Aspects of the Ecology of Rodents in the Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary, Ghana: Sex-ratio, Age Structure and Reproductive Characteristics
Keywords:rodents, sex-ratio, age structure, reproductive characteristics, Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary, Ghana
This study investigated aspects of the ecology (sex-ratio, age structure and reproductivecharacteristics) of four rodent species in the Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary (OWS). Collapsible Sherman live traps (22.5 x8.8 x 7.5 cm) were used to capture the rodent species in 12 grids, measuring 20 Ã— 20 m and covering different habitattypes identified in the sanctuary from October, 2009 to April, 2010. Trapping effort covered 1,500 trap-nights and 119individuals belonging to four species were captured. There were 77 individuals of Praomys tullbergi (Tullbergâ€™s softfurredrat), 16 were Lophuromys sikapusi (Rusty-bellied brush-furred mouse) and 13 were Hybomys trivirgatus(Temminckâ€™s hump-nosed mouse) and Malacomys edwardsi (Edwardâ€™s long-footed rat), with male-to-female ratios of1.5:1, 1.7:1, 1:1.6 and 2.3:1 respectively. Adults dominated in the age structure of all the rodents captured. All the 50adult males of the four rodents were in reproductive condition. Of the adult females, 5.6% of P. tullbergi, 33.3% of M.edwardsi and 25.0% of H. trivirgatus were pregnant while 22.2% of P. tullbergi and 50% of H. trivirgatus werelactating. The reproductive characteristics indicated a stable and thriving rodent community at the OWS. It is howeverrecommended that a whole-year study be conducted to provide a sounder basis for the conclusions of this study.
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