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Top 10 - 2011

Duiker

(Drawing courtesy of Yann Le Bris)

Name:  Philantomba walteri

Common Name:  Walter's Duiker

Family:  Bovidae

How it made the Top 10:  This new duiker from West Africa was first encountered at a bushmeat market. It is a surprising find because, “The discovery of a new species from a well-studied group of animals in the context of bushmeat exploitation is a sobering reminder of the mammalian species that remain to be described, even within those that are being exploited on a daily basis for food or ritual activities.”  The taxonomic description of Philantomba walteri should facilitate research into its ecology and behaviour, as well as its conservation.

Reference:  Colyn, M., J. Hulselmans, G. Sonet, P. Oudé, J. de Winter, A. Natta, Z.T. Nagy and E. Verheyen. 2010. Discovery of a new duiker species (Bovidae: Cephalophinae) from the Dahomey Gap, West Africa. Zootaxa 2637:1-30.

Type Material:  Holotype and paratype – Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA), Tervuren, Belgium.

Type Locality:  Benin, Forêt Protégée de Wari-Maro (328 m altitude), near the Ecological Center of Manigri, Igbere, 08°59’N, 01°5 7’E.

Etymology:  The species is named Walter’s Duiker in honor of the late Walter N. Verheyen (1932–2005), in recognition of his work on African mammals. Moreover, he collected the first specimen at Badou (Togo) in 1968.

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