Human impacts on the habitat structure for reptiles in the Uzungwa scarp nature forest reserve (USNFR)

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dc.contributor.author Lyakurwa, John Valentine
dc.date.accessioned 2019-05-29T10:20:42Z
dc.date.available 2019-05-29T10:20:42Z
dc.date.issued 2019-04
dc.identifier.uri http://dspace.nm-aist.ac.tz/handle/123456789/242
dc.description A Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master’s in Life Sciences at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology en_US
dc.description.abstract While knowledge of African herpetology has increased dramatically in recent years, many areas have not yet been adequately explored. The need for assessing habitat characteristics for reptile species is urgently required due to anthropogenic threats and how to best understand/mitigate such changes. Intensive field work was conducted during the rainy season from December 2017 to April 2018 to assess reptile occurrence mostly in biologically least explored areas of the Uzungwa Scarp Nature Forest Reserve (USNFR) which is part of the Udzungwa Mountain range in the Eastern Arc Mountains (EAM), and adjacent agricultural areas. Bucket pitfall traps, funnel traps, night transects, time constrained and opportunistic searches were used to sample reptiles across four zones; in lowland, submontane and montane forests of the USNFR and in neighboring farmlands. Interviews were used to assess farmers‟ perceptions on reptiles and provided data to supplement trapping in farmlands. Forty-five reptile species across 14 families were recorded, mostly concentrated in the lowland and submontane forests. Most endemic and threatened species were found in the submontane forest. This study reports nineteen species new to the USNFR, one being new to science. Five and four species represent distribution and elevation range extensions, respectively. Reptile species diversity and abundance differed significantly across the four zones, except between montane and farmland zones and between lowland and submontane zones. Species composition was strongly affected by elevation and land use type with farmland being more discordant from other zones and sites closer to each other being more related in their reptile species composition. Farmers were poorly informed on reptiles, and killing was the major action taken when a snake was encountered by them. This study adds to the importance of the EAM not only in harbouring large numbers of species but also as an important hotspot for endemic and threatened reptiles. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher NM-AIST en_US
dc.subject Eastern Arc Mountains en_US
dc.subject farmland en_US
dc.title Human impacts on the habitat structure for reptiles in the Uzungwa scarp nature forest reserve (USNFR) en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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