Trends of Land Cover Change and Conservation Challenges of Grevy’s Zebra (Equus grevyi, Oustalet 1882) in Hallaydeghe Asebot Proposed National Park, Southeast EthiopiaRead the full article
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Severe Enamel Defects in Wild Japanese Macaques
Plane-form enamel hypoplasia (PFEH) is a severe dental defect in which large areas of the crown are devoid of enamel. This condition is rare in humans and even rarer in wild primates. The etiology of PFEH has been linked to exposure to severe disease, malnutrition, and environmental toxins and associated with systemic conditions. In this study, we examined the prevalence of enamel hypoplasia in several populations of wild Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) with the aim of providing context for severe defects observed in macaques from Yakushima Island. We found that 10 of 21 individuals (48%) from Yakushima Island displayed uniform and significant PFEH; all 10 specimens were from two adjacent locations in the south of the island. In contrast, macaques from other islands and from mainland Japan have a low prevalence of the more common types of enamel hypoplasia and none exhibit PFEH. In Yakushima macaques, every tooth type was affected to varying degrees except for first molars and primary teeth, and the mineral content of the remaining enamel in teeth with PFEH was normal (i.e., no hypo- or hypermineralization). The aetiology of PFEH might be linked to extreme weather events or high rates of environmental fluoride-causing enamel breakdown. However, given that the affected individuals underwent dental development during a period of substantial human-related habitat change, an anthropogenic-related etiology seems most likely. Further research on living primate populations is needed to better understand the causes of PFEH in wild primates.
Composition and Diversity of Bird Community in the Chemoga Wetland and the Associated Human-Modified Landscapes, East Gojjam, Ethiopia
Wetlands and their surrounding habitats are rich in avian communities. However, the desire for human needs has degraded these ecosystems. The current study was carried out in the Chemoga wetland and its associated human-modified landscapes in East Gojjam, Ethiopia, during both the dry and wet seasons from December 2020 to August 2021. The study aims to investigate the species composition and diversity of the bird community. A line transect sampling technique was used in the human-modified landscapes, whereas the total counting method was used to study the wetland habitat. PAST software and Microsoft Excel were used for data analysis. Using a paired diversity T-test, the effect of seasons and habitats on species richness and abundance was compared. In total, 3890 individuals, 76 species, 31 families, and 13 orders were recorded from the studied habitats. Our results showed that the Chemoga wetland with low human disturbance had a greater number of birds and abundance than the human-modified habitats at < 0.05. Moreover, in both wet and dry seasons, the Chemoga wetland ( < 0.05) shows significant difference in the abundance of avian species. But, in the human-modified habitat, there is no significant difference in the abundance of avian species ( > 0.05). The majority of birds scored frequent and common on the ordinal scale in both habitats and seasons. This study confirms that the studied habitats are important for the conservation of birds. Conservation measures are thus required to limit disturbances and foster species survival in the area.
Farmers’ Perceptions of Rodents’ Damage and Management Practices in Wenchi Highlands, Central Ethiopia
Local perceptions about rodents and the damage they cause and management practices are the first step to design and implement rodent control programs. A study was conducted to obtain information about the perceptions and practices of farmers in Wenchi highlands on rodent damage and their management practices in the late-2020 and early 2021. Farmers (n = 383) from four highland villages of Wenchi district were randomly selected and interviewed using a semistructured questionnaire. Rodents were identified as major pests and perceived negatively among farmers. Arvicanthis abyssinicus (Rüppell), Mastomys natalensis (Smith), Mastomys awashensis (Lavrenchenko, Likhnova & Baskevich), Hystrix cristata L., and Tachyoryctes splendens (Rüppell) were the potential rodent pest species in the study area. There were significant variations in the type of damage (χ2 = 112.698, df = 3, ) and crop type susceptibility to rodent pest attack (χ2 = 143.26, df = 3, ). Crop damage (38.7%) and damage to human properties (27.9%) were the two dominant rodent-related problems in the area. Barley was the most susceptible crop to rodent attack (57.5%). The occurrence frequency of rodent pests and crop damage between the cropping stages also varied significantly. Most damage to barley crops (42.5%) occurred during the maturation stage. Farmers assessed rodent damage by observing damaged seeds, damaged stores, and rodent droppings in the storage and stem cuts of standing crops in the crop fields. The farmers stated that managing rodents in barley crop fields is practically impossible. In storage, farmers mainly use cats (53.73%) and trapping (22.64%) to control rodents. Detailed on-field rodent damage assessment and community education for rodent management are recommended.
First Annoted Checklist of Aquatic Diptera (Insecta) of Two Ramsar Sites (Ahançal and Aït Bouguemaz Rivers) at the Central High Atlas (Morocco): Families Ceratopogonidae, Chironomidae, Tipulidae, Empididae, and Tabanidae
This paper presents the first results of 1-year survey of aquatic Diptera, carried out in two Moroccan High Atlas rivers, Assif Ahançal and Assif n’Aït Bouguemaz, which are registered as Ramsar sites and drain a large part of the mountainous Geopark of Mgoun. This survey, which consists in a first study of the longitudinal distribution of these insects, occurs during the period September 2019–July 2020, at high and medium altitudes (1086–2408 m). Limited to immature stages, this study permitted to collect 561 specimens of Diptera from 16 river sections, mainly using a Surber-net sampler. Among the collected material, we were able to identify 38 genera and 11 species, belonging to five families. This fauna is relatively rich in new taxa for Morocco or for the High Atlas mountains. Indeed, two Chironomidae species, Macropelopia notata (Meigen, 1818) and Psectrocladius (Allopsectrocladius) flavus (Johannsen, 1905), and one Tipulidae, Tipula (Yamatotipula) pierrei, Tonnoir, 1921, are newly recorded in Morocco, as well as five genera: three Chironomidae (Krenopelopia, Fittkau; Natarsia, Fittkau; and Psilometriocnemus, Saether), one Empididae (Chelifera, Macquart), and one Ceratopogonidae (Atrichopogon, Kieffer). Two other species, Parachironomus frequens (Johannsen) and Heterotrissocladius marcidus (Walker), and seven genera are reported as new taxa in the High Atlas. The two rivers have similar richness (21 taxa each), mainly due to Chironomidae (94%), the most abundant and diversified family. The Empididae (4.8%) are relatively under-represented in the two rivers, as well as the other families (Ceratopogonidae, Tipulidae, and Tabanidae), which do not exceed 1% of the total dipteran abundance. The vertical distribution of the taxa revealed significant influence of the altitude on community compositions and distributions. In waiting to collect adults, immature dipteran stages prove the high abundance and diversity of the benthic entomological assemblages, which give hope that a more deep study of the dipteran fauna in the two Ramsar sites will provide remarkable novelties, in both systematic and ecological domains. It is also expected that this study will permit to assess the aquatic biodiversity of these ecosystems and its sensitivity to the increasing human disturbances.
Bats of the Safi-Essaouira Provinces (Morocco): New Inputs to the Knowledge of Bat Populations of the Atlantic Littoral
In Morocco, investigations of bats are limited and fragmentary. The majority of studies were done in northern provinces close to the Mediterranean Sea and focused on the geographical distribution of bats. With the aim of overcoming these gaps, we used diurnal caves visits, hand nets and mist nets, and acoustic surveys to make an inventory of the Atlantic littoral of Safi-Essaouira provinces, which is considered one of the most neglected regions in the country. In total, five caves and nine foraging habitats were surveyed from 2020 to 2022. Our surveys highlighted the distribution of eleven bat species belonging to five families, of which Rhinolophus blasii and Tadarida teniotis species were newly recorded in the study area. Three caves, namely, Sbaa Fam, Haouya, and Sidi Benkrara were newly discovered and hosted medium-sized colonies of five species. They were important for bats during the daytime, hibernation, and breeding. In foraging habitats, 2650 passes of 10 species were recorded. Pipistrellus pipistrellus and Pipistrellus kuhlii were the most active, followed by Miniopterus schreibersii and Eptesicus isabellinus, while Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, Hipposideros tephrus, Rhinolophus mehelyi, T. teniotis, Myotis punicus, and R. blasii were less active. Olive groves were the most diverse habitat with 8 species, followed by Safi pinewood and degraded Argane forest with 4 species each and Sidi Abderrahmane lake with 3 species. The other habitats hosted only two species each. This paper is the first to highlight data on bats in the coastal areas of Morocco and North Africa. Our results contribute to improve knowledge of the annual cycle of these bats and fill the gaps related to their distribution in the coastal area of the Safi-Essaouira provinces.
Reproductive Behavior of Bubalus arnee (Kerr, 1792) (Mammalia: Artiodactyla: Bovidae) in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and Chitwan National Park, Nepal
The Asiatic wild water buffalo (Bubalus arnee Kerr), an endangered species featured on the IUCN Red List, is distributed across Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bhutan, Cambodia, and Thailand. This investigation delves into the reproductive and certain social behaviors exhibited by Bubalus arnee across distinct habitats and herd types within Nepal’s Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve (KTWR) and Chitwan National Park (CNP) during the premonsoon and postmonsoon spans of 2018. The data were amassed through direct observations employing focal animal sampling, continuous sampling, and scan sampling methodologies. Eight primary behavioral activities were noted: chasing, courtship, grazing, mating, mowing, sniffing, urination, and wallowing. We carefully structured the gathered data and input it into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to facilitate analysis. For a more comprehensive visualization of reproductive behavior, we utilized the ggplot2 package within R-studio, enabling the creation of informative graphical depictions. During the premonsoon phase, Bull A exhibited six reproductive behaviors in KTWR. Notably, sniffing was the most frequently observed behavior, recorded six times (37.5%) daily, succeeded by fighting and urination with four (25%) and three (18.35%) daily observations, respectively. Chasing, mating, and courtship were each observed once (6.25%) daily. In contrast, during both seasons, Bulls B, M, and J were not observed partaking in mating activities. When analyzing the postmonsoon reproductive behavior of the observed B. arnee in KTWR and CNP, a notable distinction emerged. In KTWR, there were four more instances of sniffing behavior compared to CNP. In addition, courtship behavior was slightly more frequent in KTWR, occurring three times, whereas it was observed only twice in CNP. Similarly, urination activity was recorded twice as often in KTWR as compared to CNP. As a suggestion for future research, exploring the specific factors influencing the observed variations in reproductive behaviors and habitat preferences of Bubalus arnee could provide valuable insights into the conservation and management of these endangered species.