Species Composition, Distribution, Relative Abundance and Habitat Association of Small Mammals in Denkoro Forest, South Wollo, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa Universty


A study on the ecology of small mammals was carried out in Denkoro Forest Priority Area from August 2007 to February 2008. Five trapping grids were randomly selected based on the representative habitat types; open grassland, moorland, Lobelia with Hypericum, montane forest and farmland. Both live and snap traps were used to capture small mammals. Seven hundred and Ninety three live trapped individuals were captured in 2,940 trap nights. Moreover, a total of 78 individuals of snap trapped small mammals were also captured in 1,500 trap nights. Ten species of small mammals belonging to rodents and insectivores were captured. Additional two rodent species were sighted but not captured. The small mammals trapped were: Lophuromys flavopunctatus (35.7%), Otomys typus (28.5%), Stenocephalemys griseicauda (14.6%), Arvicathis dembeensis (9.1%), Stenocephalemys albipes (1.9%), Pelomys harringtoni (0.8%), Mus mahomet (0.6%), Dendromus lovati (0.3%), and insectivores represented, Crocidura flavescens (5.9%) and Crocidura fumosa (1.4%). Population abundance and species composition of small mammals varied from habitat to habitat and from season to season. L. flavopunctatus and O. typus were the most widely distributed and abundant species, whereas S. albipes, C. fumosa (in the forest), P. harringtoni, D. lovati and M. mahomet (in the farmland) were restricted. Reproduction was high during the wet season. Analysis of the stomach contents of snap trapped small mammals showed plant matter was the common food items. Out of the ten rodent species recorded in the study area, A. dembeensis, M. mahomet and Hystrix cristata were recognized as pest rodents on wheat farm. Key words: Denkoro Forest, habitat association, insectivores, rodents, species composition, Wollo



Denkoro Forest, habitat association, insectivores, rodents, species composition, Wollo