An Assessment of rodents and insectivores’ diversity and abundance, Unguja, Zanzibar, Tanzania
Keywords:Diversity, habitat, Rodents, Shrews, zoonotic disease
This study was conducted in Zanzibar Island aiming to provide baseline data on the abundance and diversity of rodents and shrews in that area, cross-section survey was conducted involving five selected habitats (farm, domestic, peridomestic, forest, and grazing area) in every six districts and Shehia, a total of 100 Sherman live traps were placed per site in 10 lines each with 10 trapping stations, 10m apart in each station and each line for four consecutive nights; traps were daily baited by using a mixture of peanut butter and maize brans. A total of 324 individual rodents and insectivores were captured from five different habitats. Individuals belonging to eight species were captured out of 4200 trap nights. Rodents species and insectivores which were identified and recorded were: Mastomys natalensis, Mus muscularis, Rattus rattus, Rattus norvegicus, Cricetomy gambianus, Crocidura spp, Arvicanthis spp and Lophuromys spp, the overall trap success was ranging from 2.4% to 15%, Mastomy natalensis was the most abundant species, accounting for 82 (25.3 % ) individuals of all the rodents collected in different habitats, this was followed by Rattus rattus comprised of 77(23.8%) of individuals captured, Rattus norvegicus comprised of 72 (22.2%) , Mus muscularis comprised of 63(19.4%), Cricetomy gambianus comprised of 13(4%), Shrew (Crocidura spp) comprised of 12(3.7%), Lophuromys spp comprised of 3(0.9%) and Arvicanthis spp comprised of 2(0.6%) individuals captured respectively. Analysis showed that there was a statistically significant difference (P<0.05), in the diversity of rodents across the farm habitat with forest habitat, farm habitat across the domestic habitat, and the Peridomestic habitat as well as the diversity of rodents in the grazing habitat across the domestic habitat during the wet season.
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