Abundance, species composition and diversity of small mammals and the prevalence and intensity of infestation of associated fleas (Siphonaptera) across an altitudinal gradient along the Ugab river, Namibia select="/dri:document/dri:meta/dri:pageMeta/dri:metadata[@element='title']/node()"/>

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dc.contributor.author Frans, Alma Inga
dc.date.accessioned 2022-04-26T14:53:34Z
dc.date.available 2022-04-26T14:53:34Z
dc.date.issued 2021
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11070/3145
dc.description A thesis submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science (Biology) en_US
dc.description.abstract The objectives of the study were to determine and compare the abundance, species composition and diversity of small mammals and the associated fleas and to determine and compare the prevalence and intensity of infestation of fleas across an altitudinal gradient along the Ugab River, Namibia. Three sampling sites at different altitudes were selected, Outjo (high altitude site) at about 1300 m above sea level (a.s.l.), Vingerklip (middle altitude site) at about 1000 m a.s.l. and Brandberg (low altitude site) at 400 m a.s. l. Small mammals were trapped in January (hot wet season) and May (cold dry season) in 2018. A total of 159 small mammals belonging to seven rodents and two insectivore species were trapped during the entire study. Small mammals trapped included: Namaqua rock mouse (Micaelamys namaquensis), Natal multimammate rat (Mastomys natalensis), Red rock rat (Aethomys chrysophilus), lesser Red musk shrew (Crocidura hirta), pouched mouse (Saccostomus campestris), bushveld gerbil (Gerbiliscus leucogaster), black-tailed tree rat (Thallomys nigricauda), Acacia rat (Thallomys paedulcus) and bushveld elephant shrew (Elephantulus intufi). The abundance, species composition and diversity of small mammal hosts were not significantly different among the sampling sites during the two seasons (hot wet and cold dry seasons). A total of 139 fleas were collected from small mammals during the study. Three flea species were recorded from small mammal hosts during the study, namely: Xenopsylla cheopis, Xenopsylla brasiliensis and Listropsylla dorripae. The overall intensity of flea infestation (median) per host was not significantly different among the three sampling sites during the hot wet and the cold dry season. Overall infestation prevalence of fleas for the three sites during the hot wet season revealed no significant difference. However, the infestation prevalence of fleas of small mammals was significant among the three sites during the cold dry season. Altitude affects vegetation structure and cover, which in turn affect the small mammal and flea communities. Altitude also affects several climatic factors (temperature, rainfall, humidity), which affect small mammal and flea communities. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Namibia en_US
dc.subject Small mammals en_US
dc.subject Fleas en_US
dc.subject Infestation prevalence en_US
dc.subject Ugab river en_US
dc.subject Species composition en_US
dc.title Abundance, species composition and diversity of small mammals and the prevalence and intensity of infestation of associated fleas (Siphonaptera) across an altitudinal gradient along the Ugab river, Namibia en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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