To discover whether management practices designed to protect large mammals are effective in preserving other elements of biodiversity, small mammal traps were set at 12 sites inside a national park in western Tanzania and at 13 sites outside, in an area where people practised agriculture. Over 6145 trapnights spanning both dry and wet seasons, nine species of rodent and insectivore were captured. Average species diversity and measures of abundance were greater outside than inside the Park, particularly during the dry season. These results also held when traps set inside people's houses were excluded from analyses. Mastomys natalensis , Lemniscomys striatus and the human commensal, Rattus rattus , were each found at significantly greater densities outside the protected area. These data on small mammal species' richness and abundance raise questions as to whether large mammals can act as effective umbrellas for conserving small mammal taxa in East Africa.
Biological Conservation – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2001
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