Pleistocene Climatic Changes And The Distribution Of Life In East Africa

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Moreau R.E
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No study of the distribution and ecology of living things can be made without the question arising how the present state of affairs became established. I have been brought to consider this problem in East Africa as an ornithologist with no qualification to deal with forms of life other than birds. But it will be obvious that any argument developed must be much concerned with botanical facts, and that any conclusions reached must be applicable to the distribution of animals in general and of plants as well. It is for this reason that the title of the present paper is in wide terms, although the examples shall use are mainly avian2 The fact that they are drawn from the most potentially mobile class of living things does not lessen their cogency. Every naturalist with field experience would agree that owing to their specialized ecology birds such as those that will be cited provide data no less acceptable for the present discussion than would a skink or a potto. Thus Chapman (1926) out of his immense experience of Andean bird distribution remarks: "There may be cases of discontinuous distribution which are due to accidental dispersion, but, in my opinion, they are too rare to have any bearing on the general problem.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, XXI (2), p. 416-435