Southeast Africa has become an important region for understanding the development of the Middle Stone Age (MSA) and Anatomically Modern Humans. Due to its location between east and southern Africa, Mozambique is a key region for evaluating the development of Homo sapiens and the MSA across Africa. Here, we present the first results of lithic analyses of MSA assemblages collected during survey and testing in the Niassa and Massingir regions of Mozambique in 2014-2016. We were able to locate close to 200 new Stone Age surface sites. Data show that raw material use is different in the two areas. The lithic assemblages from both areas show the use of centripetal technology, but in Massingir, Levallois points, the respective cores and blade technology are frequent, they are almost absent in the northern region.
Agama boulengeri is a West African endemic lizard. It occurs in arid rocky areas in the Mauritanian mountains and Kayes region of Mali. Data on the distribution of Agama boulengeri is however very coarse, and the contribution of climatic and habitat factors for population isolation are unknown. Using Maxent, GLM, and high-resolution data, we generated environmental niche models, and quantified suitable areas for species occurrence. Field observations and predicted suitable areas were used to evaluate the conservation status of Agama boulengeri. Results revealed the species occurs preferentially close to gueltas, bare areas, and rocky deserts and in areas of increasing rainfall. Suitable cells were mostly located in Mauritania, and four potentially fragmented subpopulations were identified. The conservation status of Agama boulengeri was determined to be of Least Concern.
A precise knowledge of the spatial distribution of taxa is essential for decision-making processes in land management and biodiversity conservation, both for present and under future global change scenarios. This is a key base for several scientific disciplines (e.g. macro-ecology, biogeography, evolutionary biology, spatial planning, or environmental impact assessment) that rely on species distribution maps. An atlas summarizing the distribution of European amphibians and reptiles with 50 × 50 km resolution maps based on ca. 85 000 grid records was published by the Societas Europaea Herpetologica (SEH) in 1997. Since then, more detailed species distribution maps covering large parts of Europe became available, while taxonomic progress has led to a plethora of taxonomic changes including new species descriptions. To account for these progresses, we compiled information from different data sources: published in books and websites, ongoing national atlases, personal data kindly provided to the SEH, the 1997 European Atlas, and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). Databases were homogenised, deleting all information except species names and coordinates, projected to the same coordinate system (WGS84) and transformed into a 50 × 50 km grid. The newly compiled database comprises more than 384 000 grid and locality records distributed across 40 countries. We calculated species richness maps as well as maps of Corrected Weighted Endemism and defined species distribution types (i.e. groups of species with similar distribution patterns) by hierarchical cluster analysis using Jaccard’s index as association measure. Our analysis serves as a preliminary step towards an interactive, dynamic and online distributed database system (NA2RE system) of the current spatial distribution of European amphibians and reptiles. The NA2RE system will serve as well to monitor potential temporal changes in their distributions. Grid maps of all species are made available along with this paper as a tool for decision-making and conservation-related studies and actions. We also identify taxonomic and geographic gaps of knowledge that need to be filled, and we highlight the need to add temporal and altitudinal data for all records, to allow tracking potential species distribution changes as well as detailed modelling of the impacts of land use and climate change on European amphibians and reptiles.