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A population study of small rodents in a dry sub-humid grassland in Kenya

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 July 2009

G. H. G. Martin
Affiliation:
Department of Zoology, Kenyatta University, Po Box 43844, Nairobi, Kenya

Abstract

Estimates were made of rodent longevity, population biomass and production in a dry sub-humid grassland area in Kenya, The results were based on a live-trapping study made over a 27-month period. During this time fourteen species of rodents and four species of insectivores were recorded from the area of the trapping grid. The most numerous species were Praomys natalensis, Mus triton, Mus minutoides and Lemniscomys striatus.

Breeding took place in both wet seasons, coinciding with peaks in rodent populations. Densities ranged from 6.6 ha-1 to 52.4 ha-1, and estimates of net annual production varied from 5485 g ha-1 year-1 to 7221 g ha-1 year-1. Rodent populations appear to turn over every six to nine months.

The results are discussed in relation to studies in other tropical grassland areas of Africa.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1985

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