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Large Mammal Diversity in Nensebo Forest, Southern Ethiopia

Large Mammal Diversity in Nensebo Forest, Southern Ethiopia Hindawi International Journal of Zoology Volume 2020, Article ID 8819019, 11 pages https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/8819019 Research Article 1 2 Zerihun Girma and Zerubabel Worku Hawassa University, Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resources, Department of Wildlife and Protected Area Management, Shashemene, Ethiopia GIZ-Biodiversity and Forestry Program (BFP), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Correspondence should be addressed to Zerihun Girma; zeru75@yahoo.com Received 27 September 2020; Revised 29 November 2020; Accepted 4 December 2020; Published 19 December 2020 Academic Editor: Joao Pedro Barreiros Copyright © 2020 Zerihun Girma and Zerubabel Worku. .is is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. .ere is a lack of information on mammalian faunal resources of remote forests in Ethiopia; as a result, the findings of the research on large wild mammals at Nensebo forest is one of the steps in a continuing effort to document and describe the diversity and distribution of Ethiopian mammals in remote and less accessible forests. .e survey was conducted to assess the species composition and relative abundance of large mammals. Two standardized survey techniques, direct (sighting/hearing) and indirect (scat/footprint), were employed using systematically established transect lines and field plots in two dominant habitat types (modified moist Afromontane forest and intact moist Afromontane natural forest) of the study area. A total of 16 species were recorded including two endemic mammals, namely, Tragelaphus buxtoni and Tragelaphus scriptus meneliki. Abundance of species among different habitat types was not significantly different (χ � 0.125, df � 1, p> 0.05), and Colobus guereza was the most abundant species. In contrast, Felis serval, Panthera leo, and Tragelaphus buxtoni were the least abundant species. .e highest diversity index was recorded in the natural forest habitat (H′ � 2.188), and the modified forest had the lowest diversity index (H′ � 1.373). .ere is an urgent need to minimize threats and mitigate impacts. comprises 5416 species. .e largest groups are rodents 1. Introduction (Rodentia, 42%), bats (Chiroptera, 20.6%), and their Allies Mammals provide ecological, economic, sociocultural, (Soricomorpha, 7.9%). and educational and scientific services in a particular Ethiopia is one of the top 25 biodiversity-rich countries ecosystem [1–6]. .ey are one of the most widely dis- in the world, and hosts two of the world’s 34 biodiverse tributed organisms in the world. Mammals are successful hotspots, namely, the Eastern Afromontane and the Horn of in colonizing diverse habitat types due to diversity in Africa hotspots [9, 10]. It is one of the countries with the morphological, physiological, and behavioral adaptations most diverse mammalian faunas in Africa [6, 7]. It is esti- mated that there are about 320 species, including 39 en- and hence exist from the Antarctic to desert regions [6, 7]. .ey exhibit great diversity in size and forms. Particularly, demics (both small and large mammals), distributed in 14 orders and 39 families [11–13]. Furthermore, the country is range from the smallest Kitti’s Hog-Nosed Bat (Craseo- nycteris thonglongyai) (2 g) to the giant blue whale known as “Home of the Unique Seven” which refers to seven (Balaenoptera musculus) (140,000 kg) [1]. .ose that distinctive and large endemic mammals found only in weigh above 7 kg are called large mammals [1, 8]. .ere Ethiopia [14], namely, the Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis), have been discoveries of new taxa over the past decades; as mountain nyala (Tragelaphus buxtoni), walia ibex (Capra a result, the number of mammalian species has been walle), Menelik’s bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus meneliki), continuously updated. According to the most recent (3rd) Swayne’s hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus swaynei), gelada edition of the standard taxonomic reference work, baboon (3eropithecus gelada), and bale monkey (Chlor- Mammal Species of the World [1], the class Mammalia ocebus djamdjamensis) [13, 14]. 2 International Journal of Zoology A number of large mammal diversity studies have been .e district is characterized by mountainous landscape carried out in various protected areas of Ethiopia [15–18]. having an altitude range between 1500 m above sea level However, the faunal records of the country are under- (a.s.l) and 3700 m a.s.l. .e Woreda exhibits a bimodal estimated since most studies have focused on protected rainfall pattern, with the annual rainfall range between 900 areas [15], where large mammals are mainly concentrated and 1100 mm and with a temperature that varies between a ° ° in the south and southwest border and adjacent area. minimum of 15 C and a maximum of 22 C [19]. Nensebo Several reports have also emphasized the importance of forest is a moist Afromontane forest jointly managed by habitats outside protected areas in supporting large community and Oromia forest and Wildlife Enterprise. mammal diversity, but there have been few surveys of these Nensebo forest is part of Bale Mountains Ecoregion known sites and comprehensive baseline information is lacking for its rich biodiversity and high level of endemism. .e [13]. However, protected areas alone cannot sustain large forest is one of remnant moist MAF in the southeastern part mammals. First, only a small proportion (186,000 km , of Ethiopia that exists in a human dominated landscape [20]. equivalent to 16.4% of Ethiopia’s surface area) of Ethiopia’s .e total area of Nensebo forest is 5199 ha, of which 3168 ha landmass is legally protected [13]. Second, large mammals is relatively intact MAF and 2031 ha is modified MAF. often travel long distances outside of protected areas to fragmented forest patches due to seasonal variations of 2.2. Reconnaissance Survey. A reconnaissance survey was resources. As a result, wildlife depends on land adjacent to carried out to obtain basic information on accessibility, these protected areas for continued viability. .ey may use topography, and dominant habitat types during the last week these adjacent lands as critical dispersal areas, calving of April, 2017. Based on the land cover features, the study site grounds and/or for other seasonal movement between was stratified in to two dominant habitat types, namely protected areas. However, there has been little under- intact MAF (Figure 2) and modified MAF. MAF is char- standing of how the ecosystems function and large acterized by dominant stands of the indigenous tree species mammals survive especially in human dominated such as Croton macrostachys, Strychnos spinosa, Clematis landscapes. longicauda, Prunus africana, and Millettiaferruginea [20]. In Nensebo forest, a patch of moist Afromontane forest the reconnaissance survey, sampling design, and data col- (MAF), is partly connected to the Bale Mountains National lection, we followed the method of [21]. .e forest occurred Park (BMNP). However, this corridor has continued human over mountain slopes, valleys, and remote inaccessible areas. encroachment that often challenges wildlife movement .e level of disturbance was minimal, there were no set- between the two areas of habitat. Large mammals such as tlements or cultivation, and hardly livestock grazed in the mountain nyala and lion (Panthera leo) may move sea- area (Figure 2). Modified moist MAF (habitat) occurred sonally between these two habitat areas. However, there is no relatively at lower altitudes (1882–2153 m.a.s.l) in close scientifically documented information about which large proximity to human settlement and cultivation areas. mammal species are restricted to the forest area, which are Modified habitat is characterized by sparse stands of moist the most abundant, or on population structure or habitat use Afromontane characteristic tree species with low level crop of resident species. Likewise, there is a need of information cultivation (mainly “enset” and coffee), intense livestock on the species diversity for the large mammal population to grazing, and sparse human settlements (Figure 3) [22]. underpin management actions and integrate sustainable conservation of the wildlife resource in BMNP and forest fragment. 2.3. Sampling Design. To effectively survey the species di- .e aim of the present study was therefore to describe versity and abundance of large mammals, two standardized the species composition, relative abundance, and population survey techniques, direct (line transect; sighting/hearing) structure and habitat use of large mammals in Nensebo and indirect (plots; scat) census were followed [8]. Both the forest to underpin future management. transect lines and field plots were laid/set lengthwise, fol- lowing the slope of the ground and oriented perpendicular to 2. Materials and Methods ecological or density gradients. Aspect, accessibility, terrain, long roads, streams, and contour of hills are also considered 2.1.StudyArea. Nensebo forest is found in Nensebo Woreda during the transect lines and plots setup. Both direct (district) in west Arsi Zone of Oromia Regional state of (transect lines) and indirect survey (plots) were systemati- Ethiopia (Figure 1). .e district is situated between 6 10′ and cally generated using geographic information system [23] ° ° ° 6 40′N longitudes and 39 0′ and 39 40′E latitudes (Figure 1). with the help of QGIS V2.18 software. It is located 407 km from Addis Ababa and 134.5 km from Shashemene, the capital city of West Arsi zone. Nensebo Woreda is bordered by eight districts (Kokosa, Dodola, 2.3.1. Direct Survey. A total of 20 (T1–T20) fixed length and Adaba, Bensa, Girja, Meda Welabu, Chire, and Harenna systematic parallel line transect lines were established Buluk), administered under four administrative zones (West (Figure 4(a)). Line transects were oriented in a parallel di- Arsi, Bale, Borena, and Sidama zones) and shared between rection and pointed north to south direction against alti- two regional states (Oromia Regional State and South Na- tudinal gradient. .e distance between two adjacent tions and Nationalities People Regional State, SNNPRS) transects was 1000 m to avoid double-counting and edge (Figure 1). effect; transects were spaced 500 m from the edge of the International Journal of Zoology 3 30′0.000′ 35′0.000′ 40′0.000′ 45′0.000′ 50′0.000′ –60.000 –30.000 0.000 30.000 60.000 39′0′0″E 39′10′0″E 39′20′0″E 39′30′0″E 6′50′0″N 15′0.000′ 30.000 10′0.000′ 0.000 6′40′0″N 6′40′0″N Ethiopia 5′0.000′ 30.000 Oromia region Africa Ethiopia boundary –60.000 –30.000 0.000 30.000 60.000 10′0′0″N 6′30′0″N 6′30′0″N 9′0′0″N 8′0′0″N 7′0′0″N 6′20′0″N 6′20′0″N 6′0′0″N 5′0′0″N Nensebo Wereda Nensebo forest boundary Bale Mountain National Park Nensebo Wereda 4′0′0″N West Arsi zone Oromia Region 3′0′0″N 6′10′0″N 35′0′0″E37′0′0″E39′0′0″E41′0′0″E43′0′0″E 39′0′0″E 39′10′0″E 39′20′0″E 39′30′0″E Figure 1: Location map of study area. (a) Figure 2: .e intact moist Afromontane habitat at Nensebo forest, Southern Ethiopia (photo: Zerubabel Worku, 2018). (a) Figure 3: .e modified MAF habitat at Nensebo forest, Southern Ethiopia (photo: Zerubabel Worku, 2018). 4 International Journal of Zoology 0 2,100 4,200 8,400 0 700 1,400 2,800 4,200 5,600 Meters Meters Transect Line Plots Moist Afromontane Forest Moist Afromontane Forest Modified Moist Afromontane Forest Modified Moist Afromontane Forest (a) (b) Figure 4: (a) Line transects layout and (b) plots layout at Nensebo forest, southern Ethiopia. forests. Information from the pilot study, field observation, (January to February 2018) and wet (July to August 2017) and land cover analysis and approximate area of each habitat seasons. Each transect line/plot was visited six times per type in the study areas were used to determine the pro- season. portion of sample transects needed to represent each habitat type. Accordingly, from the total of 21 transect lines, six 2.4.1. Direct Survey. Mammalian populations were counted transect lines were established in the modified MAF and 15 by direct observation along the established transect lines, transect lines were established in the intact MAF during morning hours (6 : 00 to 10 : 00 am) and late after- (Figure 4(a)). .e length of each transect was 1000 m, and noon (3 : 00 to 5 : 00 pm) according to [24, 25]. Each line sighting distance varied between 10 m in dense MAF and transect was navigated by using a Garmin 60/78 Global 100 m in the open modified MAF. Furthermore, to avoid Positioning System (GPS) and Handheld Bearing Compass double-counting natural barriers such as mountains, valleys Suun to KB-14/360R G by gently walking at a constant speed and streams and other biophysical features were considered of ∼1 km/h [25–27]. During the study periods, the silent in establishing transects. detection method (suitable clothing for camouflage, moving opposite wind direction (from south to north), and avoiding 2.3.2. Indirect Survey. Due to the elusive nature of the loud voices) was practiced minimizing disturbance. Ob- mammals, difficult topography and relatively dense vege- servations were made with naked eyes and Nikon action tation cover indirect survey was also employed to assess the 10 × 50 binocular. presence of rare and nocturnal mammals. From the pilot Body weight was the parameters used to categorize study, field observation, and land cover analysis, the ap- mammals as large-sized. Data collected for all individuals proximate area of each habitat type in the study area was observed were approximate perpendicular distance, sex, age, determined and was used to determine the proportion of group size, and activity of the animals. Morphological de- sample plots needed to represent each habitat type. Ac- velopment (horn ridges, horn size, and body size), growth cordingly, a total of 42 plots (P1–P42) spaced 1000 m apart and maturation, changes in pelage color or patterns, and were established (Figure 4(b)). A total of 12 plots were sexual maturity (bacula, testes length, condition of mam- established in the modified MAF, and 28 plots were mary glands, and behavior during breeding) were used to established in the intact MAF (Figure 4(b)). .e size of each determine the approximate age (adult, subadult, and young/ plot was 100 m (20 × 5 m). .e plots were established fol- calf) [28]. lowing the transect lines established for the direct survey. Secondary sexual characteristics, external genitalia and behavior (urination posture, vocalizations, nipples, presence 2.4. Data Collection. .e study was conducted between the and absence of bacula, and descended testes), and sexually months of July 2017 to February 2018 covering both dry dimorphic characteristics (such as absence/presence of International Journal of Zoology 5 horn) were used to determine sex. .ose individuals seen species diversity among the two dominant habit types in the within a distance of <50 m from the nearby group were forest using [37] recorded as members of the same group [27, 28]. Double (D) � , counting of the same individual or herd was avoided using s (2) 􏽐 P i�1 easily recognizable features of individuals, herd size, and composition [15, 27, 28]. Furthermore, trained field assis- th where P is the proportion of the i species, which will be tants were employed to survey transects located at similar used to analyze the data. topographic landscape at the same time to minimize .e similarity among and between the habitats with movements of animals between transects, hence avoiding reference to the composition of species was computed using double-counting. Sorenson’s coefficient (CC) [38]: For a more complete species list, in addition to fixed line 2C transects surveys, random searches were held to record the (CC) � , (3) S + S occurrence of mammalian species in the study areas during 1 2 both day and night time (using hand torch) for five days and where C is the number of species the two habitats have in nights in each season searching them in potential habitats common,S is the total number of species found in habitat 1, and areas inaccessible with transect lines and plot survey and S is the total number of species found in habitat 2. methods [26]. Species identification of mammals was based .e evenness of mammalian species was also calculated on .e Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals [29] and as [39] “Atibiwoch” [30]. For taxonomic treatment of the results, rd Mammal Species of the World 3 Edition [1] was adopted. ′ (4) J � , H max where H′ max � ln (s) and s is the number of species. .is 2.4.2. Indirect Survey. Each field plot was scanned carefully, measure varies between 1 (complete evenness) and 0 and all fresh scats of wild animals were counted and (complete unevenness). recorded. Identification of scats obtained was attempted in .e relative abundance of the large mammals was de- the field by using specialized field guides for the identifi- termined by using [40] cation of scats [8, 31–33]. Scats were distinguished for each species using parameters’ size (measurement of length and n Relative abundance (%) � × 100, (5) diameter), shape, odor, color, and signs associated with feces, such as scrapes, feeding signs, and footprint. where n is the number of individuals of a recorded species and N is the total number of individuals of recorded species. .e results and findings of the research were presented by 2.5. Data Analysis. .e conservation status of each species simple descriptive statistical tools. was also identified based on the IUCN Red List [34] and the CITES Appendices. Following [35], the identified mammals 3. Results were grouped as common (if there was 100% chance of recording the species in all field trips), uncommon (recorded 3.1. Species Composition. A total of 16 species of large >50% of field trips), and rare (if probability of recording is mammals grouped into nine families and five orders were less than 50%) [35]. recorded after a total effort of 80 km walked. One endemic .e number of individual mammals recorded from a and endangered (mountain nyala) and another endemic specific habitat type on the same line transect was recorded subspecies Menelik’s bushbuck were recorded from the as a sample from one habitat. Each individual of a species fragmented forest (Table 1). .e most abundant order was was grouped in different group size-class and age-sex cat- Artiodactyla (41%, 6 species), while Rodentia and Tubuli- egories and ratios, that is, percentages of adults and young dentata were the rarest, represented by single species each. ones, male per female, and young ones per female. .e effect Out of the total 16 species of large mammals recorded, 10 of the season on species abundance and distribution among were recorded using both direct evidences (direct sighting or dry and wet season was also analyzed and compared using hearing) and indirect evidences (scat or foot print), two Chi-square test, and the seasonal difference in sex ratio was species with direct evidence only, and the rest four were evaluated by t-test. recorded only through indirect evidences (scat or foot print) Species diversity among the two dominant habit types in (Table 2; Figure 5). the forest was calculated using the Shannon-Weiner index Seasonal variation in species composition for some large (H′) of diversity [36]: wild mammals was observed (Figure 6). For instance, serval cat, lion, and mountain nyala were not recorded during dry (H’) � 􏽘 P ln P , (1) i i season. However, the seasonal variation in the number of i�1 species of large wild mammals was not significantly different th 2 (χ � 0.125, df � 1, p> 0.05). Conversely, the abundance of where P is the proportion of the i species in the habitat. In addition to the Shannon-Weiner index of diversity, mammals varied seasonally. A total of 920± 21 individuals of Simpson’s diversity index (D) was used to calculate the large mammals were recorded, from which 544± 16 (59.1%) 6 International Journal of Zoology Table 1: Large mammal species composition and their conservation status at Nensebo forest, Southern Ethiopia. Taxon (scientific name) Common name IUCN status CITES status Occurrence status Local status Order Artiodactyla Family Bovidae Tragelaphus buxtoni Lydekker, 1910 Mountain nyala Endangered — Endemic Rare Tragelaphus scriptus meneliki Neumann 1902 Menelik’s bushbuck Least concern Endemic Rare Sylvicapra grimmia Linnaeus, 1758 Common duiker Least concern — Native Uncommon Family Suidae — Phacochoerus africanus Gmelin, 1788 Common warthog Least concern Native Common Hylochoerus meinertzhageni 3omas, 1904 Giant forest hog Least concern — Native Uncommon Potamochoerus larvatus F. Cuvier, 1822 bush pig Least concern — Native Uncommon Order Carnivora — Family Canidae Canis aureus Linnaeus, 1758 Common jackal Least concern — Native Uncommon Family Haenidae Crocuta crocuta Erxleben, 1777 Spotted hyena Least concern — Native Common Family Felidae Panthera pardus Linnaeus, 1758 Leopard Vulnerable Appendix I Native Rare Panthera leo Linnaeus, 1758 Lion Vulnerable Appendix II Native Rare Felis serval Schreber, 1776 Serval cat Least concern Appendix II Native Rare Family Viverridae Civettictis civetta Schreber, 1776 African civet Least concern Appendix III Native Rare Order Primates Family Cercopithecidae Papio anubis Lesson, 1827 Olive baboon Least concern Appendix. II Native Uncommon Colobus guereza Ruppell ¨ , 1835 Colobus guereza Least concern Appendix II Native Common Order Rodentia Family Hystricidae Hystrix cristata Linnaeus, 1758 Crested porcupine Least concern — Native Uncommon Order Tubulidentata Family Orycteropodidae Orycteropus afer Pallas, 1766 Aardvark Least concern — Native Uncommon Table 2: Large mammal species reordered with direct evidences and indirect evidences from Nensebo forest, Southern Ethiopia. Species name Recorded with direct evidences (sighting or hearing) Recorded with indirect evidences (scat or foot print) Canis aureus Yes Yes Colobus guereza Yes Yes Crocuta crocuta Yes Yes Hylochoerus meinertzhageni Yes Yes Felis serval Yes No Panthera pardus Yes Yes Papio anubis Yes Yes Phacochoerus africanus Yes Yes Potamochoerus larvatus Yes No Sylvicapra grimmia Yes Yes Tragelaphus scriptus meneliki Yes Yes Civettictis civetta No Yes Hystrix cristata No Yes Orycteropus afer No Yes Tragelaphus buxtoni No Yes were observed during the wet season and 376± 11 (40.9%) nyala were the least abundant species (0.1%,n ± 0) (Table 3). during the dry season. .e mean seasonal abundance of Seasonal variation was observed in species composition of individuals was significant (χ � 30.678, df � 1, p< 0.05). large mammals among habitat types. .e highest numbers of species (n � 16) were recorded in the intact MAF habitat during the wet season. .e modified MAF habitat (n � 7) 3.2. Relative Abundance. Colobus guereza was the most contained a considerably less number of species during both abundant (38%, n � 330± 7) species, followed by olive ba- dry and wet seasons (Table 3). Seasonal variation in mean boon (24%, n � 224± 5) and common warthog (12%, number of individuals was observed between the habitat n � 114± 5). Alternatively, serval cat, lion, and mountain types. .e seasonal variation in mean number of individuals International Journal of Zoology 7 (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) Figure 5: Scats and foot print of large mammals recorded at Nensebo forest, Southern Ethiopia. (a) Mountain nyala; (b) common jackal; (c) warthog; (d) giant forest hog; (e) leopard (photo: Zerubabel Worku, 2018). Species Wet season Dry season Figure 6: Seasonal variation in species composition and mean abundance of large wild mammals in Nensebo forest, Southern Ethiopia. in intact MAF (χ � 45.134, p< 0.05; wet � 440± 13, 4. Discussion dry � 262± 9) was significant, and it was not significant in A total of 16 species of large mammals were identified during modified moist Afromontane forest habitat (χ � 0.459, the study. .is result can be compared with similar studies in p> 0.05; wet � 104± 6, dry � 114± 4) (Table 3). .e Sorensen different parts of Ethiopia that have similar ecology and have species similarity index (CC) of large wild mammal species used similar techniques to census mammals. For example, among the two habitat types was 0.64. previous research [41] identified 19 species of large wild mammals in and around Wondo Genet fragmented MAF. 3.3. Population Structure. .e population structure of the Reference [16] recorded 25 species of large- and medium- most recorded species was characterized by more adult and sized mammals in the Harenna MAF of Bale Mountains few young individuals during both wet and dry seasons National Park (BMNP). .e area is home to a diversity of (Table 5). Alternatively, the number of adult females was wild mammals. Several other reports have also emphasized relatively higher than adult males during both seasons. .e the importance of habitats outside of protected areas in pooled sex ratio of adult animals of all species was biased supporting a diversity of wildlife species [12, 13]. .e ex- towards females, and the difference was significant, istence of relatively higher numbers of endemic, rare, and t � 138.471, df � 88, p< 0.05 and t � 44.675, df � 124, p< 0.05 endangered species in the area indicates that the landscape of during the wet and dry seasons, respectively. the fragment forest that spans over altitudinal difference is Mean number of individuals C. aureus C. civetta C. guereza C. crocuta H. meinertzhageni H. cristata L. serval O. afer afer P. leo P. pardus P. anubis P. africanus P. larvatus S. grimmia T. buxtoni T.s. meneliki 8 International Journal of Zoology Table 3: Relative abundance and mean abundance of large wild mammals among different habitat types of Nensebo forest, Southern Ethiopia. Mean number of individuals observed in NENSEBO different habitat types Moist Afromontane Modified moist Total animals observed Relative abundance (in %) forest Afromontane forest Species Wet Dry Wet Dry C. guereza 141 87 43 59 330± 7 38 P. anubis 85 72 27 40 224± 5 24 P. africanus 64 30 11 9 114± 5 12 C. crocuta 40 16 5 1 62± 3 6.7 P. larvatus 31 10 8 3 52± 4 5 H. meinertzhageni 23 14 6 2 35± 4 3.8 H. cristata 10 9 0 0 19± 1 2 T. s. meneliki 6 3 1 0 10± 0 1 P. pardus 9 2 0 0 11± 1 1.1 S. grimmia 5 4 0 0 9± 1 0.9 O. afer 4 3 0 0 7± 0 0.7 C. civetta 3 0 0 0 3± 0 0.3 C. aureus 2 1 0 0 3± 1 0.3 F. serval 1 0 0 0 1± 0 0.1 P. leo 1 0 0 0 1± 0 0.1 T. buxtoni 1 0 0 0 1± 0 0.1 Total (16) 440± 13 262± 9 104± 6 114± 4 920± 21 100% Diversity indices: the highest large mammals Simpson’s (1-D) and Shannon-Weaver index of diversity was obtained in the intact moist Afromontane forest habitat (D � 5.434,H′ � 2.188), and the modified moist Afromontane forest habitat had the lowest diversity (D � 3.095, H′ � 1.373) (Table 4). Table 4: Diversity indices of large wild mammals indifferent Additionally, the pattern of anthropogenic effects, such as habitat types of Nensebo forest, Southern Ethiopia. livestock grazing and human settlements, may also influence Number such variation. For instance, seasonal difference in the level Habitat types Number of of H′ D H E disturbance (deforestation and livestock grazing) was ob- max effort individuals species served, which was inversely related with wild animal’s Area total abundance and distribution. During the field data collection, (80 km 16 920± 21 increased presence of livestock and human settlements was walked) observed in the wet season that could initiate human-wildlife Modified conflict. Various studies elsewhere have frequently reported moist that the level of disturbance in large mammals’ habitat Afromontane 8 218± 5 1.373 3.095 2.079 0.660 determines habitat use, and large mammals have been re- forest (20 km ported to avoid habitats with a high level of disturbance walked) [7, 14–18, 42–47]. Similar results were reported in the Moist Alatish National Park, Ethiopia [28, 43]. Afromontane Primates are widely distributed in Africa over diverse 16 702± 9 2.188 5.434 2.833 0.772 forest (60 km habitat types [48]. Many primates, including olive baboon walked) and Colobus guereza, are known to commonly inhabit the E � Pielou evenness; H′ � calculated Shannon-Weiner diversity; H � ln (s) max attitudinal range, from 1500 to 3700 m a.s.l (current alti- (species diversity under maximum equitability conditions); D � Simpson’s tudinal range) [41, 48]. However, the distribution and index. abundance of primates are also highly influenced by the abundance, availability, and distribution of resources like an important area to maintain endemism and therefore sleeping cliffs/trees, food, and water [41, 48, 49]. During this should be given high conservation priority. Seasonal vari- study, some nocturnal and cryptic species may have been ations were observed in species composition of large wild under reported. .is is due to the behavior of the animals, mammals among different habitat types. .e variation is rareness of the species, and poor visibility due to darkness credited to the seasonal variations in availability of water, and thick vegetation that could contribute to poor visibility food, and cover. and fewer sightings. .e distribution and habitat association of mammals are .e heterogeneous plant species assemblage in the intact often correlated mainly with the availability of habitat moist MAF could have contributed to the recorded highest components [42]. Seasonal variation in habitat quality diversity of mammals in the study area. Such habitat pro- (variation in food, cover, and water sources) may also vides more extensive browsing and grazing opportunities, contribute to the seasonal variation in species composition. and the greater diversity of vegetation in such areas is likely International Journal of Zoology 9 Table 5: Population structure of large wild mammals at Nensebo forest, Southern Ethiopia. Ratio Classified Ind. Total Ind. % young (%) Species Wet Dry Wet Dry Wet Dry Wet Dry M/F Y/A M/F Y/A C. aureus 2 1 0 100 — — — — — — C. civetta 3 — 0 0 — — — — — — C. guereza 184 146 55 55 8.7 12 1 :1.4 1 : 0.04 1 :1.6 1 : 0.08 C. crocuta 45 17 0 0 — — — — — — H. meinertzhageni 29 16 0 0 — — — — — — H. cristata 10 9 0 0 — — — — — — L. serval 1 0 0 0 — — — — — — O. afer 4 3 0 0 — — — — — — P. leo 1 0 0 0 — — — — — — P. pardus 9 2 0 0 — — — — — — P. anubis 112 112 94 67 25 20.5 1 :1.4 1 : 0.2 1 : 2 1 : 0.2 P. africanus 75 39 12 7.7 — — 1 : 2 — 1 : 2 — P. larvatus 39 13 7.7 0 — — 1 : 2 — — — S. grimmia 5 4 60 50 — — 1 : 2 — 1 :1 — T. buxtoni 1 0 0 0 — — — — — — T. s. meneliki 7 3 14 33 — — — — — — F � female; M � male; Ind. � individuals; Y � young. to support larger numbers of prey species. Several scholars the area. .e results of the study also indicated high [43, 47, 50] have also previously reported a positive cor- abundance of primates, which is important information for relation between habitat heterogeneity and animal species proposing primates management options in the area. .e diversity. As a result, large-sized mammal distribution and population structure study is also an important source of diversity in the present study areas were highly associated information for population management of the large with habitat characteristics. mammals recorded in the forest fragment. A previous report [17] reported a high diversity and evenness of medium- and large-sized mammals in Borena- 5. Conclusion Sayint National Park, South Wolo, Ethiopia, which has .e results of the study indicated relatively high large diversified habitat types. On the contrary, habitat homo- mammals diversity in fragmented remote forest and calls for geneity was reported to have lower diversity [43, 51, 52]. .e conservation attention. It can also be concluded that forest knowledge of sex ratio and age distribution of individual degradation (modified forest) leads to decline in large mammals is vital for evaluating the viability of a species mammals abundance. Relatively primates are the most because these variables reflect the structure and the dy- abundant in the fragment forest. .e results of the study also namics of populations. As a result, the higher proportion of indicated an increasing primates population in the future females and young indicate a healthy, increasing population. due to relatively higher young individuals, whereas the Even though the total proportion of adults (male and female) absence of young individuals in large carnivores and large was higher, the number of adult males was low. .e cause for herbivores could indicate population decline. the low proportion of adult males in most of the species could be a natural distribution of sex ratios; in naturally Data Availability growing population adult males proportion is lower than adult females, due to the fact that a single male and copulate .e data used to support the findings of this study are with more than female, since most mammals are polyga- available from the corresponding author upon request. mous. It might be also related to poaching pressure, in which the adult males are mostly selected by poachers [53]. Cul- Conflicts of Interest turally, the indigenous community prefers to hunt adult males for food, medicine, and cultural rituals over females .e authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest. and other age groups. Due to poor habitat, quality com- petition of males to mate and resources could also force the Acknowledgments bachelor males to migrate to less suitable habitats that are poor in food quality and exposing them to predators and .e authors would like to thank Hawassa University, for poachers [54], which could also be another reason for the financial support, and Wondo Genet College of Forestry and lower record of adult males [54]. Natural Resources for all the logistics. .e authors are also .e results of the study on species diversity has revealed very thankful to the staff of Nensebo Woreda Administra- high species diversity and endemism over relatively small tion Office, Rural Land Administration Office, and Tourism fragmented forest, and this is an important input to un- and Communication Office for the welcoming and coop- derpin sound wildlife conservation management options in erative environment. A special word of thanks goes to our 10 International Journal of Zoology [19] NenseboWoreda Tourism and Communication Office field assistants. .is study was funded by Hawassa Uni- (NWTCO), A Magazine; General Information about Nensebo versity First Round .ematic Research Grant Year 2016-17. Woreda, NWTCO Publications, Woreka, Ethiopia, 2003. [20] E. 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Large Mammal Diversity in Nensebo Forest, Southern Ethiopia

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Copyright © 2020 Zerihun Girma and Zerubabel Worku. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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10.1155/2020/8819019
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Abstract

Hindawi International Journal of Zoology Volume 2020, Article ID 8819019, 11 pages https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/8819019 Research Article 1 2 Zerihun Girma and Zerubabel Worku Hawassa University, Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resources, Department of Wildlife and Protected Area Management, Shashemene, Ethiopia GIZ-Biodiversity and Forestry Program (BFP), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Correspondence should be addressed to Zerihun Girma; zeru75@yahoo.com Received 27 September 2020; Revised 29 November 2020; Accepted 4 December 2020; Published 19 December 2020 Academic Editor: Joao Pedro Barreiros Copyright © 2020 Zerihun Girma and Zerubabel Worku. .is is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. .ere is a lack of information on mammalian faunal resources of remote forests in Ethiopia; as a result, the findings of the research on large wild mammals at Nensebo forest is one of the steps in a continuing effort to document and describe the diversity and distribution of Ethiopian mammals in remote and less accessible forests. .e survey was conducted to assess the species composition and relative abundance of large mammals. Two standardized survey techniques, direct (sighting/hearing) and indirect (scat/footprint), were employed using systematically established transect lines and field plots in two dominant habitat types (modified moist Afromontane forest and intact moist Afromontane natural forest) of the study area. A total of 16 species were recorded including two endemic mammals, namely, Tragelaphus buxtoni and Tragelaphus scriptus meneliki. Abundance of species among different habitat types was not significantly different (χ � 0.125, df � 1, p> 0.05), and Colobus guereza was the most abundant species. In contrast, Felis serval, Panthera leo, and Tragelaphus buxtoni were the least abundant species. .e highest diversity index was recorded in the natural forest habitat (H′ � 2.188), and the modified forest had the lowest diversity index (H′ � 1.373). .ere is an urgent need to minimize threats and mitigate impacts. comprises 5416 species. .e largest groups are rodents 1. Introduction (Rodentia, 42%), bats (Chiroptera, 20.6%), and their Allies Mammals provide ecological, economic, sociocultural, (Soricomorpha, 7.9%). and educational and scientific services in a particular Ethiopia is one of the top 25 biodiversity-rich countries ecosystem [1–6]. .ey are one of the most widely dis- in the world, and hosts two of the world’s 34 biodiverse tributed organisms in the world. Mammals are successful hotspots, namely, the Eastern Afromontane and the Horn of in colonizing diverse habitat types due to diversity in Africa hotspots [9, 10]. It is one of the countries with the morphological, physiological, and behavioral adaptations most diverse mammalian faunas in Africa [6, 7]. It is esti- mated that there are about 320 species, including 39 en- and hence exist from the Antarctic to desert regions [6, 7]. .ey exhibit great diversity in size and forms. Particularly, demics (both small and large mammals), distributed in 14 orders and 39 families [11–13]. Furthermore, the country is range from the smallest Kitti’s Hog-Nosed Bat (Craseo- nycteris thonglongyai) (2 g) to the giant blue whale known as “Home of the Unique Seven” which refers to seven (Balaenoptera musculus) (140,000 kg) [1]. .ose that distinctive and large endemic mammals found only in weigh above 7 kg are called large mammals [1, 8]. .ere Ethiopia [14], namely, the Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis), have been discoveries of new taxa over the past decades; as mountain nyala (Tragelaphus buxtoni), walia ibex (Capra a result, the number of mammalian species has been walle), Menelik’s bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus meneliki), continuously updated. According to the most recent (3rd) Swayne’s hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus swaynei), gelada edition of the standard taxonomic reference work, baboon (3eropithecus gelada), and bale monkey (Chlor- Mammal Species of the World [1], the class Mammalia ocebus djamdjamensis) [13, 14]. 2 International Journal of Zoology A number of large mammal diversity studies have been .e district is characterized by mountainous landscape carried out in various protected areas of Ethiopia [15–18]. having an altitude range between 1500 m above sea level However, the faunal records of the country are under- (a.s.l) and 3700 m a.s.l. .e Woreda exhibits a bimodal estimated since most studies have focused on protected rainfall pattern, with the annual rainfall range between 900 areas [15], where large mammals are mainly concentrated and 1100 mm and with a temperature that varies between a ° ° in the south and southwest border and adjacent area. minimum of 15 C and a maximum of 22 C [19]. Nensebo Several reports have also emphasized the importance of forest is a moist Afromontane forest jointly managed by habitats outside protected areas in supporting large community and Oromia forest and Wildlife Enterprise. mammal diversity, but there have been few surveys of these Nensebo forest is part of Bale Mountains Ecoregion known sites and comprehensive baseline information is lacking for its rich biodiversity and high level of endemism. .e [13]. However, protected areas alone cannot sustain large forest is one of remnant moist MAF in the southeastern part mammals. First, only a small proportion (186,000 km , of Ethiopia that exists in a human dominated landscape [20]. equivalent to 16.4% of Ethiopia’s surface area) of Ethiopia’s .e total area of Nensebo forest is 5199 ha, of which 3168 ha landmass is legally protected [13]. Second, large mammals is relatively intact MAF and 2031 ha is modified MAF. often travel long distances outside of protected areas to fragmented forest patches due to seasonal variations of 2.2. Reconnaissance Survey. A reconnaissance survey was resources. As a result, wildlife depends on land adjacent to carried out to obtain basic information on accessibility, these protected areas for continued viability. .ey may use topography, and dominant habitat types during the last week these adjacent lands as critical dispersal areas, calving of April, 2017. Based on the land cover features, the study site grounds and/or for other seasonal movement between was stratified in to two dominant habitat types, namely protected areas. However, there has been little under- intact MAF (Figure 2) and modified MAF. MAF is char- standing of how the ecosystems function and large acterized by dominant stands of the indigenous tree species mammals survive especially in human dominated such as Croton macrostachys, Strychnos spinosa, Clematis landscapes. longicauda, Prunus africana, and Millettiaferruginea [20]. In Nensebo forest, a patch of moist Afromontane forest the reconnaissance survey, sampling design, and data col- (MAF), is partly connected to the Bale Mountains National lection, we followed the method of [21]. .e forest occurred Park (BMNP). However, this corridor has continued human over mountain slopes, valleys, and remote inaccessible areas. encroachment that often challenges wildlife movement .e level of disturbance was minimal, there were no set- between the two areas of habitat. Large mammals such as tlements or cultivation, and hardly livestock grazed in the mountain nyala and lion (Panthera leo) may move sea- area (Figure 2). Modified moist MAF (habitat) occurred sonally between these two habitat areas. However, there is no relatively at lower altitudes (1882–2153 m.a.s.l) in close scientifically documented information about which large proximity to human settlement and cultivation areas. mammal species are restricted to the forest area, which are Modified habitat is characterized by sparse stands of moist the most abundant, or on population structure or habitat use Afromontane characteristic tree species with low level crop of resident species. Likewise, there is a need of information cultivation (mainly “enset” and coffee), intense livestock on the species diversity for the large mammal population to grazing, and sparse human settlements (Figure 3) [22]. underpin management actions and integrate sustainable conservation of the wildlife resource in BMNP and forest fragment. 2.3. Sampling Design. To effectively survey the species di- .e aim of the present study was therefore to describe versity and abundance of large mammals, two standardized the species composition, relative abundance, and population survey techniques, direct (line transect; sighting/hearing) structure and habitat use of large mammals in Nensebo and indirect (plots; scat) census were followed [8]. Both the forest to underpin future management. transect lines and field plots were laid/set lengthwise, fol- lowing the slope of the ground and oriented perpendicular to 2. Materials and Methods ecological or density gradients. Aspect, accessibility, terrain, long roads, streams, and contour of hills are also considered 2.1.StudyArea. Nensebo forest is found in Nensebo Woreda during the transect lines and plots setup. Both direct (district) in west Arsi Zone of Oromia Regional state of (transect lines) and indirect survey (plots) were systemati- Ethiopia (Figure 1). .e district is situated between 6 10′ and cally generated using geographic information system [23] ° ° ° 6 40′N longitudes and 39 0′ and 39 40′E latitudes (Figure 1). with the help of QGIS V2.18 software. It is located 407 km from Addis Ababa and 134.5 km from Shashemene, the capital city of West Arsi zone. Nensebo Woreda is bordered by eight districts (Kokosa, Dodola, 2.3.1. Direct Survey. A total of 20 (T1–T20) fixed length and Adaba, Bensa, Girja, Meda Welabu, Chire, and Harenna systematic parallel line transect lines were established Buluk), administered under four administrative zones (West (Figure 4(a)). Line transects were oriented in a parallel di- Arsi, Bale, Borena, and Sidama zones) and shared between rection and pointed north to south direction against alti- two regional states (Oromia Regional State and South Na- tudinal gradient. .e distance between two adjacent tions and Nationalities People Regional State, SNNPRS) transects was 1000 m to avoid double-counting and edge (Figure 1). effect; transects were spaced 500 m from the edge of the International Journal of Zoology 3 30′0.000′ 35′0.000′ 40′0.000′ 45′0.000′ 50′0.000′ –60.000 –30.000 0.000 30.000 60.000 39′0′0″E 39′10′0″E 39′20′0″E 39′30′0″E 6′50′0″N 15′0.000′ 30.000 10′0.000′ 0.000 6′40′0″N 6′40′0″N Ethiopia 5′0.000′ 30.000 Oromia region Africa Ethiopia boundary –60.000 –30.000 0.000 30.000 60.000 10′0′0″N 6′30′0″N 6′30′0″N 9′0′0″N 8′0′0″N 7′0′0″N 6′20′0″N 6′20′0″N 6′0′0″N 5′0′0″N Nensebo Wereda Nensebo forest boundary Bale Mountain National Park Nensebo Wereda 4′0′0″N West Arsi zone Oromia Region 3′0′0″N 6′10′0″N 35′0′0″E37′0′0″E39′0′0″E41′0′0″E43′0′0″E 39′0′0″E 39′10′0″E 39′20′0″E 39′30′0″E Figure 1: Location map of study area. (a) Figure 2: .e intact moist Afromontane habitat at Nensebo forest, Southern Ethiopia (photo: Zerubabel Worku, 2018). (a) Figure 3: .e modified MAF habitat at Nensebo forest, Southern Ethiopia (photo: Zerubabel Worku, 2018). 4 International Journal of Zoology 0 2,100 4,200 8,400 0 700 1,400 2,800 4,200 5,600 Meters Meters Transect Line Plots Moist Afromontane Forest Moist Afromontane Forest Modified Moist Afromontane Forest Modified Moist Afromontane Forest (a) (b) Figure 4: (a) Line transects layout and (b) plots layout at Nensebo forest, southern Ethiopia. forests. Information from the pilot study, field observation, (January to February 2018) and wet (July to August 2017) and land cover analysis and approximate area of each habitat seasons. Each transect line/plot was visited six times per type in the study areas were used to determine the pro- season. portion of sample transects needed to represent each habitat type. Accordingly, from the total of 21 transect lines, six 2.4.1. Direct Survey. Mammalian populations were counted transect lines were established in the modified MAF and 15 by direct observation along the established transect lines, transect lines were established in the intact MAF during morning hours (6 : 00 to 10 : 00 am) and late after- (Figure 4(a)). .e length of each transect was 1000 m, and noon (3 : 00 to 5 : 00 pm) according to [24, 25]. Each line sighting distance varied between 10 m in dense MAF and transect was navigated by using a Garmin 60/78 Global 100 m in the open modified MAF. Furthermore, to avoid Positioning System (GPS) and Handheld Bearing Compass double-counting natural barriers such as mountains, valleys Suun to KB-14/360R G by gently walking at a constant speed and streams and other biophysical features were considered of ∼1 km/h [25–27]. During the study periods, the silent in establishing transects. detection method (suitable clothing for camouflage, moving opposite wind direction (from south to north), and avoiding 2.3.2. Indirect Survey. Due to the elusive nature of the loud voices) was practiced minimizing disturbance. Ob- mammals, difficult topography and relatively dense vege- servations were made with naked eyes and Nikon action tation cover indirect survey was also employed to assess the 10 × 50 binocular. presence of rare and nocturnal mammals. From the pilot Body weight was the parameters used to categorize study, field observation, and land cover analysis, the ap- mammals as large-sized. Data collected for all individuals proximate area of each habitat type in the study area was observed were approximate perpendicular distance, sex, age, determined and was used to determine the proportion of group size, and activity of the animals. Morphological de- sample plots needed to represent each habitat type. Ac- velopment (horn ridges, horn size, and body size), growth cordingly, a total of 42 plots (P1–P42) spaced 1000 m apart and maturation, changes in pelage color or patterns, and were established (Figure 4(b)). A total of 12 plots were sexual maturity (bacula, testes length, condition of mam- established in the modified MAF, and 28 plots were mary glands, and behavior during breeding) were used to established in the intact MAF (Figure 4(b)). .e size of each determine the approximate age (adult, subadult, and young/ plot was 100 m (20 × 5 m). .e plots were established fol- calf) [28]. lowing the transect lines established for the direct survey. Secondary sexual characteristics, external genitalia and behavior (urination posture, vocalizations, nipples, presence 2.4. Data Collection. .e study was conducted between the and absence of bacula, and descended testes), and sexually months of July 2017 to February 2018 covering both dry dimorphic characteristics (such as absence/presence of International Journal of Zoology 5 horn) were used to determine sex. .ose individuals seen species diversity among the two dominant habit types in the within a distance of <50 m from the nearby group were forest using [37] recorded as members of the same group [27, 28]. Double (D) � , counting of the same individual or herd was avoided using s (2) 􏽐 P i�1 easily recognizable features of individuals, herd size, and composition [15, 27, 28]. Furthermore, trained field assis- th where P is the proportion of the i species, which will be tants were employed to survey transects located at similar used to analyze the data. topographic landscape at the same time to minimize .e similarity among and between the habitats with movements of animals between transects, hence avoiding reference to the composition of species was computed using double-counting. Sorenson’s coefficient (CC) [38]: For a more complete species list, in addition to fixed line 2C transects surveys, random searches were held to record the (CC) � , (3) S + S occurrence of mammalian species in the study areas during 1 2 both day and night time (using hand torch) for five days and where C is the number of species the two habitats have in nights in each season searching them in potential habitats common,S is the total number of species found in habitat 1, and areas inaccessible with transect lines and plot survey and S is the total number of species found in habitat 2. methods [26]. Species identification of mammals was based .e evenness of mammalian species was also calculated on .e Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals [29] and as [39] “Atibiwoch” [30]. For taxonomic treatment of the results, rd Mammal Species of the World 3 Edition [1] was adopted. ′ (4) J � , H max where H′ max � ln (s) and s is the number of species. .is 2.4.2. Indirect Survey. Each field plot was scanned carefully, measure varies between 1 (complete evenness) and 0 and all fresh scats of wild animals were counted and (complete unevenness). recorded. Identification of scats obtained was attempted in .e relative abundance of the large mammals was de- the field by using specialized field guides for the identifi- termined by using [40] cation of scats [8, 31–33]. Scats were distinguished for each species using parameters’ size (measurement of length and n Relative abundance (%) � × 100, (5) diameter), shape, odor, color, and signs associated with feces, such as scrapes, feeding signs, and footprint. where n is the number of individuals of a recorded species and N is the total number of individuals of recorded species. .e results and findings of the research were presented by 2.5. Data Analysis. .e conservation status of each species simple descriptive statistical tools. was also identified based on the IUCN Red List [34] and the CITES Appendices. Following [35], the identified mammals 3. Results were grouped as common (if there was 100% chance of recording the species in all field trips), uncommon (recorded 3.1. Species Composition. A total of 16 species of large >50% of field trips), and rare (if probability of recording is mammals grouped into nine families and five orders were less than 50%) [35]. recorded after a total effort of 80 km walked. One endemic .e number of individual mammals recorded from a and endangered (mountain nyala) and another endemic specific habitat type on the same line transect was recorded subspecies Menelik’s bushbuck were recorded from the as a sample from one habitat. Each individual of a species fragmented forest (Table 1). .e most abundant order was was grouped in different group size-class and age-sex cat- Artiodactyla (41%, 6 species), while Rodentia and Tubuli- egories and ratios, that is, percentages of adults and young dentata were the rarest, represented by single species each. ones, male per female, and young ones per female. .e effect Out of the total 16 species of large mammals recorded, 10 of the season on species abundance and distribution among were recorded using both direct evidences (direct sighting or dry and wet season was also analyzed and compared using hearing) and indirect evidences (scat or foot print), two Chi-square test, and the seasonal difference in sex ratio was species with direct evidence only, and the rest four were evaluated by t-test. recorded only through indirect evidences (scat or foot print) Species diversity among the two dominant habit types in (Table 2; Figure 5). the forest was calculated using the Shannon-Weiner index Seasonal variation in species composition for some large (H′) of diversity [36]: wild mammals was observed (Figure 6). For instance, serval cat, lion, and mountain nyala were not recorded during dry (H’) � 􏽘 P ln P , (1) i i season. However, the seasonal variation in the number of i�1 species of large wild mammals was not significantly different th 2 (χ � 0.125, df � 1, p> 0.05). Conversely, the abundance of where P is the proportion of the i species in the habitat. In addition to the Shannon-Weiner index of diversity, mammals varied seasonally. A total of 920± 21 individuals of Simpson’s diversity index (D) was used to calculate the large mammals were recorded, from which 544± 16 (59.1%) 6 International Journal of Zoology Table 1: Large mammal species composition and their conservation status at Nensebo forest, Southern Ethiopia. Taxon (scientific name) Common name IUCN status CITES status Occurrence status Local status Order Artiodactyla Family Bovidae Tragelaphus buxtoni Lydekker, 1910 Mountain nyala Endangered — Endemic Rare Tragelaphus scriptus meneliki Neumann 1902 Menelik’s bushbuck Least concern Endemic Rare Sylvicapra grimmia Linnaeus, 1758 Common duiker Least concern — Native Uncommon Family Suidae — Phacochoerus africanus Gmelin, 1788 Common warthog Least concern Native Common Hylochoerus meinertzhageni 3omas, 1904 Giant forest hog Least concern — Native Uncommon Potamochoerus larvatus F. Cuvier, 1822 bush pig Least concern — Native Uncommon Order Carnivora — Family Canidae Canis aureus Linnaeus, 1758 Common jackal Least concern — Native Uncommon Family Haenidae Crocuta crocuta Erxleben, 1777 Spotted hyena Least concern — Native Common Family Felidae Panthera pardus Linnaeus, 1758 Leopard Vulnerable Appendix I Native Rare Panthera leo Linnaeus, 1758 Lion Vulnerable Appendix II Native Rare Felis serval Schreber, 1776 Serval cat Least concern Appendix II Native Rare Family Viverridae Civettictis civetta Schreber, 1776 African civet Least concern Appendix III Native Rare Order Primates Family Cercopithecidae Papio anubis Lesson, 1827 Olive baboon Least concern Appendix. II Native Uncommon Colobus guereza Ruppell ¨ , 1835 Colobus guereza Least concern Appendix II Native Common Order Rodentia Family Hystricidae Hystrix cristata Linnaeus, 1758 Crested porcupine Least concern — Native Uncommon Order Tubulidentata Family Orycteropodidae Orycteropus afer Pallas, 1766 Aardvark Least concern — Native Uncommon Table 2: Large mammal species reordered with direct evidences and indirect evidences from Nensebo forest, Southern Ethiopia. Species name Recorded with direct evidences (sighting or hearing) Recorded with indirect evidences (scat or foot print) Canis aureus Yes Yes Colobus guereza Yes Yes Crocuta crocuta Yes Yes Hylochoerus meinertzhageni Yes Yes Felis serval Yes No Panthera pardus Yes Yes Papio anubis Yes Yes Phacochoerus africanus Yes Yes Potamochoerus larvatus Yes No Sylvicapra grimmia Yes Yes Tragelaphus scriptus meneliki Yes Yes Civettictis civetta No Yes Hystrix cristata No Yes Orycteropus afer No Yes Tragelaphus buxtoni No Yes were observed during the wet season and 376± 11 (40.9%) nyala were the least abundant species (0.1%,n ± 0) (Table 3). during the dry season. .e mean seasonal abundance of Seasonal variation was observed in species composition of individuals was significant (χ � 30.678, df � 1, p< 0.05). large mammals among habitat types. .e highest numbers of species (n � 16) were recorded in the intact MAF habitat during the wet season. .e modified MAF habitat (n � 7) 3.2. Relative Abundance. Colobus guereza was the most contained a considerably less number of species during both abundant (38%, n � 330± 7) species, followed by olive ba- dry and wet seasons (Table 3). Seasonal variation in mean boon (24%, n � 224± 5) and common warthog (12%, number of individuals was observed between the habitat n � 114± 5). Alternatively, serval cat, lion, and mountain types. .e seasonal variation in mean number of individuals International Journal of Zoology 7 (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) Figure 5: Scats and foot print of large mammals recorded at Nensebo forest, Southern Ethiopia. (a) Mountain nyala; (b) common jackal; (c) warthog; (d) giant forest hog; (e) leopard (photo: Zerubabel Worku, 2018). Species Wet season Dry season Figure 6: Seasonal variation in species composition and mean abundance of large wild mammals in Nensebo forest, Southern Ethiopia. in intact MAF (χ � 45.134, p< 0.05; wet � 440± 13, 4. Discussion dry � 262± 9) was significant, and it was not significant in A total of 16 species of large mammals were identified during modified moist Afromontane forest habitat (χ � 0.459, the study. .is result can be compared with similar studies in p> 0.05; wet � 104± 6, dry � 114± 4) (Table 3). .e Sorensen different parts of Ethiopia that have similar ecology and have species similarity index (CC) of large wild mammal species used similar techniques to census mammals. For example, among the two habitat types was 0.64. previous research [41] identified 19 species of large wild mammals in and around Wondo Genet fragmented MAF. 3.3. Population Structure. .e population structure of the Reference [16] recorded 25 species of large- and medium- most recorded species was characterized by more adult and sized mammals in the Harenna MAF of Bale Mountains few young individuals during both wet and dry seasons National Park (BMNP). .e area is home to a diversity of (Table 5). Alternatively, the number of adult females was wild mammals. Several other reports have also emphasized relatively higher than adult males during both seasons. .e the importance of habitats outside of protected areas in pooled sex ratio of adult animals of all species was biased supporting a diversity of wildlife species [12, 13]. .e ex- towards females, and the difference was significant, istence of relatively higher numbers of endemic, rare, and t � 138.471, df � 88, p< 0.05 and t � 44.675, df � 124, p< 0.05 endangered species in the area indicates that the landscape of during the wet and dry seasons, respectively. the fragment forest that spans over altitudinal difference is Mean number of individuals C. aureus C. civetta C. guereza C. crocuta H. meinertzhageni H. cristata L. serval O. afer afer P. leo P. pardus P. anubis P. africanus P. larvatus S. grimmia T. buxtoni T.s. meneliki 8 International Journal of Zoology Table 3: Relative abundance and mean abundance of large wild mammals among different habitat types of Nensebo forest, Southern Ethiopia. Mean number of individuals observed in NENSEBO different habitat types Moist Afromontane Modified moist Total animals observed Relative abundance (in %) forest Afromontane forest Species Wet Dry Wet Dry C. guereza 141 87 43 59 330± 7 38 P. anubis 85 72 27 40 224± 5 24 P. africanus 64 30 11 9 114± 5 12 C. crocuta 40 16 5 1 62± 3 6.7 P. larvatus 31 10 8 3 52± 4 5 H. meinertzhageni 23 14 6 2 35± 4 3.8 H. cristata 10 9 0 0 19± 1 2 T. s. meneliki 6 3 1 0 10± 0 1 P. pardus 9 2 0 0 11± 1 1.1 S. grimmia 5 4 0 0 9± 1 0.9 O. afer 4 3 0 0 7± 0 0.7 C. civetta 3 0 0 0 3± 0 0.3 C. aureus 2 1 0 0 3± 1 0.3 F. serval 1 0 0 0 1± 0 0.1 P. leo 1 0 0 0 1± 0 0.1 T. buxtoni 1 0 0 0 1± 0 0.1 Total (16) 440± 13 262± 9 104± 6 114± 4 920± 21 100% Diversity indices: the highest large mammals Simpson’s (1-D) and Shannon-Weaver index of diversity was obtained in the intact moist Afromontane forest habitat (D � 5.434,H′ � 2.188), and the modified moist Afromontane forest habitat had the lowest diversity (D � 3.095, H′ � 1.373) (Table 4). Table 4: Diversity indices of large wild mammals indifferent Additionally, the pattern of anthropogenic effects, such as habitat types of Nensebo forest, Southern Ethiopia. livestock grazing and human settlements, may also influence Number such variation. For instance, seasonal difference in the level Habitat types Number of of H′ D H E disturbance (deforestation and livestock grazing) was ob- max effort individuals species served, which was inversely related with wild animal’s Area total abundance and distribution. During the field data collection, (80 km 16 920± 21 increased presence of livestock and human settlements was walked) observed in the wet season that could initiate human-wildlife Modified conflict. Various studies elsewhere have frequently reported moist that the level of disturbance in large mammals’ habitat Afromontane 8 218± 5 1.373 3.095 2.079 0.660 determines habitat use, and large mammals have been re- forest (20 km ported to avoid habitats with a high level of disturbance walked) [7, 14–18, 42–47]. Similar results were reported in the Moist Alatish National Park, Ethiopia [28, 43]. Afromontane Primates are widely distributed in Africa over diverse 16 702± 9 2.188 5.434 2.833 0.772 forest (60 km habitat types [48]. Many primates, including olive baboon walked) and Colobus guereza, are known to commonly inhabit the E � Pielou evenness; H′ � calculated Shannon-Weiner diversity; H � ln (s) max attitudinal range, from 1500 to 3700 m a.s.l (current alti- (species diversity under maximum equitability conditions); D � Simpson’s tudinal range) [41, 48]. However, the distribution and index. abundance of primates are also highly influenced by the abundance, availability, and distribution of resources like an important area to maintain endemism and therefore sleeping cliffs/trees, food, and water [41, 48, 49]. During this should be given high conservation priority. Seasonal vari- study, some nocturnal and cryptic species may have been ations were observed in species composition of large wild under reported. .is is due to the behavior of the animals, mammals among different habitat types. .e variation is rareness of the species, and poor visibility due to darkness credited to the seasonal variations in availability of water, and thick vegetation that could contribute to poor visibility food, and cover. and fewer sightings. .e distribution and habitat association of mammals are .e heterogeneous plant species assemblage in the intact often correlated mainly with the availability of habitat moist MAF could have contributed to the recorded highest components [42]. Seasonal variation in habitat quality diversity of mammals in the study area. Such habitat pro- (variation in food, cover, and water sources) may also vides more extensive browsing and grazing opportunities, contribute to the seasonal variation in species composition. and the greater diversity of vegetation in such areas is likely International Journal of Zoology 9 Table 5: Population structure of large wild mammals at Nensebo forest, Southern Ethiopia. Ratio Classified Ind. Total Ind. % young (%) Species Wet Dry Wet Dry Wet Dry Wet Dry M/F Y/A M/F Y/A C. aureus 2 1 0 100 — — — — — — C. civetta 3 — 0 0 — — — — — — C. guereza 184 146 55 55 8.7 12 1 :1.4 1 : 0.04 1 :1.6 1 : 0.08 C. crocuta 45 17 0 0 — — — — — — H. meinertzhageni 29 16 0 0 — — — — — — H. cristata 10 9 0 0 — — — — — — L. serval 1 0 0 0 — — — — — — O. afer 4 3 0 0 — — — — — — P. leo 1 0 0 0 — — — — — — P. pardus 9 2 0 0 — — — — — — P. anubis 112 112 94 67 25 20.5 1 :1.4 1 : 0.2 1 : 2 1 : 0.2 P. africanus 75 39 12 7.7 — — 1 : 2 — 1 : 2 — P. larvatus 39 13 7.7 0 — — 1 : 2 — — — S. grimmia 5 4 60 50 — — 1 : 2 — 1 :1 — T. buxtoni 1 0 0 0 — — — — — — T. s. meneliki 7 3 14 33 — — — — — — F � female; M � male; Ind. � individuals; Y � young. to support larger numbers of prey species. Several scholars the area. .e results of the study also indicated high [43, 47, 50] have also previously reported a positive cor- abundance of primates, which is important information for relation between habitat heterogeneity and animal species proposing primates management options in the area. .e diversity. As a result, large-sized mammal distribution and population structure study is also an important source of diversity in the present study areas were highly associated information for population management of the large with habitat characteristics. mammals recorded in the forest fragment. A previous report [17] reported a high diversity and evenness of medium- and large-sized mammals in Borena- 5. Conclusion Sayint National Park, South Wolo, Ethiopia, which has .e results of the study indicated relatively high large diversified habitat types. On the contrary, habitat homo- mammals diversity in fragmented remote forest and calls for geneity was reported to have lower diversity [43, 51, 52]. .e conservation attention. It can also be concluded that forest knowledge of sex ratio and age distribution of individual degradation (modified forest) leads to decline in large mammals is vital for evaluating the viability of a species mammals abundance. Relatively primates are the most because these variables reflect the structure and the dy- abundant in the fragment forest. .e results of the study also namics of populations. As a result, the higher proportion of indicated an increasing primates population in the future females and young indicate a healthy, increasing population. due to relatively higher young individuals, whereas the Even though the total proportion of adults (male and female) absence of young individuals in large carnivores and large was higher, the number of adult males was low. .e cause for herbivores could indicate population decline. the low proportion of adult males in most of the species could be a natural distribution of sex ratios; in naturally Data Availability growing population adult males proportion is lower than adult females, due to the fact that a single male and copulate .e data used to support the findings of this study are with more than female, since most mammals are polyga- available from the corresponding author upon request. mous. It might be also related to poaching pressure, in which the adult males are mostly selected by poachers [53]. Cul- Conflicts of Interest turally, the indigenous community prefers to hunt adult males for food, medicine, and cultural rituals over females .e authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest. and other age groups. Due to poor habitat, quality com- petition of males to mate and resources could also force the Acknowledgments bachelor males to migrate to less suitable habitats that are poor in food quality and exposing them to predators and .e authors would like to thank Hawassa University, for poachers [54], which could also be another reason for the financial support, and Wondo Genet College of Forestry and lower record of adult males [54]. 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International Journal of ZoologyHindawi Publishing Corporation

Published: Dec 19, 2020

References