ABC_35-1_2012

ISSN: 1578-665X | e-ISSN: 2014-928X An international journal devoted to the study and conservation of animal biodiversity, open-access, free for authors, driven by a fast-paced editorial process that includes assessment by experts. It is published twice a year.

The effect of habitat degradation, season and gender on morphological parameters of lesser jerboas (Jaculus jaculus L.) in Kuwait

Al–Mutairi, M.  Mata, F.  Bhuller, R.  

Abstract

Arid environments suffer anthropogenic interference causing habitat degradation. This degradation can influence animal populations. We randomly captured a total of 198 lesser jerboas Jaculus jaculus in three seasons (autumn, spring and summer) in two relatively close areas (intact and degraded). All animals were sexed, and weight, body and tail length, and thigh thickness were taken. We found significant differences in weight (p < 0.001), which was lower in summer (p < 0.05) when fewer food resources were available. Thigh thickness was greater in the intact habitat (p < 0.01), explained by the greater amount of food resources and also by the higher numbers of predators in this area, prompting escape behaviour. Females in the intact area were heavier and had longer bodies and tails. This was related to greater availability of time for mothers to search for food in this area.

Key words

Habitat, Degradation, Kuwait, Lesser jerboa, Jaculus jaculus L.

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