Distribution, diet, and trophic level of Arvicanthis abyssinicus and Tachyoryctes splendens around the area of recently extinct Ethiopian Wolf Canis simiensis on Mount Guna, northwestern Ethiopia

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Hirpasa Teressa
Wondimu Ersino
Tadele Alemayo


Abyssinian Grass Rats Arvicanthis abyssinicus and Common Mole Rats Tachyoryctes splendens are preyed upon by the Ethiopian Wolf Canis simiensis. The aim of this study was to assess distribution, diet and trophic level of Arvicanthis abyssinicus and Tachyoryctes splendens on Mount Guna, where wolves have recently become extinct. Rodents were captured with Sherman trap and identified, and samples were taken to Debre Tabor University for dissection and diet analysis via microscopy examination of stomach contents. 110 A. abyssinicus and 52 T. splendens were captured from the study area, and the estimated population sizes of A. abyssinicus and T. splendens in Mt. Guna computed by Peterson-Lincoln Index were 1,364 and 416, respectively. In addition, 379 burrows (203 of A. abyssinicus and 176 of T. splendens) were counted. Both species were observed to consume plants and arthropods, with plants predominant. We recommend that intensive studies should be carried out to determine the effects of rodent communities upon Mt. Guna afroalpine and subafroalpine ecosystems.

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Teressa, H., Ersino, W. and Alemayo, T. 2022. Distribution, diet, and trophic level of Arvicanthis abyssinicus and Tachyoryctes splendens around the area of recently extinct Ethiopian Wolf Canis simiensis on Mount Guna, northwestern Ethiopia. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 14, 2 (Feb. 2022), 20539–20549. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.6786.14.2.20539-20549.


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