New Species Award 2011
New duiker species discovered within one of our projects in Benin
Our permanent staff Jan de Winter and his colleagues have been awarded by the International Institute for Species Exploration with the Top10 New Species Award 2011 for the discovery of the remarkable Philantomba walteri.
In collaboration with the Beninese Forestry Department DFS implemented the AfDB funded “Projet d’Aménagement des Massifs Forestier d’Agoua, des Monts Kouffe et de Wari-Maro” in Benin (03/2002 – 09/2007). Within this project with Jan de Winter as Chief Technical Advisor, a team of scientists under Marc Colyn discovered a new duiker species (Bovidae: Cephalophinae) from the Dahomey Gap, West Africa.
The Walter's Duiker (Philantomba walteri) was first encountered at a bushmeat market. As stated by the International Institute for Species Exploration, it is a surprising find because, “The discovery of a new species from a well-studied group of animals in the context of bush meat 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.
Publication Discovery of a new duiker species (Bovidae: Cephalophinae) from the Dahomey Gap, West Africa available at ZOOTAXA (Zootaxa 2637: 1–30 (6 Oct. 2010) 10 plates; 30 references). For preview please click here.