e-ISSN : 2347-2677, p-ISSN : 2394-0522
Demelash Sime, Tadesse Habtamu and Tsegaye Gadisa
The Comparative study on the diversity, distribution and abundance of rodents and insectivores in natural and coffee forest habitats of Afalo area of Gera district was conducted from August, 2014 to March, 2015. Two sites (coffee forest and natural forest) were identified and employed for the study purpose. Grids were established and representative sample sites were taken from randomly selected of each of the habitat types. Then, the species were sampled by setting traps on randomly selected grids. The specimens of the study animals were trapped by using snap traps and Sherman live traps and identified to the specie level. Skin and skull of some representative specimens were mounted and used for identification of animals in the laboratory. During the present study about 110 individuals were captured, among these, 5 species were rodents and 3 of them were shrews species. Of the total trapped species, Lophuromys flavopunctatus were the most abundant one 35(49.3%), followed by Grammomys dolichuros, and Lophuromys chrysopus 23(47.5%) and 16(29.7%) respectively. Rattus rattus, Mus musculus, Crocidura flavescens, Crocidura fumosa and Crocidura bicolor had 22.2%, 20.7%, 13.3%, 10.7% and 1.4% respectively. Hystrix cristata and Paraxerus ochraceus had the lowest relative abundance (1.4%) each. Hystrix cristata and Paraxerus ochraceus were recorded only from NF habitat. The species abundances were varies with habitats and seasons. There were significant differences in the abundance of rodent and insectivore among the seasons (x2= 2.11, df =1, p<0.05). Diversity and abundance of species affected by increased habitat heterogeneity, open habitat, habitat disturbance, vegetation structure and seasonal availability of food and water. The highest abundance and species diversity of insectivore was recorded in natural forest (NF) habitat (H’ =1.634). The species diversity, abundances and distribution of the study area were mainly affected by flora cover, rainfall distribution and human disturbances. Further assessment and evaluation will highly recommended on the comprehensive description of forest fauna and on the impacts of forest management practices on the diversity, distribution and abundance rodents and insectivores of the study site.
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