Journal Of Tropical Biosciences
Volume No: 11|
Page No: 50
| FullText PDF
Title: CAMERA TRAPPING: A MEANS OF ESTIMATING THE ABUNDANCE AND DIVERSITY OF MAMMALS IN YANKARI GAME RESERVE, BAUCHI, NIGERIA
ADEIZA, Z.O1*; MANU, S.A2 AND OTTOSSON, U.2
1DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, BAZE UNIVERSITY ABUJA,
2A.P. LEVENTIS ORNITHOLOGICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE (APLORI), UNIVERSITY OF JOS, NIGERIA.
Game Reserves serve as reservoir for what is left of the wildlife in Africa and also serve as a tourist destination especially for large mammal game viewing. However, not all mammals are easily seen; and may therefore be regarded as absent or non-existent in such reserves. Camera traps offer a non-intrusive method of recording cryptic mammals that might otherwise remain undetected thereby improving knowledge of such species. A total of twenty camera trap stations were identified and selected along animal paths within the savanna and gallery forest for the investigation. Ten WildvieW Xtreme series automatic cameras were placed at least 1 m above ground by the side of the road 10 m apart. Each camera was considered as a sampling unit covering a radius of 5 m. The camera traps were put out at 6:00am for 24 hours every other day and retrieved on the following day at 6:00am and the pictures downloaded before remounting them. A total of 456 hours of camera-trapping was accumulated giving rise to 271 independent photos of 10 different mammal species, with an average of 0.595 ± 0.02 mammals sighted per hour. The mean abundance of mammals in the savanna was 1.13±0.74 while that of the gallery forest was 1.52±0.97. However, the savanna had a higher mean diversity (0.54 ± 0.15) of mammals than the gallery forest (0.39 ± 0.15). Camera traps when used widely would provide useful information of otherwise little known species, which will help in their conservation.
It could be concluded that camera trapping, as a survey method, is useful to establish the presence or otherwise of species (especially cryptic ones) in a given habitat. Also, the relative abundance was found to be quite low in both habitats even though the savanna was found to be more diverse than the gallery forest. . Finally, as a pioneer research, this study will serve as a reference point for future studies on mammal species using camera traps in Yankari Game Reserve and Nigeria at large.