loading page

Species diversity, abundance and habitat association of small mammals in Wenchi montane forests, central Ethiopia
  • Kabeta Legese,
  • Afework Bekele
Kabeta Legese
Wolkite University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Afework Bekele
Addis Ababa University
Author Profile


Studying small mammals has a paramount significance for ecological, cultural and economic reasons. A survey on the diversity, abundance and habitat association of small mammals in Wenchi highlands, central Ethiopia, was carried out from August 2019 to January 2021. Small mammals were trapped from six different habitats (Hagenia Woodland, Erica Scrub, Qibate, Lakeshore, Erica and Albesa Forests) using Sherman and snap traps in standard trapping grids. A total of 935 rodents belonging to 12 species (Arvicanthis abyssinicus, Desmomys yaldeni, Mastomys natalensis, M. awashensis, Stenocephaylemys albipes, Lophuromys flavopunctatus, L. brevicaudus, L. chrysopus, Dendromus lovati, Lophiomys imhausi, Graphirius murinus, and an unidentified murid rodent), and 24 insectivores belonging to 3 species (Crocidura bailey, C. fumosa and C. olivieri) were recorded. Hystrix cristata and Tachyoryctes splendens were also recorded through indirect evidences. About 52.9% of the identified small mammals were endemic to Ethiopia. A significant variation was observed in the captures of small mammals. The capture rate was higher in live traps (23.85%) than snap traps (8.26%). The diversity and distribution of small mammal species varied among habitats. The highest species diversity (H’=1.74) was recorded in Albesa Forest, while the least was in Qibate Forest (1.43). The highest number of individuals were recorded in Lakeshore Forest (27.73%), whereas the least was in Erica Forest (4.27%). M. natalensis (30.86%) and S. albipes (27.53%) were the two most abundant species, whereas L. imhausi (0.1%) was the least. Wenchi montane forests are one of the most important homes to unique small mammals that need urgent conservation actions.