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Department of Zoology


Recently a host of new species have been discovered from Mt. Mabu in northern Mozambique as part of a RBGKew Darwin Initiative award entitled Monitoring and Managing Biodiversity Loss on South-East Africa's Montane Ecosystems’.


The Darwin Initiative award, coordinated by Dr. Julian Bayliss, focused on the high altitude mountains (>1500m) of northern Mozambique in an assessment of biological similarity between these mountains and Mt. Mulanje in southern Malawi (southern Africa’s second highest mountain), which lies on the border between these two countries. The majority of these mountain sites had not been visited by biologists.

Although the project was botanically focused elements of the Zoology from these mountain sites were studied by J. Bayliss; notably the Bats, Reptiles and Butterflies. This resulted in the discovery of 8 new species of butterfly, 4 new species of chameleon, 3 new species of snake, 4 new species of fresh water crab, and 1 new species of bat. However the greatest discovery from Mt. Mabu was an area of mid-altitude rainforest that has turned out to be the largest continuous block in southern Africa. In recognition of these discoveries one of the new species of chameleon from Mt. Mabu will be named after J. Bayliss.

For an overview of the project see: