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Preliminary checklist and aspects of the ecology of small mammals at the University of Ghana Botanical Garden, Accra Plains, Ghana

Benjamin Y.Ofori, Reuben A.Garshon, Jones, K.Quartey, Daniel K.Attuquayefio

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.4(3), 323-333, March 2014

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Abstract

Despite serving as a teaching, research and biodiversity conservation facility for over 60 years, the faunal composition at the University of Ghana Botanical Garden (UGBG) is virtually unknown. This study documents the richness, abundance, diversity, distribution and conservation status of small mammals at the UGBG. The methodology involved live-trapping using Sherman live-traps. Overall, 39 individuals belonging to three mammalian orders (Rodentia, Soricomorpha and Erinaceomorpha) and seven species, comprising of four rodents, two shrews and one hedgehog were recorded in 1,080 trap-nights. Overall trapping success and species diversity (Shannon-Wiener H’ and Simpson’s 1-D) indices were therefore 3.61%, 1.59 and 0.76, respectively. Species richness and diversity were highest (four species; Hʹ = 1.33, 1-D = 0.72) in shrubland and lowest (two species; Hʹ = 0.48, 1-D = 0.3) in grassland. Overlaps of species among the study sites were low, with C. olivieri being the only species common to all sites. Crocidura olivieri was the most abundant species (41.2%) in the forest, whereas M. erythroleucus dominated (81.3%) in the grassland. Arvicanthis niloticus solatus and C. oliviera were equally abundant in shrubland. Arvicanthis n. solatus, P. daltoni, C. oliviera, C. foxi and A. albiventris are first records for the Accra Plains. These records add to the species list for the Accra Plains, and highlight the importance of the UGBG to small mammal zoogeography and conservation in Ghana.

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Preliminary checklist and aspects of the ecology of small mammals at the University of Ghana Botanical Garden, Accra Plains, Ghana

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