Population density and distribution of squirrels (Sciurus spp) in University of Ibadan Botanical Garden, Southwestern Nigeria.

  • S.O. Olajesu
Keywords: University of Ibadan Botanical Garden, Squirrel, Conservation, Population

Abstract

The population status of squirrels at the Botanical Garden of the University of Ibadan (UIBG) in Southwestern Nigeria was assessed in this study. Total Count (TC) and Fixed Line transects were employed to collect data; GPS was used to establish five 0.4 km transects that were censured for squirrel species using standard technique. The information was analyzed using descriptive statistics. Eighty-seven squirrels belonging to 3 species: Funisciurus anerythrus (48.7%, 20.5/km), Heliosciurus gambianus (33.3%, 1.5/km) and Xerus erythropus (18.4%, 8.5/km) were recorded for abundance and density across sites respectively. Squirrels were sighted in clusters of one (73.6%), two (23.0%), three (2.3%) and four (1.1%) respectively. Encounter rate of squirrels was high (≥0.5) across all transects. 26 species of trees were identified belonging to 14 families of which Fabaceae and Moraceae had the highest occurrence (35.71%), while a total of 75 trees was recorded in squirrel habitat, Albizia lebbeck have the highest (13.33%) abundance, followed by Elaeis guineensis (9.33%). The habitat was dominated by litter (45.0 – 57.5%) and grasses (35.0 – 40.0%). The presence of these squirrel species and the density may be an implication of the habitat quality in terms of food availability, sleeping sites, level of disturbance and general management of the garden. Therefore, proper management should be guaranteed.

Published
2022-05-05
Section
Articles

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print ISSN: 2141-1778