Species Composition Distribution relative abundance and habitat Association of rodents in Bir Farm Development (Birsheleko) and nearby natural habitat area, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


A comparative study on species composition, distribution, relative abundance and habitat association of rodents and insectivores were carried out in Bir Farm Development (Birsheleko) and nearby bushland area from August, 2007 to February, 2008. Live-trapping (each 70 × 70 m) and snap trapping (each 80 × 80 m) in the forest, bushland, grassland and agricultural fields revealed the presence of Arvicanthis dembeensis (34.2%), Lophuromys flavopunctatus (19.4%), Mus mahomet (15.7%), Stenocephalemys albipes (13.6%), Tatera robusta (10.6%), Pelomys harringtoni (2.7%) and Crocidura flavescens (3.8%). In addition to this, Hystrix cristata and Tachyoryctes splendens were observed in the study area. A. dembeensis was the dominant species in the study area. The distribution of species varied from habitat to habitat and season to season. L. flavopunctatus has a wide range of distribution than other small mammals trapped. Population density, biomass and diversity of rodents and insectivores were higher in maize farms from local farmed areas than other farms in the study area. The population density by Capture-Mark-Recapture method ranged from 44/ha in maize and soybean farms from the farm development to 165/ha in maize farm from local farmed areas. The population density was also varied from season to season; highest was observed during the dry season and less during the wet season. Diet analysis indicated that consumption of animal matter was more during the wet season, and monocot seeds, dicot seeds and plant roots were more during the dry season. More number of pregnant females was also found during the wet season. The level of damage by rodents was 13.2% for wheat, 12.9% for soybean and 9.6% for maize farms from the farm development. Comparatively, high rate of Damage (29.20 0/0)wasobserved in the maize farm from the locally farmed areas. Key words/phrases: Agricultural fields, biomass, Bir Farm Development, diversity, Habitat association , pest population density; rodent.



Agricultural fields, biomass, Bir Farm Development, diversity, Habitat association, pest population density, rodent.