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OWU Connection Programs
Project Title: Performance of Single Species as Indicators of Large Mammal Species Richness Across Different Ecosystems in Tanzania
Mentor: Shala Hankison
In conservation planning, managers often rely on using a single species as a proxy for high species richness and biodiversity to delineate and establish wildlife corridors. However, in Tanzania, single species performance as an indicator of species richness across large spatial variations has rarely been assessed for use in establishing wildlife corridors. Using data from distance sampling transects in ten sites across three ecosystems of Tanzania, we assessed the performance of eight mammal species as indicators of high mammal species richness. We found that performance of single species did vary widely across the different locations. We also determined that species performance is based upon the species’ relative abundance and the dominant feeding guild of the site. We suggest that the distribution range of three species, impala, giraffe, and zebra, be used to help delineate and establish corridors for large mammal migration and dispersal.