Diversity of Terrestrial Small Mammals in Mafia Island, Tanzania
TM Sirilo1*, N Van Houtte4, NE Mbije1, CA Sabuni2, A Laudisoit3,
S Gryseels4 and H Leirs 4
1Department of Wildlife Management, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro
2Institute of Pest Management, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania
3Eco Health Alliance, New York, USA
4Evolutionary Ecology Group, University of Antwerp, Belgium
*Corresponding Author:TM Sirilo, Department of Wildlife Management, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro.
September 08, 2022; Published: October 07, 2022
A study on the diversity of small mammals was conducted in different sites (Chole, Jibondo, and Juani) in Mafia Island from August to October 2021. The study involved two methods including Sherman traps which were used to capture small rodents and shrews and camera traps which were used for recording medium-sized mammals which are too big to be trapped in Sherman traps. Each trapped individual was immobilized with ethanol, identified, weighed, and sexed. From each captured animal, a small piece of the ear was cut under aseptic conditions and preserved in 1.5ml screw caped Eppendorf tubes containing 90% ethanol for further confirmatory species identification using molecular techniques. All captured rodents in Mafia Island were identified as Rattus rattus (R.rattus) using sequence analysis of the cytochrome b (cytb) gene. The identified Rattus rattus were observed to fall within the RrC lineage I. Only one shrew Crocidura sp. was captured which is yet to be characterized. The camera traps recorded Black and rufous sengi Rhynchocyon petersi, blue monkey Cercopithecus mitis, blue duiker Cephalophus monticola, the introduced Small Indian Genet Viverricula indica, and the red bush squirrel Paraxerus palliatus. Despite the limited time of data collection, results show a low diversity of small mammals on the islands of Mafia, with R. rattus as the dominant species in the islands. This finding recommends further studies in the rest of the forest patches in Mafia and exploring the diversity of flying mammals which was not included in this study.
Keywords: Diversity; Small mammals; Rattus rattus; Mafia
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