Population Ecology and Threats of the Rock Hyrax (Procavia capensis) in Bale Mountains National Park, Ethiopia

Reda, Gebremeskel Teklehaimanot (2015) Population Ecology and Threats of the Rock Hyrax (Procavia capensis) in Bale Mountains National Park, Ethiopia. PhD thesis, Addis Ababa University.

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A study on the distribution, population status, feeding ecology, habitat utilization and threats to the rock hyrax (Procavia capensis Pallas 1766) was carried out in the Bale Mountains National Park (BMNP), Ethiopia during August 2010 – February 2013. Distribution of the rock hyrax was assessed by questionnaire survey and field observations. Population status of the species was studied by stratified random sampling using point count method. Direct observations by scan sampling and rumen content analysis were used to study the feeding ecology of the rock hyrax. Data for habitat utilization of the species were collected using quadrat sampling of fresh faecal boli, animal sighting and time spent by the rock hyraxes in different habitats. Threats and population trend of the rock hyrax were studied by questionnaire surveys, interviews and field observations. Data were analyzed using one-way ANOVA, t-test and chi-square test. A total of 30,003 individual rock hyraxes were recorded with a mean population density of 664.5 and 529.9 individuals/km2 during the wet and dry seasons, respectively in the nine sample counting sites. Adults comprised 70.5%, sub-adults comprised 8.3% and juveniles comprised 21.2% of the population. Male to female ratio was 1:1.4. Over 52% of the population constituted adult females and juveniles, showing reproductive potentiality and sustainability of the species. The mean colony range and mean colony size were 5–81.5 and 43, respectively. Rock hyraxes utilized more than 44 plant species as food. The species depends mainly on grasses, and increased browsing during the dry season. Habitat loss and fragmentation, wildfire and hunting by domestic dogs were the primary factors affecting the population status of the rock hyrax in BMNP. Awareness raising among the local people on conservation, benefit sharing of resources from the Park and conservation measures involving the local community are to be considered as priority measures in order to ensure sustainability of BMNP and the inhabiting rock hyraxes in the Park.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Afro-alpine habitat, conservation, distribution, habitat utilization, hyrax, population estimate, questionnaire surveys.
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Africana
Depositing User: Selom Ghislain
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2018 11:59
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2018 11:59
URI: http://thesisbank.jhia.ac.ke/id/eprint/7363

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