Response of rodents to land use gradients in small-holder farms in Northern Limpopo: implications for ecologically-based rodent management (EBRM)

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dc.contributor.advisor Swanepoel, L. H.
dc.contributor.advisor Taylor, P. J.
dc.contributor.advisor Stam, E.
dc.contributor.author Nembudani, Nkhumeleni Lesly
dc.date.accessioned 2017-11-14T09:02:35Z
dc.date.available 2017-11-14T09:02:35Z
dc.date.issued 2017-09-18
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11602/958
dc.description MENVSC
dc.description Department of Ecology and Resource Management
dc.description.abstract Rodents can quickly respond to land use changes whether the change positively or negatively influences their life. In the case of positive influence, rodents exploit the additional food resources and increase their numbers to potential pest level, especially in the absence of predators. Such a population increase can potentially be harmful to humans due to the diseases that rodents carry and the costs due to damage to crops, stored foods and personal possessions that they may cause to small holder farmers. Small holder farmers live in a mixed landscape that is constantly changing. Such changes are changes in land use and they do not only affect rodent population dynamics and species composition, but also their ecosystem services and integrity. Understanding how rodents respond to these land use changes (crop, grazing and settlement) will not only improve the implementation of Ecologically Based Rodent Management (EBRM), but might also enable the monitoring of ecosystem integrity. Rodent trapping was conducted in two different study sites which experience different rainfalls during wet and dry season. A 70 m x 70 m grid was set in three different land uses (crops, grazing and settlement) per study site. A mark-recapture technique was applied and all captures were processed on a temporal station on site. In all grids at a distance of 30 m a line of 20 snap traps were set. With the tapping effort of 1470 trap nights per season for both seasons in this study we captured 839 rodents and 2 shrews, which represented 469 individual rodents and 1 individual shrew. At Vyeboom, cropping land use had the highest number capture (210) and the highest in species richness (9) rodent species and 1 shrew. The settlement land use was second at 144 captures for 8 rodent species and lastly the grazing land use at 80 captures with 7 rodent species. On the other hand, at Ka-Ndengeza also cropping land use had the highest capture (186) with highest richness at 7 rodent species. When it comes to settlement and grazing, settlement was second (129) to cropping in terms of the number of capture but last in terms of richness (5) whilst grazing was last in terms of number of captures 92 and second in terms of richness (6). Despite the high diversity of rodents, only Mastomys natalensis, Gerbilliscus leucogaster, Steatomys pratensis and Rattus rattus were captured in meaningful sample sizes to allow for robust density estimation. Similarly there were strong seasonal effects on rodent captures, with almost no captures during the wet season. en_US
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (x, 53 leaves : illustrations, maps)
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights University of Venda
dc.subject Rodents en_US
dc.subject Ecosystem services en_US
dc.subject Rangelands en_US
dc.subject Ecosystem integrity en_US
dc.subject Rodent population en_US
dc.subject Ecologically based rodent management en_US
dc.subject.ddc 636.9350968259
dc.subject.lcsh Rodents -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Rodents -- Control -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Mammals -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Rodenticides -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Farms, Small -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.title Response of rodents to land use gradients in small-holder farms in Northern Limpopo: implications for ecologically-based rodent management (EBRM) en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US

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