Species composition and pest status of rodents were studied in Tendaho Sugarcane Plantation during August 2013—April 2014. Three trapping grids were randomly selected in the plantation based on the growth stages of the cane, viz., immature (ISP), young (YSP), and old (OSP). An additional grid was selected in the bushland (BLA) area outside the sugarcane plantation. A total of 269 individuals of rodents were captured in 2,940 trap nights, with a cumulative trap success of 9.15% for the different habitats for wet and dry seasons. Captured animals were of the following seven species of rodents: Arvicanthis niloticus (103), Mastomys natalensis (63), Rattus rattus (47), Tatera robusta (22), Arvicanthis dembeensis (14), Mus mahomet (13), and Mus musculus (7). The Shannon-Weaver Index shows the rodent diversity was 0.24, 0.36, 0.34, and 0.33 in ISP, YSP, OSP, and BLA, respectively. Abundance of species varied in bushland and in different growth stages of the sugarcane plantation. There were seasonal differences in the abundance and trap success of rodents. Up to 4.6% of the sugarcane stalks were damaged by rodents in the present study area. Sugarcane fibers were present in the stomach contents of snap trapped rodents from plantations revealing their pest status.
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Vol. 42 • No. 1