Population ecology of Beamys hindei and Rhynchocyon petersi in selected coastal forests of Tanzania

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


This thesis is prepared according to ''Publishable manuscripts" format of the Sokoine University of Agriculture. The study on the population ecology vis-a-vis: distribution. population dynamics, space use and behavior, genetic diversity and structure of Beamys hindei and Rhynchocyon petersi was conducted from 2010 lo 2014 in selected coastal Ibrests (Kwamsisi, Gendagenda, Madeie, Mbulizaga, Askari and Zaraninge) within and around Saadani National Park, Tanzania. Distribution of B. hindei was assessed using Sherman traps while for R. petersi camera traps were used. Capture mark recapture was used for population dynamics of B. hindei in Zaraninge forest. Radio telemetry together with camera traps was used to determine home range and activity patterns for R. petersi in Zaraninge forest. Standard genetic methods were used for development of microsatellites and determining genetic diversity and structure of R. petersi in the Zaraninge, Mbulizaga, Askari and Gendagenda. Results on distribution indicate R. petersi was found in all forests while B. hindei was found in some forest and absent in some other forests. Population fluctuation, demographic patterns of B. hindei in Zaraninge forest, showed a mean survival rate of 0.72 (range 0.65-078) with a recruitment of 1 animal/28 days and a litter size of 2.8 indicating a low abundance with stable population. The average home range of R. petersi from radio telemetry was 2.6 ha. Activity pattern differed between seasons with more activity observed on dry season (F =9.75, df 1, 28, p 0.004. Eight polymorphic microsatellites using next generation sequencing technology based on eighteen R. petersi were genotyped. Developed eight microsalellites were used to determine diversity and structure of R. petersi. Results indicate extant R. petersi have descended from a single population of high effective size (Ne) with no forest distinctive signal. In contrast, B. hindei was more genetically structured. It recommends further investigation if the 'population robustness’ of R. petersi in the fragmented coastal forest applies to other parts of its range, notably in the East Arc Mountain forests. Conservation status of R. petersi should remain as vulnerable while B. hindei should be reviewed to vulnerable. Conservation program are required lo sate guard these species




Beamys hindei, Rhynchocyon petersi, Coastal forests, Tanzania