The Mammals of Somaliland


SOMALILAND, it is hardly necessary to point out, for its mammalian fauna, its flora, and to a certain extent its birds, almost constitutes a separate sub-region of the African domain, together with the adjoining districts of Galaland, Abyssinia, and the northern parts of British East Africa. The fullest description of its interesting mammalian fauna was written some years ago by Captain (now Colonel) H. G. C. Swayne, R.E., the discoverer of Swayne's hartebeest, one of the peculiar Somali forms. Since then, alas! through the unending attacks on the Somali fauna by British sportsmen and sportswomen and some of their foreign friends, not a few of the beasts common in the northern or British part of Somaliland in Colonel Swayne's day (beginning in 1885) have now disappeared from that territory or have become extremely scarce, and are not found in the list supplied by Dr. Drake-Brockman. It is curious, nevertheless (since the title of the book under review is “Somaliland”), that its author makes no allusion to some of the most peculiar and characteristic of “Somali” mammals—at least in theory—such as the Somaliland giraffe, an independent species (G. reticulata); a subspecies of “Cape” buffalo (probably Bos caffer aequinoctialis), which is certainly met with in the western, northern and southern parts of geographical Somaliland; besides other types referred to later in this review.

The Mammals of Somaliland.

By R. E. Drake-Brockman. Pp. xvii+201. (London: Hurst and Blackett, Ltd., 1910.) Price 12s. 6d. net.

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JOHNSTON, H. The Mammals of Somaliland . Nature 83, 391–392 (1910).

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