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Major Anthropogenic Interactions Determining the Conservation Status of Endemic Mammals of Eastern Africa

Major Anthropogenic Interactions Determining the Conservation Status of Endemic Mammals of... Hindawi International Journal of Zoology Volume 2022, Article ID 3509364, 9 pages https://doi.org/10.1155/2022/3509364 Research Article Major Anthropogenic Interactions Determining the Conservation Status of Endemic Mammals of Eastern Africa 1 2 Israel Sebsibe Tafesse and Yordanos Berihun Yohannes Salale University, Ecology and Systematic Zoology, P.O. Box 245, Fiche, Oromia, Ethiopia Salale University, Biostatistics, P.O. Box 245, Fiche, Oromia, Ethiopia Correspondence should be addressed to Israel Sebsibe Tafesse; israelmaru4@gmail.com Received 24 December 2021; Accepted 8 March 2022; Published 25 March 2022 Academic Editor: Marco Cucco Copyright © 2022 Israel Sebsibe Tafesse and Yordanos Berihun Yohannes. *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. Africa, as a continent of diversity, harbors many cosmopolitan and endemic mammals, 17 of the world’s 20 orders of terrestrial mammals. *e Horn of Africa alone harbors nearly 220 mammalian species, including many threatened species. Mammals, particularly endemics ones, are threatened by anthropogenic challenges impacting their abundance, the number of reproductive individuals, and geographic ranges. Human population, in Eastern Africa, has been growing fast, and political and civil unrest aggravate human impacts on the environment. In particular, this study focused on identifying factors that are influencing the conservation status of endemic mammals of Eastern Africa using a multinomial logistic regression model. Agricultural expansion and deforestation threatened vulnerable (AOR: 2.650, p< 0.05) and critically endangered species (AOR: 4.763, p< 0.05) more than any other factors. Habitat loss persists as a major factor when critically endangered species (AOR: 3.520, p< 0.05) are compared to near threatened species. Collectively, threatened species are mainly impacted by habitat loss (AOR: 2.678, p< 0.05), agricultural expansion, and deforestation (AOR: 2.376, p< 0.05). In the next 50 years, threats to biodiversity are likely to grow as human populations increase. *ere is no a generalized global model to measure the intensity of agricultural expansion, habitat loss, hunting, and human settlement in the protected areas. Attempts should be made to develop conservation strategies that aim to articulate an array of several conservation threats together across space and time. Africa (EA) are exceptionally rich in endemic mammals 1. Introduction [6, 7]. Africa as a continent of environmental diversity enables it We are living in an era of unprecedented loss of bio- to harbor many species of mammals, including endemic diversity [8]. Mammals, despite their importance, are mammals [1, 2]. *e altitudinal range sea level is over threatened by anthropogenic changes perhaps more than 5000 m, [3] and the diversity of vegetation includes any other class of organisms [9]. *roughout the continent, deserts, rainforests, woodlands, bushlands, shrublands, extensive areas of forest that harbor several mammals have been destroyed, and much of the forest that remains is grasslands, alpine heathlands and grasslands, and swamps [1, 2]. Out of the world’s 20 orders of terrestrial degraded and fragmented. Fast human populations growth mammals, 17 live in Africa, which is more than any other in the regions of Eastern Africa [10] has dramatically and continents’ mammalian order composition [2, 4]. *e greatly impacted the biodiversity in recent decades through region is particularly noted for the impressive array of wildlife habitat degradation, fragmentation and loss, ex- large herbivores that occur in big numbers on the sa- ploitation of natural resources, agricultural expansion, vannas of Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa [5]. All pollution, and urban expansion [11, 12]. As a result, the regions of the continent have a distinctive character of abundance, the number of reproductively mature individ- mammalian endemism, but the mountains of Eastern uals, and geographic ranges of many species of mammals 2 International Journal of Zoology endangered; VU, vulnerable; NT, near threatened; LC, least have declined [13], including endemics [14, 15]. Hence, it seems appropriate that our knowledge of each species and concern; DD, data deficient). *e species’ name is given using binomial nomenclature including authorship. the factors affecting their conservation status are recorded now because the next few decades will see even more hu- Our main goal is to expose current conservation threats man-induced changes. *e most optimistic projections that all endemic mammals of EA face to other researchers, forecast the decline and loss of several thousand species over conservationists, and concerned government bodies to take the next few decades [16]. *erefore, we believe that im- appropriate measures before the time is already late. Among mediate concern should be given to endemic mammals of all the threats identified, the most determinant ones are Eastern Africa where the human population has been identified using the appropriate statistical tests as major growing fast and political and civil unrest aggravated as threats to the endemic fauna of the region. compared to other regions of Africa. In particular, this study focused to identify factors that are affecting the conservation 2.2.1. Variables of the Study. *e dependent variable in this status of endemic mammals of EA. study was the conservation status of the endemic mammals (IUCN), which is dichotomous as least concern, near 2. Materials and Methods threatened, critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable, and data deficient. We form another dependent variable, 2.1. Study Area. *e study region is within 12.5 N to 12.5 S “threatened,” by combining critically endangered, endan- and 25 E to 42.5 E, representing the whole of Eastern Africa gered, and vulnerable status to identify the cumulative de- (Djibouti, DR Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, terminant factors that distinguish threatened species from South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, and some parts of Tanzania) the rest of the other categories. *e explanatory variables including the Horn (Figure 1). used in this study were agricultural expansion and defor- estation, political and civil unrest, data deficient, disease, habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, hunting, hybridization, 2.2. Data Source and Type. A list of all endemic mammalian limited distribution, no threat, and finally, human settlement species of all sizes in EA, their conservation status, and cause and infrastructure. of threatened status was developed from data gathered by assessing books, guides for mammals, scientific journal articles, reviews, theses, PhD dissertations, short commu- 2.3. Data Analysis. A multinomial logistic regression model nications, and global and regional reports published from was fitted to the response and was used to identify the 1877 to 2020 EC. *ese were identified from searches on the determinant threats that affect the conservation status of science databases Web of Science, Science Direct, Scopus, endemic species of mammals of the Eastern Africa region. and Google Scholar. Some old references were gotten Multinomial logistic regression is used where the response through personal communication and cross-references. variable is composed of more than two levels or categories Search terms including “endemic,” “mammals,” “threats,” (IUCN categories). It does not assume linearity between the “conservation,” “Eastern Africa,” “Djibouti,” “DR Congo,” independent and dependent variables. However, it requires “Eritrea,” “Ethiopia,” “Kenya,” “Sudan,” “South Sudan,” that observations be independent and that the independent “Uganda,” and “Tanzania” with some phrases such as variables be linearly related to the logit of the dependent [17]. “population status” and “conservation threats” were used in While selecting explanatory variables, we only assume that an initial screening that took place from January to June conservation status of mammals is a direct effect or pre- dicted output of those variables. In other cases, the ex- First, 879 scientific publications were identified from planatory variables might be covariates or effect of certain different databases and with different combinations of the variables such as human population. An essential feature of search terms and phrases. Second, duplicated entries, in- the multinomial logit model is that it estimates k−1 models, dices, and retracted publications were removed and the titles where k is the number of levels of the outcome variable. Let and abstracts of the remaining 671 publications were π denote the multinomial probability of an observation th screened. *e publications that did not include at least one falling in the j category; to find the relationship between case of endemic species of mammals of EA were rejected, this probability and the p explanatory variables, which resulted in 443 publications. *ird, we read through x , x , x , . . . , x of the multinomial logistic regression 1 2 3 k the full texts of 443 publications to examine whether they model then is [18] were eligible to provide the necessary data and other 94 Logit[P(Y � 1)] � α + β x + β x + β x + · · · + β x , 1 1 2 2 3 3 k k publications were excluded. Finally, 349 publications (Supplementary Materials) were selected as secondary data (1) sources using a basic criterion of having information about and the alternative formula, directly specifying π(x), is geographical locations, endemism status, conservation threats, population status, and classification of endemic exp α + β x + β x + · · · + β x 1 1 2 2 k k π(x) � . (2) mammals of EA. 1 + expα + β x + β x + · · · + β x 􏼁 1 1 2 2 k k Based on the IUCN red list category format (http://www. iucnredlist.org), the conservation status of species was *e multinomial logistic regression procedure reports ranked into six categories (CR, critically endangered; EN, that the Pearson chi-square test and deviance, along with International Journal of Zoology 3 0 500 1000 miles 0 500 1000 km Figure 1: A geographical map for countries of Eastern Africa included in the present study. hybridization, and limited distribution) affect the status of their degrees of freedom, are used to test the goodness of fit of the models. If the null is true and the significance value is threated mammals as compared the reference category. As the association of a particular threat and a current con- greater than the 0.05 significance level, the model adequately fits the data. *e null is that the effect (independent variable) servation status is determined as compared to the reference does not influence IUCN class of mammals in Eastern category, the other predictors are held constant. An odds Africa. ratio greater than 1 indicates that the conservation threat is Least concern and data deficient category is taken as a more likely by the given value to affect the conservation reference to compare the effect of each conservation threat status (IUCN class of mammals in Eastern Africa). *e on the threatened species relative to least concern and data analyses were performed with Microsoft Excel and Win- deficient mammals. *e least concern species are not a focus dows-based SPSS 26.0 (SPSS, Chicago, USA). of conservation because there are large number of indi- viduals in the wild and their habitat is at least moderately 3. Results stable. *erefore, impacts of conservation threats on threatened mammals can be analyzed by comparing them to 3.1. Identified Mammals and 1eir Classification. *rough unthreatened mammals (least concern). *e data deficient detailed assessment and review, we identified a total of 172 species are those without sufficient information on their endemic mammal species that live only within a geo- status, however, with apparent conservation threats. We use graphical range of EA. *ese mammals represent 11 orders, this category as a reference to analyze whether they are close i.e., Rodentia (7 families), Cetartiodactyla (2 families), to threatened groups or least concern groups. Adjusted Odds Chiroptera (7 families), Carnivora (3 families), Primates (4 Ratio (AOR) was tested to analyze how conservation threats families), Afrosoricida (1 family), Eulipotyphla (2 families), (such as agricultural expansion and deforestation, habitat Perissodactyla (1 family), Macroscelidea (1 family), Lago- loss, habitat fragmentation, habitat loss, hunting, morpha (1 family), and Artiodactyla (2 families). *e order 4 International Journal of Zoology endangered species are about 3.910 and 5.463, respectively, with most mammals is Rodentia with 77 species, followed by Eulipotyphla with 24 species, and Primates with 20 species. more likely relative to the least concern category. And also, habitat loss was a determinant factor affecting the status of *e most prominent families were Muridae with 67 species, Soricidae with 23 species, and Cercopithecidae with 15 endangered (AOR: 2.242) and critically endangered species species, cumulatively comprising 61% of all identified en- (AOR: 4.722). Habitat loss persists as a major factor when demic mammals. Orders Pholidota, Sirenia, Proboscidea, the critically endangered species (AOR: 3.520) are compared and Tubulidentata were found to have no representative taxa to the near threatened species (Table 1). of endemic species. *e goodness of fit tests showed that the model ade- quately fits the data (Pearson � 31.65, p � 0.87; devi- ance � 37.12, p � 0.685) which is estimated for threatened 3.2. Conservation Status. Of the 172 species recorded, 9 (collectively includes vulnerable, endangered, and critically (5.23%), 22 (12.8%), and 18 (10.46%) are of high conser- endangered) and the near threatened species relative to least vation importance globally, categorized as critically en- concern. *e model was also fitted for the least concern and dangered, endangered, vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, the data deficient categories relative to the threatened ones. respectively. About 8 (4.65%) and 66 (38.37%) species are *erefore, the odds of limited distribution for the near classified under the near threatened and least concern cat- threatened and threatened species are about 7.128 and 2.718, egory, respectively. *ere is no enough conservation in- respectively, more likely than the least concern category. formation about the 49 (28.49%) endemic mammals, Hunting had impacted the near threatened (AOR: 5.439) categorized under data deficient. *e Eastern African and threatened (AOR: 4.539) species as compared to the population comprises 31.15% of the total species of endemic least concern species. *reatened species are mainly affected mammals of the whole continent. A total of 239 (43.3%) by habitat loss (AOR: 2.678), agricultural expansion, and endemic mammals of Africa are known to be threatened, of deforestation (AOR: 2.376) (Table 2). which 49 (28.5%) are from EA (Figure 2). 4. Discussion 3.3. Conservation 1reats. *e results conclude that agri- A total of 136 endemic mammals with adequate data cultural expansion (n � 34), habitat loss (n � 13), limited available are reported as threatened by about 33 conserva- distribution (n � 30), hunting (n � 26), and deforestation tion threats. *e present assessment concluded that agri- (n � 24) are the most prominent issues as high ranking cultural expansion, habitat loss, limited distribution, threats in the study region. Almost all species face three or hunting, and deforestation are the most prominent issues more conservation threats at a time except data deficient threatening mammals in Eastern Africa. All endemic species. Last, threats that scored the lower frequency are mammals under the IUCN conservation categories (CE, EN, climate change, urbanization, irrigation, noncommensal life and VU) are impacted by the above threats. Different form, drought, predation, and road construction within the publications also reported similar results that habitat al- protected area (Figure 3). Critically endangered species face teration, habitat loss, hunting, and persecution have been a thirteen major threats that increase the probability of ex- major obstruction to mammals’ conservation [19]. World- tinction incidence. Habitat loss (71.4%), agricultural ex- wide decline of biodiversity is reportedly associated with pansion (57.1%), and hunting (42.9%) are among those habitat loss and degradation that pose the most frequent threats. *ey are also affected by diseases, limited distri- direct threats to terrestrial mammals [20, 21], by decreasing bution, and overgrazing (Figure 4). the size of the area that a species can occupy, and therefore ultimately impacting their abundance [22]. Habitat loss also 3.4. Association and Determination of Factors Affecting the fragments ranges of several populations into small isolated Conservation Status. *e result showed a significant asso- patches. Globally, about 80% of all threatened terrestrial bird ciation between the conservation status of mammals and and mammal species are jeopardized by agricultural ex- their abundance. Test of independences indicated that pansion and activities that drive lately habitat loss [19]. species rarity is an associated factor increasing chances of Mammals are also hunted for valued body parts that in IUCN status and ultimately cause extinction (Pearson chi- turn pose a serious threat. Moreover, the consumption of square � 76.815, p � 0.0001; likelihood ratio � 80.684, bushmeat threatened many species and led to catastrophic p � 0.000). *e two tests of the null hypothesis showed that declines of sub-Saharan mammals [23–26]. Because of the the model adequately fitted the data (Pearson � 2.276, threats that they pose to humans and their livestock, large p � 0.810; deviance � 3.069, p � 0.689). carnivores may also experience high mortality following *e odds of limited distribution for the near threatened human-wildlife conflict [27–29]. and vulnerable species are about 2.346 and 3.263, respec- Near threatened mammals are also significantly im- tively, more likely than the least concern category. Agri- pacted by agricultural expansion and hunting. Limited cultural expansion and deforestation threatened the distribution was also a key factor determining their con- vulnerable (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR): 2.650) and criti- servation status. Several studies concerning the fragmen- cally endangered species (AOR: 4.763) more likely as tation of geographical ranges among mammals, concluding compared to the least concern groups while keeping all other that low habitat fragmentation correlates with larger range variables constant. *e odds of hunting for vulnerable and sizes, with a higher proportion of suitable habitat within International Journal of Zoology 5 Data Deficient Least concern Near threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically endangered Family Order 0 50 100 150 200 250 Eastern African diversity Mammalian diversity in Africa Figure 2: Comparison of proportion and conservation status of endemic mammals of EA to the whole African taxa. Percent Figure 3: Ranked frequency of conservation threats that endemic mammals face across the regions of Eastern Africa. Predation Fire Drought Deforestation Overgrazing Limited distribution Habitat fragmentation Habitat degradation Disease Hunting Agricultural expansion 0 102030405060 Percent Figure 4: Ranked frequency of conservation threats that critically endangered (CR) endemic mammals face across the regions of Eastern Africa. ranges, with higher spatial connectivity, and with lower threatened mammals are likely to become threatened, in- species extinction risk. *ese studies suggest that threatened, ducing more burden to the current conservation efforts. *is restricted-range mammals may be more subjected to habitat study’s results provide broad indications on the main causes loss and fragmentation than nonthreatened, large-ranged of mammal decline in the region and can help provide clear populations [30–35]. *is result forecasts that many near focus for conservation strategies as to which pressures need Habitat loss Data deficient Habitat Condition Agricultural expansion Limited distribution Hunting Deforestation Habitat fragmentation Human settlement No threat Over grazing Political and Civil unrest Urbanization Disease Hybridization 6 International Journal of Zoology Table 1: Multinomial logistic model shows determinant factors of the conservation status of endemic mammals from the EA, taking least concern and then data deficient category as a reference. Conservation status (IUCN) *reats Exp (β) 95% CI for exp (β) (LCI, UCI) P value Least concern (reference) Near threatened Limited distribution 2.346 (2.125, 3.640) ≤0.001 Agricultural expansion and deforestation 2.650 (1.142–6.149) 0.023 Vulnerable Hunting 3.910 (2.328, 6.245) ≤0.001 Limited distribution 3.263 (2.315, 5.542) ≤0.001 Habitat loss 2.242 (1.059, 4.745) 0.035 Endangered Hunting 5.463 (2.437, 7.245) ≤0.001 Agricultural expansion and deforestation 4.763 (1.456, 5.585) 0.01 Habitat loss 4.722 (2.355, 5.301) ≤0.001 Critically endangered Disease 2.560 (4.167, 6.256) ≤0.001 Hunting 4.375 (2.191, 4.824) 0.011 Near threatened (reference) Critically endangered Habitat loss 3.520 (2.667, 5.846) 0.003 Significant at 0.05 alpha level. Exp (β), Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR); CI for exp (β), confidence interval for the Adjusted Odds Ratio; LCI, low confidence interval; UCI, upper confidence interval). Table 2: Multinomial logistic model shows determinant factors of the conservation status of endemic mammals from the EA, comparing all collectively threatened species, and near threatened species with the least concern species, and then comparing least concern and data deficient species with all threatened species to forecast future threats for unthreatened mammals. Exp 95% CI for exp (β) (LCI, Conservation status (IUCN) *reats P value (β) UCI) Least concern (reference) Hunting 5.439 (1.249,7.688) 0.024 Near threatened Limited distribution 7.128 (5.348, 9.843) ≤0.001 Agricultural expansion and 2.376 (1.287, 4.387) 0.006 deforestation *reatened (vulnerable, endangered, and critically Limited distribution 2.718 (2.064, 8.726) 0.004 endangered) Hunting 4.539 (3.798, 9.199) ≤0.001 Habitat loss 2.678 (1.451, 4.940) 0.002 *reatened (vulnerable, endangered, and critically endangered) (reference) Agricultural expansion and 0.351 (0.194, 0.636) ≤0.001 deforestation Least concern Hunting 0.171 (0.082, 0.355) ≤0.001 Habitat loss 0.373 (0.202,0.689) ≤0.001 Agricultural expansion and 0.033 (0.008, 0.141) ≤0.001 Data deficient deforestation Habitat loss 0.080 (0.027, 0.235) ≤0.001 Significant at 0.05 alpha level. Exp (β), Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR); CI for exp (β), confidence interval for the Adjusted Odds Ratio; LCI, lower confidence interval; UCI, upper confidence interval. to be addressed in order to protect endemic mammals of the and spatial requirements [43]. Regions and conservation region. hotspots with high levels of endemism that are now expe- Concerning mammalian population, several global as- riencing habitat loss on a large scale will probably face in- sessments have been published within the past ten years that creased extinction risks [44, 45]. *reats and extinction risks can contribute to a global mammal conservation strategy that are associated with human population density [46] and affecting the quality of habitat and the resources within the [22, 36–42]. According to these studies, between 21% and 36% of the mammals are reportedly threatened with ex- remaining patches of natural land that the species need in order to survive and reproduce [39] will grow worse. Be- tinction, due to human settlement and agricultural expan- sion (affecting 68% of mammal species), habitat loss tween 2010 and 2060, the human population worldwide is (affecting 40%), and hunting (affecting 17%). In the present projected to increase by 3.2 billion people [47, 48], and an study, a multinomial logistic model also confirmed that the increase of 1.7 billion people is expected to occur in sub- same threats are deeply affecting the conservation status of Saharan Africa. Population growth results in a growing Eastern African mammals. demand for cropland and the destruction of habitat, frag- Several endemic mammals have been regarded as the mentation, and deforestation that are associated with it. *is potential umbrella for the conservation of many other native study shows that these will likely be the drivers of future and widely distributed species, owing to their wide habitat extinction incidents. Escalating conservation action is International Journal of Zoology 7 therefore crucial, not only by substantially increasing overall also recommend that a strategic approach is urgently needed investment [49] but also by designing a strategic plan that to enhance the conservation value of data deficient assess- ments. Transparently prioritizing data deficient species for such investment would be possible. *is necessitates setting clear goals and priorities [50] and then making the best use future study is likely to encourage additional stakeholders’ of available data to maximize conservation impact with the participation, financial support, and protection for these limited available resources [51]. regionally endemic species, thereby improving capacity to Several publications addressed the issue of mammalian monitor changes in their population status, distribution, conservation and its prioritization. Redford et al. [52] abundance, and ultimately set effective conservation pri- reviewed the criteria that have been used to value mammals. orities [55]. We believe that although all best efforts should Many approaches propose that conserving mammals must be applied to reduce the risk of extinction by filling be done from protected areas to matrix management, from knowledge gaps of species distribution, status, threats, and preservation to sustainable use and from complete protec- conservation costs, data deficiency should not be used as an tion to triage, outlining the steps necessary to fill the gap impediment that makes the existing global conservation progresses difficult [56]. between planning and action [53]. Mammal conservation strategy focuses on the requirements of species spatial data in terms of spatial coverage, bias, accuracy, scale, time Data Availability relevance, reliability, biological significance, and availability [54]. *is study suggests that the strategy focuses mainly on *e data used to support the findings of this study are in- agricultural expansion, deforestation, and habitat loss. *ese cluded within the article. threats will need to be addressed by conservation actions that, in addition to strengthening protected areas, also Conflicts of Interest importantly include people. For instance, human-wildlife conflict management could help abate the pressure from *e authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest. hunting on predatory mammals. Matrix management and sustainable use can potentially address issues of fragmen- Acknowledgments tation and help to create corridors between remaining patches of habitat. *e authors are grateful to Salale University for providing working spaces and Internet connection. *e authors would 5. Conclusions and Recommendations also want to be thankful to the staff of biology and statistics department for their valuable comments on the manuscript Biodiversity is being eroded globally by human population preparation and statistical analysis which helped to improve growth which leads to agricultural expansion, habitat loss, the article. and hunting. Biodiversity in the mammals of Eastern Africa is presently under threat from these same factors. In the next References 50 years, threats to biodiversity are likely to grow as both human populations increase, and those threats to mammals [1] G. Ceballos and P. R. 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Agresti, An Introduction to Categorical Data Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey, USA, 2018. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Zoology Hindawi Publishing Corporation

Major Anthropogenic Interactions Determining the Conservation Status of Endemic Mammals of Eastern Africa

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Copyright © 2022 Israel Sebsibe Tafesse and Yordanos Berihun Yohannes. 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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Hindawi International Journal of Zoology Volume 2022, Article ID 3509364, 9 pages https://doi.org/10.1155/2022/3509364 Research Article Major Anthropogenic Interactions Determining the Conservation Status of Endemic Mammals of Eastern Africa 1 2 Israel Sebsibe Tafesse and Yordanos Berihun Yohannes Salale University, Ecology and Systematic Zoology, P.O. Box 245, Fiche, Oromia, Ethiopia Salale University, Biostatistics, P.O. Box 245, Fiche, Oromia, Ethiopia Correspondence should be addressed to Israel Sebsibe Tafesse; israelmaru4@gmail.com Received 24 December 2021; Accepted 8 March 2022; Published 25 March 2022 Academic Editor: Marco Cucco Copyright © 2022 Israel Sebsibe Tafesse and Yordanos Berihun Yohannes. *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. Africa, as a continent of diversity, harbors many cosmopolitan and endemic mammals, 17 of the world’s 20 orders of terrestrial mammals. *e Horn of Africa alone harbors nearly 220 mammalian species, including many threatened species. Mammals, particularly endemics ones, are threatened by anthropogenic challenges impacting their abundance, the number of reproductive individuals, and geographic ranges. Human population, in Eastern Africa, has been growing fast, and political and civil unrest aggravate human impacts on the environment. In particular, this study focused on identifying factors that are influencing the conservation status of endemic mammals of Eastern Africa using a multinomial logistic regression model. Agricultural expansion and deforestation threatened vulnerable (AOR: 2.650, p< 0.05) and critically endangered species (AOR: 4.763, p< 0.05) more than any other factors. Habitat loss persists as a major factor when critically endangered species (AOR: 3.520, p< 0.05) are compared to near threatened species. Collectively, threatened species are mainly impacted by habitat loss (AOR: 2.678, p< 0.05), agricultural expansion, and deforestation (AOR: 2.376, p< 0.05). In the next 50 years, threats to biodiversity are likely to grow as human populations increase. *ere is no a generalized global model to measure the intensity of agricultural expansion, habitat loss, hunting, and human settlement in the protected areas. Attempts should be made to develop conservation strategies that aim to articulate an array of several conservation threats together across space and time. Africa (EA) are exceptionally rich in endemic mammals 1. Introduction [6, 7]. Africa as a continent of environmental diversity enables it We are living in an era of unprecedented loss of bio- to harbor many species of mammals, including endemic diversity [8]. Mammals, despite their importance, are mammals [1, 2]. *e altitudinal range sea level is over threatened by anthropogenic changes perhaps more than 5000 m, [3] and the diversity of vegetation includes any other class of organisms [9]. *roughout the continent, deserts, rainforests, woodlands, bushlands, shrublands, extensive areas of forest that harbor several mammals have been destroyed, and much of the forest that remains is grasslands, alpine heathlands and grasslands, and swamps [1, 2]. Out of the world’s 20 orders of terrestrial degraded and fragmented. Fast human populations growth mammals, 17 live in Africa, which is more than any other in the regions of Eastern Africa [10] has dramatically and continents’ mammalian order composition [2, 4]. *e greatly impacted the biodiversity in recent decades through region is particularly noted for the impressive array of wildlife habitat degradation, fragmentation and loss, ex- large herbivores that occur in big numbers on the sa- ploitation of natural resources, agricultural expansion, vannas of Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa [5]. All pollution, and urban expansion [11, 12]. As a result, the regions of the continent have a distinctive character of abundance, the number of reproductively mature individ- mammalian endemism, but the mountains of Eastern uals, and geographic ranges of many species of mammals 2 International Journal of Zoology endangered; VU, vulnerable; NT, near threatened; LC, least have declined [13], including endemics [14, 15]. Hence, it seems appropriate that our knowledge of each species and concern; DD, data deficient). *e species’ name is given using binomial nomenclature including authorship. the factors affecting their conservation status are recorded now because the next few decades will see even more hu- Our main goal is to expose current conservation threats man-induced changes. *e most optimistic projections that all endemic mammals of EA face to other researchers, forecast the decline and loss of several thousand species over conservationists, and concerned government bodies to take the next few decades [16]. *erefore, we believe that im- appropriate measures before the time is already late. Among mediate concern should be given to endemic mammals of all the threats identified, the most determinant ones are Eastern Africa where the human population has been identified using the appropriate statistical tests as major growing fast and political and civil unrest aggravated as threats to the endemic fauna of the region. compared to other regions of Africa. In particular, this study focused to identify factors that are affecting the conservation 2.2.1. Variables of the Study. *e dependent variable in this status of endemic mammals of EA. study was the conservation status of the endemic mammals (IUCN), which is dichotomous as least concern, near 2. Materials and Methods threatened, critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable, and data deficient. We form another dependent variable, 2.1. Study Area. *e study region is within 12.5 N to 12.5 S “threatened,” by combining critically endangered, endan- and 25 E to 42.5 E, representing the whole of Eastern Africa gered, and vulnerable status to identify the cumulative de- (Djibouti, DR Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, terminant factors that distinguish threatened species from South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, and some parts of Tanzania) the rest of the other categories. *e explanatory variables including the Horn (Figure 1). used in this study were agricultural expansion and defor- estation, political and civil unrest, data deficient, disease, habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, hunting, hybridization, 2.2. Data Source and Type. A list of all endemic mammalian limited distribution, no threat, and finally, human settlement species of all sizes in EA, their conservation status, and cause and infrastructure. of threatened status was developed from data gathered by assessing books, guides for mammals, scientific journal articles, reviews, theses, PhD dissertations, short commu- 2.3. Data Analysis. A multinomial logistic regression model nications, and global and regional reports published from was fitted to the response and was used to identify the 1877 to 2020 EC. *ese were identified from searches on the determinant threats that affect the conservation status of science databases Web of Science, Science Direct, Scopus, endemic species of mammals of the Eastern Africa region. and Google Scholar. Some old references were gotten Multinomial logistic regression is used where the response through personal communication and cross-references. variable is composed of more than two levels or categories Search terms including “endemic,” “mammals,” “threats,” (IUCN categories). It does not assume linearity between the “conservation,” “Eastern Africa,” “Djibouti,” “DR Congo,” independent and dependent variables. However, it requires “Eritrea,” “Ethiopia,” “Kenya,” “Sudan,” “South Sudan,” that observations be independent and that the independent “Uganda,” and “Tanzania” with some phrases such as variables be linearly related to the logit of the dependent [17]. “population status” and “conservation threats” were used in While selecting explanatory variables, we only assume that an initial screening that took place from January to June conservation status of mammals is a direct effect or pre- dicted output of those variables. In other cases, the ex- First, 879 scientific publications were identified from planatory variables might be covariates or effect of certain different databases and with different combinations of the variables such as human population. An essential feature of search terms and phrases. Second, duplicated entries, in- the multinomial logit model is that it estimates k−1 models, dices, and retracted publications were removed and the titles where k is the number of levels of the outcome variable. Let and abstracts of the remaining 671 publications were π denote the multinomial probability of an observation th screened. *e publications that did not include at least one falling in the j category; to find the relationship between case of endemic species of mammals of EA were rejected, this probability and the p explanatory variables, which resulted in 443 publications. *ird, we read through x , x , x , . . . , x of the multinomial logistic regression 1 2 3 k the full texts of 443 publications to examine whether they model then is [18] were eligible to provide the necessary data and other 94 Logit[P(Y � 1)] � α + β x + β x + β x + · · · + β x , 1 1 2 2 3 3 k k publications were excluded. Finally, 349 publications (Supplementary Materials) were selected as secondary data (1) sources using a basic criterion of having information about and the alternative formula, directly specifying π(x), is geographical locations, endemism status, conservation threats, population status, and classification of endemic exp α + β x + β x + · · · + β x 1 1 2 2 k k π(x) � . (2) mammals of EA. 1 + expα + β x + β x + · · · + β x 􏼁 1 1 2 2 k k Based on the IUCN red list category format (http://www. iucnredlist.org), the conservation status of species was *e multinomial logistic regression procedure reports ranked into six categories (CR, critically endangered; EN, that the Pearson chi-square test and deviance, along with International Journal of Zoology 3 0 500 1000 miles 0 500 1000 km Figure 1: A geographical map for countries of Eastern Africa included in the present study. hybridization, and limited distribution) affect the status of their degrees of freedom, are used to test the goodness of fit of the models. If the null is true and the significance value is threated mammals as compared the reference category. As the association of a particular threat and a current con- greater than the 0.05 significance level, the model adequately fits the data. *e null is that the effect (independent variable) servation status is determined as compared to the reference does not influence IUCN class of mammals in Eastern category, the other predictors are held constant. An odds Africa. ratio greater than 1 indicates that the conservation threat is Least concern and data deficient category is taken as a more likely by the given value to affect the conservation reference to compare the effect of each conservation threat status (IUCN class of mammals in Eastern Africa). *e on the threatened species relative to least concern and data analyses were performed with Microsoft Excel and Win- deficient mammals. *e least concern species are not a focus dows-based SPSS 26.0 (SPSS, Chicago, USA). of conservation because there are large number of indi- viduals in the wild and their habitat is at least moderately 3. Results stable. *erefore, impacts of conservation threats on threatened mammals can be analyzed by comparing them to 3.1. Identified Mammals and 1eir Classification. *rough unthreatened mammals (least concern). *e data deficient detailed assessment and review, we identified a total of 172 species are those without sufficient information on their endemic mammal species that live only within a geo- status, however, with apparent conservation threats. We use graphical range of EA. *ese mammals represent 11 orders, this category as a reference to analyze whether they are close i.e., Rodentia (7 families), Cetartiodactyla (2 families), to threatened groups or least concern groups. Adjusted Odds Chiroptera (7 families), Carnivora (3 families), Primates (4 Ratio (AOR) was tested to analyze how conservation threats families), Afrosoricida (1 family), Eulipotyphla (2 families), (such as agricultural expansion and deforestation, habitat Perissodactyla (1 family), Macroscelidea (1 family), Lago- loss, habitat fragmentation, habitat loss, hunting, morpha (1 family), and Artiodactyla (2 families). *e order 4 International Journal of Zoology endangered species are about 3.910 and 5.463, respectively, with most mammals is Rodentia with 77 species, followed by Eulipotyphla with 24 species, and Primates with 20 species. more likely relative to the least concern category. And also, habitat loss was a determinant factor affecting the status of *e most prominent families were Muridae with 67 species, Soricidae with 23 species, and Cercopithecidae with 15 endangered (AOR: 2.242) and critically endangered species species, cumulatively comprising 61% of all identified en- (AOR: 4.722). Habitat loss persists as a major factor when demic mammals. Orders Pholidota, Sirenia, Proboscidea, the critically endangered species (AOR: 3.520) are compared and Tubulidentata were found to have no representative taxa to the near threatened species (Table 1). of endemic species. *e goodness of fit tests showed that the model ade- quately fits the data (Pearson � 31.65, p � 0.87; devi- ance � 37.12, p � 0.685) which is estimated for threatened 3.2. Conservation Status. Of the 172 species recorded, 9 (collectively includes vulnerable, endangered, and critically (5.23%), 22 (12.8%), and 18 (10.46%) are of high conser- endangered) and the near threatened species relative to least vation importance globally, categorized as critically en- concern. *e model was also fitted for the least concern and dangered, endangered, vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, the data deficient categories relative to the threatened ones. respectively. About 8 (4.65%) and 66 (38.37%) species are *erefore, the odds of limited distribution for the near classified under the near threatened and least concern cat- threatened and threatened species are about 7.128 and 2.718, egory, respectively. *ere is no enough conservation in- respectively, more likely than the least concern category. formation about the 49 (28.49%) endemic mammals, Hunting had impacted the near threatened (AOR: 5.439) categorized under data deficient. *e Eastern African and threatened (AOR: 4.539) species as compared to the population comprises 31.15% of the total species of endemic least concern species. *reatened species are mainly affected mammals of the whole continent. A total of 239 (43.3%) by habitat loss (AOR: 2.678), agricultural expansion, and endemic mammals of Africa are known to be threatened, of deforestation (AOR: 2.376) (Table 2). which 49 (28.5%) are from EA (Figure 2). 4. Discussion 3.3. Conservation 1reats. *e results conclude that agri- A total of 136 endemic mammals with adequate data cultural expansion (n � 34), habitat loss (n � 13), limited available are reported as threatened by about 33 conserva- distribution (n � 30), hunting (n � 26), and deforestation tion threats. *e present assessment concluded that agri- (n � 24) are the most prominent issues as high ranking cultural expansion, habitat loss, limited distribution, threats in the study region. Almost all species face three or hunting, and deforestation are the most prominent issues more conservation threats at a time except data deficient threatening mammals in Eastern Africa. All endemic species. Last, threats that scored the lower frequency are mammals under the IUCN conservation categories (CE, EN, climate change, urbanization, irrigation, noncommensal life and VU) are impacted by the above threats. Different form, drought, predation, and road construction within the publications also reported similar results that habitat al- protected area (Figure 3). Critically endangered species face teration, habitat loss, hunting, and persecution have been a thirteen major threats that increase the probability of ex- major obstruction to mammals’ conservation [19]. World- tinction incidence. Habitat loss (71.4%), agricultural ex- wide decline of biodiversity is reportedly associated with pansion (57.1%), and hunting (42.9%) are among those habitat loss and degradation that pose the most frequent threats. *ey are also affected by diseases, limited distri- direct threats to terrestrial mammals [20, 21], by decreasing bution, and overgrazing (Figure 4). the size of the area that a species can occupy, and therefore ultimately impacting their abundance [22]. Habitat loss also 3.4. Association and Determination of Factors Affecting the fragments ranges of several populations into small isolated Conservation Status. *e result showed a significant asso- patches. Globally, about 80% of all threatened terrestrial bird ciation between the conservation status of mammals and and mammal species are jeopardized by agricultural ex- their abundance. Test of independences indicated that pansion and activities that drive lately habitat loss [19]. species rarity is an associated factor increasing chances of Mammals are also hunted for valued body parts that in IUCN status and ultimately cause extinction (Pearson chi- turn pose a serious threat. Moreover, the consumption of square � 76.815, p � 0.0001; likelihood ratio � 80.684, bushmeat threatened many species and led to catastrophic p � 0.000). *e two tests of the null hypothesis showed that declines of sub-Saharan mammals [23–26]. Because of the the model adequately fitted the data (Pearson � 2.276, threats that they pose to humans and their livestock, large p � 0.810; deviance � 3.069, p � 0.689). carnivores may also experience high mortality following *e odds of limited distribution for the near threatened human-wildlife conflict [27–29]. and vulnerable species are about 2.346 and 3.263, respec- Near threatened mammals are also significantly im- tively, more likely than the least concern category. Agri- pacted by agricultural expansion and hunting. Limited cultural expansion and deforestation threatened the distribution was also a key factor determining their con- vulnerable (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR): 2.650) and criti- servation status. Several studies concerning the fragmen- cally endangered species (AOR: 4.763) more likely as tation of geographical ranges among mammals, concluding compared to the least concern groups while keeping all other that low habitat fragmentation correlates with larger range variables constant. *e odds of hunting for vulnerable and sizes, with a higher proportion of suitable habitat within International Journal of Zoology 5 Data Deficient Least concern Near threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically endangered Family Order 0 50 100 150 200 250 Eastern African diversity Mammalian diversity in Africa Figure 2: Comparison of proportion and conservation status of endemic mammals of EA to the whole African taxa. Percent Figure 3: Ranked frequency of conservation threats that endemic mammals face across the regions of Eastern Africa. Predation Fire Drought Deforestation Overgrazing Limited distribution Habitat fragmentation Habitat degradation Disease Hunting Agricultural expansion 0 102030405060 Percent Figure 4: Ranked frequency of conservation threats that critically endangered (CR) endemic mammals face across the regions of Eastern Africa. ranges, with higher spatial connectivity, and with lower threatened mammals are likely to become threatened, in- species extinction risk. *ese studies suggest that threatened, ducing more burden to the current conservation efforts. *is restricted-range mammals may be more subjected to habitat study’s results provide broad indications on the main causes loss and fragmentation than nonthreatened, large-ranged of mammal decline in the region and can help provide clear populations [30–35]. *is result forecasts that many near focus for conservation strategies as to which pressures need Habitat loss Data deficient Habitat Condition Agricultural expansion Limited distribution Hunting Deforestation Habitat fragmentation Human settlement No threat Over grazing Political and Civil unrest Urbanization Disease Hybridization 6 International Journal of Zoology Table 1: Multinomial logistic model shows determinant factors of the conservation status of endemic mammals from the EA, taking least concern and then data deficient category as a reference. Conservation status (IUCN) *reats Exp (β) 95% CI for exp (β) (LCI, UCI) P value Least concern (reference) Near threatened Limited distribution 2.346 (2.125, 3.640) ≤0.001 Agricultural expansion and deforestation 2.650 (1.142–6.149) 0.023 Vulnerable Hunting 3.910 (2.328, 6.245) ≤0.001 Limited distribution 3.263 (2.315, 5.542) ≤0.001 Habitat loss 2.242 (1.059, 4.745) 0.035 Endangered Hunting 5.463 (2.437, 7.245) ≤0.001 Agricultural expansion and deforestation 4.763 (1.456, 5.585) 0.01 Habitat loss 4.722 (2.355, 5.301) ≤0.001 Critically endangered Disease 2.560 (4.167, 6.256) ≤0.001 Hunting 4.375 (2.191, 4.824) 0.011 Near threatened (reference) Critically endangered Habitat loss 3.520 (2.667, 5.846) 0.003 Significant at 0.05 alpha level. Exp (β), Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR); CI for exp (β), confidence interval for the Adjusted Odds Ratio; LCI, low confidence interval; UCI, upper confidence interval). Table 2: Multinomial logistic model shows determinant factors of the conservation status of endemic mammals from the EA, comparing all collectively threatened species, and near threatened species with the least concern species, and then comparing least concern and data deficient species with all threatened species to forecast future threats for unthreatened mammals. Exp 95% CI for exp (β) (LCI, Conservation status (IUCN) *reats P value (β) UCI) Least concern (reference) Hunting 5.439 (1.249,7.688) 0.024 Near threatened Limited distribution 7.128 (5.348, 9.843) ≤0.001 Agricultural expansion and 2.376 (1.287, 4.387) 0.006 deforestation *reatened (vulnerable, endangered, and critically Limited distribution 2.718 (2.064, 8.726) 0.004 endangered) Hunting 4.539 (3.798, 9.199) ≤0.001 Habitat loss 2.678 (1.451, 4.940) 0.002 *reatened (vulnerable, endangered, and critically endangered) (reference) Agricultural expansion and 0.351 (0.194, 0.636) ≤0.001 deforestation Least concern Hunting 0.171 (0.082, 0.355) ≤0.001 Habitat loss 0.373 (0.202,0.689) ≤0.001 Agricultural expansion and 0.033 (0.008, 0.141) ≤0.001 Data deficient deforestation Habitat loss 0.080 (0.027, 0.235) ≤0.001 Significant at 0.05 alpha level. Exp (β), Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR); CI for exp (β), confidence interval for the Adjusted Odds Ratio; LCI, lower confidence interval; UCI, upper confidence interval. to be addressed in order to protect endemic mammals of the and spatial requirements [43]. Regions and conservation region. hotspots with high levels of endemism that are now expe- Concerning mammalian population, several global as- riencing habitat loss on a large scale will probably face in- sessments have been published within the past ten years that creased extinction risks [44, 45]. *reats and extinction risks can contribute to a global mammal conservation strategy that are associated with human population density [46] and affecting the quality of habitat and the resources within the [22, 36–42]. According to these studies, between 21% and 36% of the mammals are reportedly threatened with ex- remaining patches of natural land that the species need in order to survive and reproduce [39] will grow worse. Be- tinction, due to human settlement and agricultural expan- sion (affecting 68% of mammal species), habitat loss tween 2010 and 2060, the human population worldwide is (affecting 40%), and hunting (affecting 17%). In the present projected to increase by 3.2 billion people [47, 48], and an study, a multinomial logistic model also confirmed that the increase of 1.7 billion people is expected to occur in sub- same threats are deeply affecting the conservation status of Saharan Africa. Population growth results in a growing Eastern African mammals. demand for cropland and the destruction of habitat, frag- Several endemic mammals have been regarded as the mentation, and deforestation that are associated with it. *is potential umbrella for the conservation of many other native study shows that these will likely be the drivers of future and widely distributed species, owing to their wide habitat extinction incidents. Escalating conservation action is International Journal of Zoology 7 therefore crucial, not only by substantially increasing overall also recommend that a strategic approach is urgently needed investment [49] but also by designing a strategic plan that to enhance the conservation value of data deficient assess- ments. Transparently prioritizing data deficient species for such investment would be possible. *is necessitates setting clear goals and priorities [50] and then making the best use future study is likely to encourage additional stakeholders’ of available data to maximize conservation impact with the participation, financial support, and protection for these limited available resources [51]. regionally endemic species, thereby improving capacity to Several publications addressed the issue of mammalian monitor changes in their population status, distribution, conservation and its prioritization. Redford et al. [52] abundance, and ultimately set effective conservation pri- reviewed the criteria that have been used to value mammals. orities [55]. We believe that although all best efforts should Many approaches propose that conserving mammals must be applied to reduce the risk of extinction by filling be done from protected areas to matrix management, from knowledge gaps of species distribution, status, threats, and preservation to sustainable use and from complete protec- conservation costs, data deficiency should not be used as an tion to triage, outlining the steps necessary to fill the gap impediment that makes the existing global conservation progresses difficult [56]. between planning and action [53]. Mammal conservation strategy focuses on the requirements of species spatial data in terms of spatial coverage, bias, accuracy, scale, time Data Availability relevance, reliability, biological significance, and availability [54]. *is study suggests that the strategy focuses mainly on *e data used to support the findings of this study are in- agricultural expansion, deforestation, and habitat loss. *ese cluded within the article. threats will need to be addressed by conservation actions that, in addition to strengthening protected areas, also Conflicts of Interest importantly include people. For instance, human-wildlife conflict management could help abate the pressure from *e authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest. hunting on predatory mammals. Matrix management and sustainable use can potentially address issues of fragmen- Acknowledgments tation and help to create corridors between remaining patches of habitat. *e authors are grateful to Salale University for providing working spaces and Internet connection. *e authors would 5. Conclusions and Recommendations also want to be thankful to the staff of biology and statistics department for their valuable comments on the manuscript Biodiversity is being eroded globally by human population preparation and statistical analysis which helped to improve growth which leads to agricultural expansion, habitat loss, the article. and hunting. Biodiversity in the mammals of Eastern Africa is presently under threat from these same factors. In the next References 50 years, threats to biodiversity are likely to grow as both human populations increase, and those threats to mammals [1] G. Ceballos and P. R. 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Journal

International Journal of ZoologyHindawi Publishing Corporation

Published: Mar 25, 2022

References