylanicus (Gmelin), M. plumosi ex P. plumosus Blyth, M. eutiloti ex P. eutilotus (Jardine and Selby), M. adamsae ex P. urostictus (Salvadori), M. ochracei ex Criniger ochraceus F. Moore, M. borbonici ex Hypsipetes borbonicus (J. R. Forster), M. johnsoni ex P. atriceps (Temminck), M. palmai ex C. ochraceus, and M. claytoni ex P. eutilotus. A key is provided for the identification of these 17 species.
TL;DR: Elton's "The Ecology of Invasions by Animals and Plants" as mentioned in this paper is one of the most cited books on invasion biology, and it provides an accessible, engaging introduction to the most important environmental crises of our time.
Abstract: Much as Rachel Carson's \"Silent Spring\" was a call to action against the pesticides that were devastating bird populations, Charles S. Elton's classic \"The Ecology of Invasions by Animals and Plants\" sounded an early warning about an environmental catastrophe that has become all too familiar today-the invasion of nonnative species. From kudzu to zebra mussels to Asian long-horned beetles, nonnative species are colonizing new habitats around the world at an alarming rate thanks to accidental and intentional human intervention. One of the leading causes of extinctions of native animals and plants, invasive species also wreak severe economic havoc, causing $79 billion worth of damage in the United States alone. Elton explains the devastating effects that invasive species can have on local ecosystems in clear, concise language and with numerous examples. The first book on invasion biology, and still the most cited, Elton's masterpiece provides an accessible, engaging introduction to one of the most important environmental crises of our time. Charles S. Elton was one of the founders of ecology, who also established and led Oxford University's Bureau of Animal Population. His work has influenced generations of ecologists and zoologists, and his publications remain central to the literature in modern biology. \"History has caught up with Charles Elton's foresight, and \"The Ecology of Invasions\" can now be seen as one of the central scientific books of our century.\"-David Quammen, from the Foreword to \"Killer Algae: The True Tale of a Biological Invasion\