Diversity and Abundance of Small Mammals Along a Disturbance Gradient on a University Campus in Ghana
Rapid urbanisation and its attendant problem of vegetation and species loss remains an environmental challenge in many developing countries. As a result, the importance of keeping urban green space is increasingly gaining recognition. Although small mammals have low popularity amongst wildlife enthusiasts when compared to charismatic mega-fauna, their study has become popular in green space management because of their importance in supporting food chains of organism at higher trophic levels. This study investigates the diversity, abundance and community composition of small mammals along a disturbance gradient in an urban green space on a university campus in Ghana. The results were consistent with the Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis with the moderately disturbed habitat recording the highest species richness (5) and species diversity (H1 - 1.557). Mus musculoides was not recorded in the undisturbed habitat similar to Crocidura olivieri that was not captured at the disturbed habitat. Mastomys natalensis dominated the disturbed area as a result of its dependency on waste disposal and crop cultivations that characterised the disturbed habitat. It was apparent that moderate levels of disturbance could be tolerated in urban green spaces to enhance the species diversity and abundance.
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