000452 Habtamu T;Bekele A (NO, Jimma Teacher's College, P.O. Box, 1569, Jimma, Email: email@example.com) : Habitat association of insectivores and rodents of Alatish National Park, northwestern Ethiopia. Trop Ecol 2008, 49(1), 1-11.
Species composition and habitat association of rodents and insectivores were studied from August 2004 to March 2005 in Alatish National Park, northwestern Ethiopia. The main purpose of the study was to identify the species composition of small mammals, determine threats on this unique ecosystem, show the economic importance of insectivores and rodents in terms of food source and pest status, and increase awareness creation to help in the gazettment of the area. Wooded grassland, woodland, riverine woodland and mixed bamboo woodland habitats were identified. Nine representative live trapping grids were randomly selected to represent the four habitat types in addition to the three special trap sites. A total of 370 individuals comprising 23 rodent and six insectivore species were captured. Three rodent species and a shrew await further taxonomic analysis. The endemic rodent species of the Ethiopian highland forest, S. albipes and D. harringtoni, and the three shrew species (C. flavescens, C. turba and C. fumosa) were captured from areas outside their formerly recorded altitudinal limit and geographic ranges in the country. The study revealed the importance of remote areas in harbouring unique fauna although the harsh climate and limited accessibility are barriers for further exploration. The high diversity of small mammals and limited number of settlers make Alatish an important conservation centre.
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