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

Distribution and abundance of small mammals in different habitat types in the Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary, Ghana

Reuben A. Garshong1*, Daniel K. Attuquayefio1, Lars H. Holbech1 and James K. Adomako2
  1Department of Animal Biology and Conservation Science, University of Ghana, P. O. Box LG67, Legon-Accra, Ghana. 2Department of Botany, University of Ghana, P. O. Box LG55, Legon-Accra, Ghana.  
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 26 March 2013
  •  Published: 31 May 2013

Abstract

Information on the small mammal communities of the Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary is virtually non-existent despite their role in forest ecosystems. A total of 1,500 trap-nights yielded 121 individuals of rodents and shrews, comprising five species: Praomys tullbergiLophuromys sikapusi, Hybomys trivirgatusMalacomys edwardsi and Crocidura buettikoferi, captured in Sherman traps using 20 × 20 m grids. P. tullbergi was the most common small mammal species in all the four habitat types surveyed, comprising 63.6% of the total number of individual small mammals captured. The Cassia-Triplochiton forest had 61.2% of the entire small mammal individuals captured, and was the only habitat type that harboured higher abundances of the rare small mammal species in the sanctuary (H. trivirgatus and M. edwardsi). It also showed dissimilarity in small mammal species richness and abundance by recording a SÇ¿renson’s similarity index of less than half in comparison with the other three habitat types. Management strategies for the sanctuary should therefore be structured to have minimal impact in terms of development and encroachment on the Cassia-Triplochiton forest area in order to conserve the rare species and biodiversity of the Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary.

 

Key words: Small mammals, conservation, Ghana, Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary