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University of the Aegena (2019)

Investigation of the diversity and composition of small mammal species in a typical habitat of Lesvos

Μιχαήλ, Βασιλική

Titre : Investigation of the diversity and composition of small mammal species in a typical habitat of Lesvos

Διερεύνηση της ποικιλότητας και της σύνθεσης ειδών μικρών θηλαστικών σε ένα τυπικό ενδιαίτημα της Λέσβου

Auteur : Μιχαήλ, Βασιλική

Etablissement de soutenance : University of the Aegena

Grade : MasterThesis 2019

Résumé
The small mammals is considered to be one of the most numerous species in the animal kingdom. The term small mammals is described by the scientific community as the mammalian species which are weighing less than one kilogram. Their contribution to ecosystems is major as they maintain the balance and health through various processes which they operate throughout their lives in an ecosystem, as soil and various organisms (animals, plants) benefit more or less from them. Many observation methods for small terrestrial mammals have been applied until now. Depending on his research questions and the equipment available, a researcher can study a species directly or indirectly. The most common practices are trapping and/or observation of the species by analyzing the pellets of a predatory bird, usually an owl. In Lesvos Island, species from the Soricidae, Arvicolidae and Muridae families have been identified. The most important and characteristic species of the island is the Persian squirrel (Sciurus anomalus) and Harting’s vole (Microtus hartingi), whose population on the island of Lesvos is considered to be the only island population of the species in its distribution range. The purpose of this thesis was to investigate the diversity and composition of small mammal species in a typical habitat on the island of Lesvos through an analysis of Tyto alba’s food habits. Specific objectives were to obtain morphometric characteristics from three shrew species and the species Microtus hartingi, as well as their comparison with corresponding populations in neighboring areas of their distribution. In addition, their numerical abundance and percent biomass were estimated. Based on the results, the dominant species in the diet of Tyto alba in this region was the Harting’s vole (Microtus hartingi) both in terms of numerical abundance and total biomass.

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