Sokoine University of Agriculture

Food preferences of the multi-mammate mouse, Mastomys natalensis, in irrigated rice habitats in Tanzania

Show simple item record Mulungu, L.S. Mlyashimbi, E.C.M Ngowo, V Mdangi, M Katakweba, A.S Tesha, P Mrosso, F.P Mchomvu, M Kilonzo, B.S Belmain, S.R. 2016-12-06T06:46:58Z 2016-12-06T06:46:58Z 2014
dc.description.abstract We investigated the composition of the diet of the multi-mammate mouse, Mastomys natalensis, within irrigated rice and fallow field habitats at set time periods related to rice crop growth stages. In both habitats, vegetative plant material, i.e. leaves, stems and seeds, were the most abundant components of the rodent’s diet, while other food types (invertebrates, fruits) were observed only in low quantities. We conclude that vegetative plant material and seeds were the main types of food consumed not only due to their relatively higher abundance in the environments under study but also because of the highly specialised herbivorous/granivorous nature of the dominant rodent species, M. natalensis. Thus, the introduction and expansion of continuous rice-cropping using irrigation in Tanzania is likely to be severely constrained by the presence of M. natalensis. In our opinion, field hygiene, including the removal of alternative food resources and nesting sites for M. natalensis near cropping areas, may help to both lower rodent population numbers and reduce immigration potential. Nonchemical rodent control methods such as trap barrier systems developed for lowland irrigated rice in south-eastern Asia should, we argue, be evaluated for their effectiveness under African conditions. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Taylor & Francis en_US
dc.subject breeding en_US
dc.subject diet en_US
dc.subject irrigated rice en_US
dc.subject management en_US
dc.subject Multi-mammate mouse en_US
dc.subject Mastomys natalensis en_US
dc.subject Rodents en_US
dc.subject Tanzania en_US
dc.title Food preferences of the multi-mammate mouse, Mastomys natalensis, in irrigated rice habitats in Tanzania en_US
dc.type Article en_US

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