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Impacts of Recreational Infrastructure on Rodent Communities and their Associated Haemoparasites in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

H.C. Bupamba
A. Kitegile
J.T. Mgonja


Rodents are a vital component of ecosystems as they play an important role in community structure, stability, and diversity. Recreational infrastructure constructed in Protected Areas to support leisure and recreation activities for tourists, may disrupt the rodents’ natural environment and influence dynamism in their communities and in turn their associated haemoparasites. This may lead to transmission of the haemoparasites to the humans. Capture- Mark- Release was used to collect data where four transect lines of 100 meters; set 10 meters apart were used for setting traps in selected trapping sites; and capillary tubes were used to collect blood samples for assessment of haemoparasites’ prevalence. A total of 128 rodents belonging to 9 species were captured, of which Mastomys natalensis was the dominant species (53.1%). Generally, areas with less active infrastructure had higher diversity, but lower breeding patterns. Bacillus spp was the only haemoparasite observed to prevail in 24% of all captured rodents. The study concludes that the recreational infrastructure, does not directly impact rodent communities; but rather the communities are influenced by the general nature of their surrounding environment. Thus, we recommend further studies be done on rodents in relation to potential zoonotic haemoparasites around recreational infrastructure within protected areas.

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eISSN: 2408-8137
print ISSN: 2408-8129