Rodent community composition, distribution and breeding pattern in Tarangire national park, Tanzania

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


This study investigated the community composition, distribution and breeding pattern of rodent in three habitats (grassland, woodland and shrubland) found in Tarangire National Park. Rodent population was sampled using Sherman live traps following capture-mark- recapture technique from March-August 2020. A total of 6 species of rodents were captured in 2646 trap nights (covering wet and dry seasons). Overall, Mastomys natalensis was by far the most abundant rodent species with trap success of 4.8% and the least was Mus spp with trap success of 0.03%. Shrubland had the highest trap success with 88 individuals, followed by woodland with 70 individuals and grassland with 44 individuals. Shrubland indicated the highest diversity (Hˊ= 0.989), followed by woodland (Hˊ= 0.8859) and grassland (Hˊ= 0.2338), with statistical difference in all habitats when compared pairwise (p < 0.05). More adults were captured compared to sub-adults and juvenile. In addition, sex ratio was skewed more to females than males although the difference was not significant (p > 0.05). Breeding was high in wet season than dry season (p = 0.0237). Species were aggregate and randomly distributed, uneven distribution of food was probably the main factor for most of rodents to be randomly and aggregate distributed. This shed light on the management on which habitat needs more concentration in conservation in order to increase number of rodent species as they play important role in ecology. More studies are needed to cover the gap of different methods, more trapping sites and long duration of study period from three years and above.


Dissertation 2021


Rodent community composition,, breeding pattern, Tarangire National Park,, Tanzania, Rodent population