Journal of
Ecology and The Natural Environment

  • Abbreviation: J. Ecol. Nat. Environ.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9847
  • DOI: 10.5897/JENE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 389

Full Length Research Paper

Species composition and abundance of small mammals in Chebera-Churchura National Park, Ethiopia

Demeke Datiko* and Afework Bekele
Department of Biology, Addis Ababa University, P. O. Box 1176, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 15 February 2012
  •  Published: 30 June 2013

Abstract

In this study, we investigated species composition and abundance of small mammals (rodents and insectivores) in the recently established Chebera Churchura National Park, in Ethiopia between 2010 and 2011. Two study grids were established in seven selected habitats. In each grid, forty-nine Sherman live traps were used to capture the small mammals. A total of 704 individuals were captured in 5488 trap-nights. Among them, 682 (98.3%) were rodents and 12 (1.7%) were insectivores. These comprised 16 species of rodents and 2 species of insectivores. The captured species were: Mastomys natalensis, Mastomys erythroleucus, Lemniscomys striatus, Arvicanthis nilotiucs, Arvicanthis dembeensis, Acomys cahirinus, Rattus rattus, Mus musculus, Stenocephalemys albipes, Gerbilliscus robusta, Lophuromys flavopunctatus, Pelomys harringtoni, Mus tentellus, Crocidura fumosa and Crocidura flavescens. Tachyoryctes splendens, Xerus rutilus andHystrix cristata were recorded as observed species. The abundance of species varied among habitats and between seasons. M. natalensis and L. striatus were the most abundant species, whereas C. flavescens was the least abundant. The age distribution and trap success of small mammals varied between seasons and among habitats. This study clearly shows that the park has a diverse fauna.

 

 

Key words: Abundance, Chebera Churchura, Ethiopia, small mammals.