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CAMPUS CRITTERS: USING CAMERA TRAPS TO DETERMINE THE PRESENCE AND DISTRIBUTION OF WILDLIFE ON A NIGERIAN UNIVERSITY CAMPUS

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  • 1-5 Chapters
  • Abstract : Available
  • Table of Content: Available
  • Reference Style: APA
  • Recommended for : Student Researchers
  • NGN 3000

ABSTRACT

Widely used to study wildlife, camera trapping involves automated devices that record pictures or videos using infrared sensors that detect motion. Camera trapping has greatly improved scientific investigation as it can gather data on rare, cryptic, or nocturnal species. On the American University of Nigeria campus in Adamawa State, northeastern Nigeria, I used camera trapping to determine the presence and distribution of wildlife species and the habitat use of two nocturnal mammals, whitetailed mongoose (Ichneumia albicauda) and giant-pouched rat (Cricetomys gambianus). I surveyed 29 sampling points for three trap nights, resulting in a total of 87 trap nights. Using occupancy modeling, I evaluated the influence of covariates on presence and habitat use of these two mammals. Results indicated that the presence of nature areas and domestic goats positively influenced the presence and habitat use of white-tailed mongoose. These factors were also important for the giant pouched rat, whose habitat use was positively associated with nature areas, but negatively associated with the presence of goats. These results indicate that white-tailed vii mongoose and giant pouched rat prefer less disturbed habitats on campus. The adaptable mongoose, though, appears to also tolerate more disturbed areas and may even be excluded from areas where other mongoose species occur (in this study, banded mongoose). The pouched rat appears to avoid disturbed environments. My findings may be affected by the short survey period and limited number of cameras. I recommend the university enhance natural vegetation and increase awareness about the ecological importance of having such wildlife on campus.




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