An assessment of diversity, abundance and distribution of herpetofauna in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


An assessment of diversity, abundance and distribution of herpetofauna in grassland, kopjes, woodland, riverine forest and wetlands habitats of Serengeti National Park (SENAPA), Tanzania was conducted between December 2012 and March 2013. Drift fence with pitfall, wire mesh funnel traps, active search and visual encounter survey, road survey and purposive point count methods were used to obtain data for this study. Besides, focus group discussion and literature review were used to supplement the data collected in the field through the aforementioned methods. A total of 36 amphibian and 48 reptilian species were recorded to exist in SENAPA. Six amphibian species; namely Chiromantis xerampelina, Hemisus guineensis, Mentensophryne sp, Tomopterna cryptotis, Tomopterna turbeculosa and Phrynobatrachus scheffleri are reported for the first time for a handy checklist of herpetofauna in SENAPA. The most abundant amphibian species was Ptychadena mossambica while Agama mwanzae was the most dominant reptile species. The distribution of both amphibians and reptiles varied significantly among habitats. Bufo gutturalis, Ptychadena anchietae (amphibians) and Varanus niloticus (reptiles) were widely spread in all habitats. Species richness also varied among habitats. The highest species richness of amphibia was recorded in the grassland and riverine forests with thirteen and eight species respectively. The highest species richness of reptiles was recorded in woodland and kopjes with 26 and 21 species respectively. Species diversity of amphibians among habitats was highest in riverine forest (H' 1.63) and grassland (H' 1.45). Species diversity of reptilians among habitats was highest in woodland (H' 2.79) and grassland (H' 2.1). The lowest species diversity of amphibians was recorded in kopjes (H' 0.99) while that of reptiles was recorded in wetland (H' 0.69). The study recommends further herpotofauna survey for a complete description of the species within the expansive SENAPA.


Masters Dissertation


Diversity abundance, Amphibian species, Senapa Riverine forest, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania