Population Estimates and Behavioral Ecology of Common Warthog (Phacochoerus Africanus Gmelin, 1788) In Dabena Valley Forest, Western Ethiopia.

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Addis Ababa University


An ecological research on population estimate, behaviors and nutrient qualityof common warthog(Phacochoerus africanus Gmelin, 1788) was conducted in Dabena Valley Forest, Western Ethiopia from May 2016 to June 2018. This study was carried outin Gassi Controlled Area (GCHA) and Haro Aba Diko Controlled Hunting Area (HADCHA). Fixed half–width of strip line transect method was used for population estimation and enumeration. Population abundance and densities were analyzed using distance.Continual scan sampling method was used to assess actvitity budgets. Diet composition of was determined using feeding quadrat survey and microhistological analysis methods. Salt lick samples were dried in shade and analyzed by inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy. Seasonal variations of nutrient quality of common warthog were measured using clipped plant samples and fecal droppings. Dietary and fecal contents of C, N, P, neutral and acid detergent fiber were analyzed. Crude protein content was measured using Kjeldhal method. The total distance walked was 40.746 km in GCHA and 42.144 km in HADCHA during the wet and dry seasons. A total of 246 and 652 warthogs were counted in GCHA and HADCHA, respectively during the transect study. The two study areas were significantly different (F 1 6 = 18.51, P < 0.05) during the wet season and (F 1 6 = 39.86, P < 0.05) during the dry season in the number of common warthog population per transect. During the dry season, HADCHA possessed more mean of cluster density (5.18/km2 (CV=7%) with a 95% CI of (5.9–4.44) than the GCHA (2.37/km2 (CV=14%) with a 95% CI of (2.9–1.84). Warthogs were associated inthree vegetation zones along a transect line running from a grazing land into the Combretum–Terminalia woodland. Warthogs encounter rate was 1.97/km (CV=44%) and 1.75/km (CV=60%) in HADCHA Combretum–Terminalia habitat during wet and dry seasons, respectively. Adult common warthog individuals spent the highest proportion of the daytime in feeding (47.21%) followed by resting (14.29%) and walking (11.94%).From GCHA 41 and from HADCHA 45 forage species identified as annual dietary component of the animal from fecal samples. Cyperus fischerianus, Digitaria abyssinica, Cynodon dactylon, Cynodon nlemfuensis, Hyparrhenia rufa andAndropogon abyssinicuswereidentified as staple forage species of warthogs in both study areas.The mean sodium concentration in salt lick, common warthog ingested varied from 0.01 ±0.001Na meq/100g (Menjiko) to 0.08±0.006 meq/100g (Dodeta) during the dry season. However, the study areas were insignificantly different (F1 14= 1.63, P > 0.05). Warthogs foraged 1311 mg/100g and 1489.2 mg/100g dietrary phosphorous concentration, which was below the minimum threshold level leading to high risk of sterility and population decline in both study areas. Responses to crop raiding, habitat degradation and drought were also the major threats of common warthogs in the study areas. Hence, conservation of GCHA and HADCHA should get the acceptance of the local residents. Wildlife laws should be introduced and practiced in the study areas.



Behaviors, Common Warthog, Dabena Valley Forest, Ecology, Estimates Population