Habitat Preferences of the Bohor Reedbuck (Redunca redunca) and Common Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) in Arsi Mountains National Park, South-eastern Ethiopia

Zerihun Girma

Abstract


The habitat preferences of two ungulates mammals were studied in Galama mountains of Arsi Mountains National Park. A stratified random sampling design established around four dominant habitat types (dry evergreen Afro-montane forests, mixed plantation forests, Erica shrub lands and the Afro-alpine) was used to study the habitat preferences of the Bohor reedbuck and common warthog. Intensive-Modified Whitaker (I-MW) nested plot design was used to sample vegetation ground percent cover and scat of the Bohor reedbuck, warthog and livestock across the study area. The highest habitat preference indices for Bohor reedbuck (0.28) and common warthog (0.55) were recorded in the Afro-alpine habitat and mixed plantation forest respectively during dry season. There was significant difference in mean scat count of both Bohor reedbuck (H = 9.27, df = 3, p = 0.026) and warthog (H = 11.32, df = 3, p = 0.010) among habitat types. For warthog, livestock abundance was a good negative predictor of habitat use during the dry season, while both livestock abundance (negative predictor) and herb species percent cover (positive predictor) accounted for the wet season. Livestock abundance and slope were good negative predictors of Bohor reedbuck habitat use during the dry season, while livestock, slope average percent cover (positive predictor) accounted more in the wet season. Herb abundance used for forage and livestock encroachment determines the habitat preferences of the two mammals. Livestock encroachmentsabundance has been found to significantly limit the abundance of both warthog and Bohor reedbuck in Galama Mountains of Arsi Mountains National Park. As a result, to save the animals there is a need for urgent halting of livestock encroachments and other human disturbances.

Keywords


Conservation; Galama; Grazing; Livestock; Scat Count

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