Species Composition and Habitat Association of Small Mammals in Nechi Sar National Park, Ethiopia

Sintayehu W. Dejene, R.Uttama Reddy

Abstract


Species composition, habitat association and feeding preference of small mammals were studied in Nechisar National Park, Ethiopia, during August 2010 March 2011. Grassland, Acacia woodland, ground water forest, riverine forest, deciduous bush land, Lake Abaya shore and Lake Chamo shore were randomly surveyed. Twenty species of rodents and four species of insectivores were recorded from the study area. Mastomys natalensis (17.37%), Arvicanthis dembeensis (17.09%), Mastomys erythroleucus (8.90%), Stenocephalemys albipes (8.76%), Arvicanthis niloticus (8.19%), Acomys cahirinus (7.34%), Lemniscomys striatus (6.92%), Gerbilliscus nigricauda (6.21%), Grammomys dolichurus (3.67%), Gerbilliscus robusta (2.12%), Mus proconodon (1.98%), Mus mahomet (1.41), Dendromus melanotis (1.27%), Arvicanthis abyssinicus (1.13%), Mus musculus (0.99%), Praomys fumatus (0.85%), Xerus erythropus (0.85%), Lemniscomys barbarus (0.71%), Mus tenellus (0.71%) and Otomys typus (0.28%) were the rodents and their respective relative abundance in the study area. Crocidura olivieri (1.55%), Crocidura fumosa (0.85%), Crocidura bicolor (0.57%) and Elephantulus rufescens (0.28%) were the insectivores recorded with their respective relative abundance. The highest small mammal diversity was in grasslands and the lowest was in Lake Chamo shore. Small mammal density varied from 5 to 43 ha and biomass varied from 244 to 2559 g/ ha with significant changes in relation to seasons and habitats.


Keywords


Ethiopia; feeding preference; habitat association; Nechisar National Park; small mammals.

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References


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