Distribution and abundance of rodents in farmlands: a case study in Alleltu Woreda, Ethiopia
AbstractA study on the distribution and abundance of rodents was carried out in three live trapping grids in wheat, bean and lentil fields in Alleltu Woreda, Ethiopia. A survey was also conducted in habitats outside the cul tivated fields. A total of 260 rodents were trapped from the cultivated fields during 3087 trap-nights and 61 from outside cultivated areas during 675 trap-nights. The rodents trapped were Mastomys natalensis , Mus mahomet and Arvicanthis abyssinicus. Rodent populations reached their peak when the crops were maturing, and declined after harvest. Distribution and abundance of rodents showed significant temporal variation. M. natalensis was the dominant species in the cultivated fields whereas A. abyssinicus was more outside the cultivated fields. The population density of rodents estimated by Capture - Mark - Recapture method ranged from 120/ha in the lentil field to 379/ha in the wheat field. The total biomass of rodents in wheat, bean and lentil grids was 5019 g, 2200 g and 1520 g, respectively.
SINET: Ethiopian Journal of Science Vol. 29(1) 2006: 63–70