Journal of
Ecology and The Natural Environment

  • Abbreviation: J. Ecol. Nat. Environ.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9847
  • DOI: 10.5897/JENE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 405

Article in Press

Species Diversity and Relative Abundance of Medium and Large Sized Mammals in Agarfa Forest Patch, South Eastern Ethiopia

Kalayu Kiros, Zerihun Girma and Felekech Geremew

  •  Received: 30 November 2020
  •  Accepted: 22 February 2021
Ethiopia possess high diversity of mammals, limited studies had been carried out targeting on protected areas with less attention to fragmented forest patches. Thus, the study was carried out to document the species diversity and relative abundance of medium and large sized mammals in Agarfa forest patch. The study employed a stratified systematic sampling design and line transects survey method to collect the required data. The collected data were analyzed using appropriate diversity indices. A total of 14 species of medium and large sized mammals were recorded including one endemic species, Stark’s hare (Lepus starcki) and the vulnerable carnivore, leopard (Penthra pardus). Bohor reedbuck (Redunca redunca) was the most abundant species comprising 28.8% during both dry and wet seasons. The overall seasonal variation in abundance was significant (t = -3.63, df = 1, p = 0.02), whereas the variation in terms of species composition was statistically insignificant (t =12, df = 1, p = 0.53). High species diversity and evenness was recorded in wooded grassland H'= 2.41 and E= 0.97 respectively. The Simpson’s similarity index showed a significant species overlap between wooded grassland and agricultural land (0.91). Livestock overgrazing, fuel wood collection and extraction of construction materials were common threats witnessed during the study period. Though the area is under human pressure, it is serving as wildlife refuge for some mammals. Therefore, the study area needs urgent intervention to save those umbrella mammals from local extinction.

Keywords: Species composition, Abundance, Seasonal variation, Forest patch