Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

You are here: Home / Associated publications / Belgian Journal of Zoology / Bibliographic References / Rodent population fluctuations in three ecologically heterogeneous locations in northeast, central and southwest Tanzania

Rhodes Makundi, Apia Massawe, and Loth Mulungu (2005)

Rodent population fluctuations in three ecologically heterogeneous locations in northeast, central and southwest Tanzania


Rodent population fluctuations and breeding patterns were investigated at localities in South-west, Central and North-east Tanzania. The three localities are ecologically heterogeneous ill vegetation types, rodent species diversity, rainfall pattern and altitude. Capture -Mark-Release studies were conducted in 2001-2003 to compare rodent species composition and Population trends. In North-castern Tanzania, species composition is diverse and includes Mastomys natalensis, Lophuromys flavopunctatus, Grammomys dolichurus, Arvicanthis nairobae, Praomys delectorum and Mus sp.. Five species were recorded in South-western Tanzania namely, M. natalensis, Graphiurus murinus, Saccostomus elegans, Tatera leucogaster and Steatomys pratensis. In Central Tanzania M. natalensis was dominant, but a few Lemniscomys griselda were captured. Rodent abundance fluctuations were distinctively seasonal, especially for M. natalensis in the three localities and T. leucogaster in South-west Tanzania. In North-eastern Tanzania, L. flavopunctatus, G dolichurus, A. nairobae and P delectorum had low, but relatively stable Populations throughout the year. Ill South-west Tanzania, population peaks of M. natalensis and T leucogaster were reached in the dry season (June-September). In Central Tanzania, breeding of M natalensis was seasonal, with highest population abundance during July-November. Female M. natalensis were reproductively active in January-May and males had scrotal testes in December-June. No males were sexually active during July-November. Female T leucogaster in South-western Tanzania were reproductively active during November-April/May whereas sexually active males appeared in the Population during November-March. In view of the observed rodent population fluctuations and breeding patterns, recommendations are given for pragmatic rodent control in South-west and Central Tanzania and for plague in North-eastern Tanzania.

Mastomys natalensis; Tatera leucogaster; Grammomys dolichurus; Lophuromys flavopunctatus sp.; Praomys delectorum; Saccostomus elegans; Graphiurus; Mus; Arvicanthis nairobae; Tanzania; population fluctuation; crop damage; plague
  • ISSN: 0777-6276

ISSN 2295-0451 (online version)
ISSN 0777-6279 (printed version)
impact factor 2015: 0,87.

Prof. Dr. Isa Schön
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Vautierstraat 29
1000 Brussels, Belgium


Annales de la Société malacologique de Belgique
​Annales de la Société royale malacologique et zoologique de Belgique
Annales de la Société Royale Zoologique de Belgique
Belgian Journal of Zoology