Impact of Area Enclosures on Density and Diversity of Large Wild Mammals: The Case of May Ba’ati, Douga Tembien District, Central Tigray, Ethiopia
AbstractIn Ethiopian highlands, area enclosures have been established on degraded areas for ecological
rehabilitation. However, information on the importance of area enclosures in improving wild fauna richness is
lacking. Thus, this study was conducted to assess the impact of enclosures on density and diversity of large wild
mammals. Direct observations along fixed width transects with three timings, total counting with two timings,
and pellet drop counts were used to determine population of large wild mammals. Regression analysis and
ANOVA were used to test the significance of the relationships among age of enclosures, canopy cover, density
and diversity of large wild mammals. The enclosures have higher density and diversity of large wild mammals
than adjacent unprotected areas. The density and diversity of large wild mammals was higher for the older
enclosures with few exceptions. Diversity of woody species also showed strong relationship (r2 = 0.77 and 0.92)
with diversity of diurnal and nocturnal wild mammals. Significant relationship (at p<0.05) was observed
between age and density as well as among canopy cover, density and diversity of large nocturnal wild
mammals. The existence of both large carnivore and herbivore wild mammals indicated the effectiveness of
area enclosures in biodiversity conservation. However, for further improvement of the habitat and thereby
biodiversity, development of water points and vegetation management are timely needed.
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