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Mol Biol Rep ; 49(11): 10431-10442, 2022 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36107374


BACKGROUND: Management of most herbivorous small mammal species considered to be pests in Africa is still challenging partly because of the paucity of information on their biological traits that would help to manage their destructive impacts. This gap also precludes the potential for tapping species with potential food-value to improving the economy of rural communities through, for example, sustainable game farming programs in Africa. This study investigates the genetic diversity and population demography of the African Greater Cane rat (AGC), a rodent pest of crops and game species inhabiting two isolated blocks of the Eastern Arc Mountains (EAMs), Tanzania to contribute to the species management and conservation. METHODOLOGY AND RESULTS: We used non-invasive sampling techniques and DNA sequencing of the D-loop region of MtDNA (515bp) from 46 cane rats (Thryonomys swinderianus) samples to characterize the genetic diversity and structure of the species and potential population threats faced in natural habitats. We found 25 haplotypes:15 from Uluguru and 9 from Udzungwa mountains populations, containing 49 polymorphic regions (32 parsimoniously informative and 17 singleton sites). Haplotype diversity (range: 0.849-0.995) did not differ substantially across populations but the median haplotype diversity for Udzungwa South was overall lower than for other populations. Nucleotide diversity averaged 0.00641, 0.01528, 0.0111 and 0.01313, respectively for Udzungwa South, Udzungwa North, Uluguru Rural and Uluguru Urban, suggesting high genetic diversity within the four populations. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) indicated significantly high genetic differences between the four populations (FST = 0.16, p = 0.00098) whereas neutrality test (FU's Fs) values were negative, indicating historical population expansion. Similarly, the Bayesian skyline analysis indicated a recent demographic expansion suggesting limited bottlenecks in the recent past in this population. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show the AGC population in EAMs consists of four distinct populations which have experienced a recent population expansion, especially among the urban population due perhaps to influence of urbanization process that may have favored assisted species movements across the rural-urban landscapes. Future research should focus on understanding impact of geographical isolation on the genetic structure and diversity of this species.

Ecossistema , Variação Genética , Animais , Ratos , Variação Genética/genética , Tanzânia , Teorema de Bayes , Bengala , DNA Mitocondrial/genética , Haplótipos/genética , Genética Populacional , Filogenia , Mamíferos
PLoS One ; 15(8): e0227163, 2020.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32822346


Illegal hunting is a persistent problem in many protected areas, but an overview of the extent of this problem and its impact on wildlife is lacking. We reviewed 40 years (1980-2020) of global research to examine the spatial distribution of research and socio-ecological factors influencing population decline within protected areas under illegal hunting pressure. From 81 papers reporting 988 species/site combinations, 294 mammal species were reported to have been illegally hunted from 155 protected areas across 48 countries. Research in illegal hunting has increased substantially during the review period and showed biases towards strictly protected areas and the African continent. Population declines were most frequent in countries with a low human development index, particularly in strict protected areas and for species with a body mass over 100 kg. Our results provide evidence that illegal hunting is most likely to cause declines of large-bodied species in protected areas of resource-poor countries regardless of protected area conservation status. Given the growing pressures of illegal hunting, increased investments in people's development and additional conservation efforts such as improving anti-poaching strategies and conservation resources in terms of improving funding and personnel directed at this problem are a growing priority.

Conservação dos Recursos Naturais/legislação & jurisprudência , Internacionalidade , Mamíferos , Animais , Dinâmica Populacional
Zoo Biol ; 33(5): 411-8, 2014.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25182839


Understanding the behavior of species threatened with extinction is important for conservation planning and for solving problems facing species in captivity and the wild. We examined diurnal activity budgets and habitat use of the extinct in the wild Kihansi spray toad to provide insights into ongoing conservation initiatives for this species. Observations on eight target behaviors were made each morning and evening for 14 days, in two subpopulations at Kihansi and University of Dar es Salaam captive breeding centers. There were significantly more bouts of resting than calling, amplexing, hunting, walking, climbing, or feeding. There was no difference in mean time spent in each activity between the two subpopulations. The use of habitat was variable between age classes, subpopulations and sampling time. Young toads spent significantly more time resting at the top of vegetation and on walls while adults rested more on logs. Further, adults foraged more on the walls and vegetation in the morning and on the ground in the evening. Contrastingly, young toads foraged more on the ground in the morning and switched to elevated patches during evening. The similarity of the toads' behavior suggests that important biological traits are still maintained in captivity and retained across toad generations. Furthermore, temporal and spatial variations in the use of habitat structures between age groups suggest fine-scale resource partitioning to reduce competition in this gregarious species. These results highlight the importance of maintaining diverse habitat structures in captivity and are useful for planning species reintroduction and future restocking programs.

Animais de Zoológico/fisiologia , Comportamento Animal/fisiologia , Bufonidae/fisiologia , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais/métodos , Ecossistema , Espécies em Perigo de Extinção , Atividade Motora/fisiologia , Animais , Observação , Estatísticas não Paramétricas