Journal of Tropical Ecology

Research Article

A preliminary investigation of small mammal biology in the Kora National Reserve, Kenya

S. K. Alibhaia1 and G. Keya2

a1 Zoology Department, Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 OEX, England

a2 Department of Biological Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, England

Abstract

This study examined the ecological distribution and abundance of the small mammal fauna in the Kora National Reserve, Kenya. Over a period of eight weeks, 3300 trap-nights yielded 11 species and a total of 298 small mammals. All 11 species were trapped in the diverse nyika habitat, whereas in the riverine habitat five species were trapped and the rock outcrops had only two species. However, the catch per trap-night was the highest on the rock outcrops compared with the riverine and nyika habitats. The duration of prebaiting had a marked effect on both diversity and abundance. With one exception, males of all species were in breeding condition whereas females tended to be more erratic. The biology of small mammal species in Kora in the dry season is discussed.

(Accepted November 29 1985)