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Importance of rodents as a human food source in Benin

Authors:
  • The Alliance of Bioversity International (Bioversity) and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

Abstract

Rodents are an important food source for villagers near the Lama forest reserve, located in the south of Benin between 6°55 - 7°00N and 2°04 - 2°12 E. This study was designed to look at the consumption of rodents as a food source combined with a survey of rodents sold in markets. Data was collected on : rodents species consumed, frequencies of consumption and food preferences. Some animals were captured in order to confirm the species. Rodents were a major part of diet included 10 species : grasscutter (Thryonomys swinderianus), giant rats (Criceto- mys gambianus), Gambian Sun-squirrel (Heliosciurus gambianus), crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata), ground squirrel (Xerus erythropus), grass rat (Arvicanthis niloticus), slender gerbil (Taterillus gracilis), Kempi's gerbil (Tatera kempii), multimammate rats (Mastomys spp.) and grass mouse (Lemniscomys striatus venustus). On aver- age, young people and children consumed rodents 6 times per person per month. The preferences of local popula- tions were grasscutter and giant rats which were sold in local markets at relatively high prices US$8-10 and US$2-4 respectively. It is important to conduct further studies to look at the impact of this hunting on the rodent populations and to ensure sustainable harvesting.
Belg. J. Zool., 135 (supplement) : 11-15 December 2005
Importance of rodents as a human food source in Benin
A.E. Assogbadjo, J.T.C. Codjia, B. Sinsin, M.R.M. Ekue and G.A. Mensah
Faculté des Sciences Agronomiques, Université d’Abomey-Calavi, 05 BP 1752 Cotonou (Akpakpa-Centre), Benin
Corresponding author : A.E. Assogbadjo, e-mail : assogbadjo@yahoo.fr
ABSTRACT. Rodents are an important food source for villagers near the Lama forest reserve, located in the south
of Benin between 6°55 - 7°00N and 2°04 - 2°12 E. This study was designed to look at the consumption of rodents as
a food source combined with a survey of rodents sold in markets. Data was collected on : rodents species consumed,
frequencies of consumption and food preferences. Some animals were captured in order to confirm the species.
Rodents were a major part of diet included 10 species : grasscutter (Thryonomys swinderianus), giant rats (Criceto-
mys gambianus), Gambian Sun-squirrel (Heliosciurus gambianus), crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata), ground
squirrel (Xerus erythropus), grass rat (Arvicanthis niloticus), slender gerbil (Taterillus gracilis), Kempi’s gerbil
(Tatera kempii), multimammate rats (Mastomys spp.) and grass mouse (Lemniscomys striatus venustus). On aver-
age, young people and children consumed rodents 6 times per person per month. The preferences of local popula-
tions were grasscutter and giant rats which were sold in local markets at relatively high prices US$8-10 and US$2-4
respectively. It is important to conduct further studies to look at the impact of this hunting on the rodent populations
and to ensure sustainable harvesting.
KEY WORDS : Rodents, Human consumption, Lama forest, Benin.
INTRODUCTION
Little attention has been given to the beneficial effects
of rodents to human food security (MENSAH, 1991; JORI et
al., 1994; HANOTTE & MENSAH, 2002). In Africa, rodents
are a significant source of animal protein for humans,
especially in tropical Africa (AJAYI & OLAWOYE, 1974;
MALEKANI & PAULUS, 1989; FALCONER, 1996; MALAISSE,
1997; NTIAMOA-BAÏDU, 1998). In Benin, there have been
few studies conducted to show how important rodents are
in helping to ensure the food security of the populations
(BAPTIST & MENSAH, 1986; CODJIA & HEYMANS, 1988;
HEYMANS & CODJIA, 1988; MENSAH, 1991; ASSOGBADJO,
2000). Therefore, a better understanding of the way
rodents contribute directly to the diet of local populations
is required. This study, carried out in Lama forest reserve
(Bénin), describes a case study on the consumption of
rodents by forest-bordering human populations.
Study site
Lama forest reserve is located in south Benin from
6°55’ to 7°00’ N and between 2°04’ and 2°12’ E (Fig. 1).
It covers 16,250 ha, including 2,290 ha of dense forest as
censused in 1999. The bordering populations of this forest
comprise 20 rural villages with an estimated number of
41,500 individuals (1998) belonging mainly to the Holli
and Fon ethnic groups. The altitude of the forest averages
60 m. Soils are vertisols of a clay-sandy type. The water
network is exclusively composed of ponds and seasonal
streams. The climate is a transitional guinean type, falling
between the bimodal and unimodal rainfall distribution.
The annual average rainfall is 1,112 mm. The annual
average temperature varies between 25°C and 29°C. Rel-
ative humidity remains very high throughout the year,
even in the dry season. The vegetation of the forest is
composed of about 173 plant species and belongs mainly
to the soudano-guinean and guineo-congolian flora.
Accordingly, the natural vegetation of the forest is charac-
terized as dense humid semi-deciduous forest. In spite of
intensive poaching, it contains a rich and fairly abundant
fauna that is maintained by protection activities.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
This study comprised two phases : (1) food consump-
tion and socio-economic investigation in the bordering
villages and (2) the captures of rodents in various vegeta-
tion groups and villagers’ farms. A total of 126 villagers
were classified into three age classes (young, adult and
old) and two genders (male or female) (Table 1). Villagers
between 5 to 25 years old were considered as young, an
informant aged 26 to 50 years old were considered as
adults, and an informant aged above 50 years old were
considered as old. A structured questionnaire was used to
interview individuals or a group of informants by com-
bining retrospective method with direct observations. For
examining the relative importance of rodents in the diet,
data were collected from information on the consumption
of other mammals to pair them with these obtained on
rodents. Data were collected on the frequency of con-
sumption and the food preferences of each species of
mammals (including rodents). Practical handbooks were
used to help the informant in identifying the animal spe-
cies and also to obtain some useful information on it (DE
VISSER et al., 2001; KINGDON, 1997; SINSIN et al., 1997;
HEYMANS, 1986). The frequencies of consumption were
obtained by averaging the number of times a given spe-
cies was consumed per week and per informant. Three
level of consumption frequency were defined as :
A.E. Assogbadjo, J.T.C. Codjia, B. Sinsin, M.R.M. Ekue and G.A. Mensah
12
Less consumed species : rodent species consumed by
1 to 25% of the informants
Fairly consumed species : rodent species consumed
by 26 to 50% of the informants
Highly consumed species : rodent species consumed
by more than 50% of the informants.
To capture rodents, we used a combination of several
methods. We lay during 2 weeks traditional traps cur-
rently used by local population in four types of
vegetation : fallow, dense and degraded forests, planta-
tions and farms. In addition, we employed indigenous
hunters to use their traditional rodent hunting techniques.
Hunting takes place between 6h and 12h in the morning
and between 15h and 18h in the afternoon. Regarding
giant rats, villagers dug them from their burrows with a
hoe before killing them and used chasing and bush fires
methods for other rodents. This enabled us to survey the
different traditional hunting techniques and to understand
how rodents were collected from the wild.
RESULTS
Diversity and habitats of rodents consumed
by bordering populations of Lama forest reserve
Ten rodent species were consumed by local populations
(Table 2) : Thryonomys swinderianus, Cricetomys gambi-
anus, Heliosciurus gambianus, Hystris cristata, Xerus
erythropus, Arvicanthis niloticus, Taterillus gracilis, Tat-
era kempii, Mastomys natalensis and Lemniscomys stria-
tus venustus. These species belong to 4 rodent families
namely Murideae (6 species), Sciurideae (2 species),
Thryonomideae and Hystricideae (1 species for each).
Although rodents were trapped in different vegetation
types, villagers’ farms and forests were the preferred hab-
itats for most of rodent species consumed (Table 2)
Hunting techniques for rodents
and other collecting strategies in the study area
The hunting techniques varied according to the type of
animal, vegetation and season. The most common hunt-
ing techniques were chasing, trapping and using bush
fires, especially at the end of the dry season before the
land preparation for agriculture. Bush fires were the most
frequently used technique for hunting rats.
The grasscutter (Thryonomys swinderianus) is the
rodent species most collected by local villagers, due to the
quality of its meat and the income that can be gained. Vil-
lagers hunt grasscutters in small groups of young people,
by lighting bush fires to disturb the animals and flush it
from the bush to be chased by dogs. Hunting takes place
between 6h and 12h in the morning and between 15h and
18h in the afternoon. Giant rats (Cricetomys gambianus),
were dug from their burrows with a hoe.
Fig. 1. – Location of Lama reserve forest in Benin
TABLE 1
Number of local villagers (informants)
who were interviewed for the study
Gender Young Adult Old Tot a l
Male
Female
Tot al
6
3
9
25
41
66
22
29
51
53
73
126
NB : The age classes were defined as : young, 5-25 years old; adults,
26-50 years old; and old, >50 years old.
Importance of rodents as a human food source in Benin 13
Grasscutters and giant rats account for most of the
cases sold after they had been captured (Table 3). Apart
from these two highly preferred species, other rodent spe-
cies are hunted by using bush fires, dogs and hunting.
People can buy rodents in local markets for their con-
sumption. However, this was uncommon in the study
area. Hunting is still the main way for villagers to obtain
rodents for animal protein. Table 3 outlines the average
numbers of rodents killed per week and per hunter. This
gives also the sale prices for rodent meats.
Consumption frequency for mammal
and rodent species
In villages around Lama forest reserve, any kind of
bush meat is considered as edible by local villagers,
despite the governmental restrictions on hunting. More
than 75% of the village population ate grasscutter, giant
rat, grass rat and crested porcupine, while the other rodent
species were consumed by 51-75% of the village popula-
tion (Table 2).
Rodent meats were consumed at least 6 (Fig. 3) times
per month per person. This rate was at least twice the
meat consumption of other mammal species (Figs 2 & 3).
The frequency of meat consumption in men is much
higher than for women (x² = 1.16, p < 0.05) (Fig. 3), and
the frequency of meat consumption for young people was
mush higher than old people (x² = 0.56, p < 0.05) (Fig. 2).
Local populations’ consumption preference
for various mammal and rodent species
More than 53% (made up of giant rat 5%, grasscutter
40%, common rat 8%) of the villagers preferred rodent
meat than the meat of other mammal (Fig. 4). The red
TAB L E 2
Mammal species consumed by local villagers.
Scientific name Common name Family
Habitat type Proportion
For Pla Far Fal Consumed
Thryonomys swinderianus Grasscutter Tryonomideae++++> 75%
Hystrix cristata Crested porcupine Hystricideae + + + > 75 %
Heliosciurus gambianus Gambian sun-squirell Sciurideae + + 51-75%
Xerus erythropus Ground squirell Sciurideae + + 51-75%
Cricetomys gambianus Giant rat Murideae + + + > 75%
Arvicanthis niloticus Grass rat Murideae + + > 75 %
Taterillus gracilis Slender gerbil Murideae + + + 51-75%
Tatera kempi Kempi’s gerbil Murideae + + 51-75%
Mastomys natalensis Multimammate rat Murideae + 51-75%
Lemniscomys striatus venustus Grass mouse Murideae + + + 51-75%
Habitat types : For = Forest; Pla = Plantation; Far = Farm; Fal = Fallows.
TABLE 3
Average number of rodents killed per week per hunter, and aver-
age sale prices per individual animal.
Species Number of
rodents killed Part sold Sale price in
1999 (US $)
Grasscutter
Giant rat
Other rodent species
4
10
15
The whole
The whole
Not sold
8 to 10
2 to 4
-
0
0,2
0,4
0,6
0,8
1
1,2
1,4
1,6
1,8
2
Grasscutter
Giant rat
Bushbuck
Bushduiker
Scrub hare
Red river hog
Species
Consumption frequency per person per week
Children
Young
Old
Fig. 2. – Consumption frequencies for children, young and old
villagers per individual per week for the most hunted mammals
in Lama reserve forest according to different age classes.
0
0,2
0,4
0,6
0,8
1
1,2
1,4
1,6
1,8
Grasscutter
Giant rat
Bushbuck
Bush duiker
Scrubhare
Red river hog
Species
Consumption frequency per person per week
Men
Women
Fig. 3. – Consumption frequencies for male and female villag-
ers per individual per week for the most hunted mammals in
Lama reserve forest according to informant gender.
A.E. Assogbadjo, J.T.C. Codjia, B. Sinsin, M.R.M. Ekue and G.A. Mensah
14
river hog (Potamochoerus porcus) also was a significant
source of meat (45%), with bushbuck (Tragelaphus scrip-
tus) accounting for 2% of consumption.
DISCUSSION
Wildlife constitutes an important food resource, which
cannot easily be replaced or removed without causing
negative socio-economic disturbances. To understand the
contribution of wildlife in the food of local populations
we should not consider only the big game. Most of the
meat consumed by forest bordering populations in this
study came from small mammals, which could be cap-
tured in any time of the year. If rodents were not availa-
ble, bush meat would not be consumed by more than 60%
of local populations (ASSOGBADJO, 2000). Rodents were
and still are the main source of animal food for rural pop-
ulations and provide an important dietary quantity of ani-
mal proteins (COLYN & DUDU, 1987; MALEKANI & PAU-
LUS, 1989; WETCHI et al., 1988). The grasscutter and giant
rat were most consumed by villagers in our study.
MALAISSE (1997) showed that 100 g of grasscutter or
giant rat’s fresh or smoked muscle provided 28 g and 42.6
g of protein, 10 mg and 20 mg of iron, and 936 Kj and
1132 Kj energy respectively. MALAISSE (1997) also indi-
cated that the nutritional value of rodents is similar to that
of beef and chicken. In addition, these two rodent species
are sold in local market at high prices, providing them
with a source of income. In Lama forest reserve, the sell-
ing price for a grasscutter was US$10-12 (Table 3). In this
area, a hunter killed an average of 4 individual grasscutter
rats per week. This is equivalent to an income of US$40-
48 per week (US$160-192 per month). This pattern is
characteristic in West Africa as NTIAMOA-BAIDU (1998)
reported that the incomes resulting from the sales of bush
meat enable households not only to buy less expensive
other source of protein such as fish, but also it helps sat-
isfy other needs for the families. For example, in Ibadan
(Nigeria), in 1975, when the meat of sheep and beef were
sold respectively at US$2.80-4.20 /kg, grasscutter meat
cost UD$9.60 (ASIBEY & CHILD, 1990). The hunting pres-
sure on wildlife led to a progressive reduced availability
of animal products in nearby cities where poaching was
common. However, due to their high rate of reproduction,
many rodent species populations were able to cope with
recurrent hunting without extinction (MALAISSE, 1997).
The limiting factor is much more the lack of thorough
knowledge on their ecology and the density of their popu-
lations. Therefore, it would be desirable to undertake a
population study in these regions to look at the impact of
this hunting on the rodent populations. The hunting of
wildlife, in particular rodent species as found here, pro-
vide important sources of animal proteins and incomes
for local populations, and therefore should be integrated
in the concept of sustainable development. The consump-
tion of large rodents for their meat (grasscutter and giant
rat) is not only a consequence of lack of meat, but also a
response to a set of complex factors including cultural
constraints, preferences and values. Such factors may
explain why older people consumed more rodent meat
than younger people in our study area and highlight the
importance of these resources for rural populations of
Africans.
CONCLUSION
Rodents will continue to be a considerable source of
animal protein and income for villagers of Lama reserve
forest. Rodents are the animal species most frequently
consumed and preferred by the local populations. How-
ever, wild animals, including rodents, are not always
taken into account in the national programmes for food
security. Management of these resources should be
included in sustainable resource initiatives that are
already part of the cultural values of poor rural popula-
tions. Production in the wild and production in the exten-
sive and intensive domestication of wild fauna can be
integrated into national programmes for protected areas
management. This is necessary to take into account the
concerns of local populations and concurrently to satisfy
requirements for keeping the balance within ecological
communities.
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Rodents of the genus Cricetomys have been reported to be nocturnal with a bimodal activity pattern and to frequently change burrows. However, no studies to date have examined these ecological aspects with the use of radio-telemetry. Five C. emini were captured and radio-collared to study their activity patterns and burrowing ecology from 9 March to 15 April 2016. Nocturnal activity ranged between the hours of 18:00 and 05:00 with a probable reduction of activities between 20:00 – 23:00 and around 04:00 with diurnal activity between 06:00 and 17:00 hours with a reduction of activity between 11:00 and 14:00. While the present study does confirm nocturnal activity and a bimodal pattern, this study also suggests greater diurnal activity as compared to previous studies. Additionally, data presented here also suggest that Cricetomys emini may not change burrows as frequently as previously reported.
... The consumption of rodents by current African populations does not signify subsistence stress (Malaisse 1997)contemporary Zigua practices in the study area being a case in pointas farmers typically hunt rodents primarily to protect crops and only secondarily as an alternative source of meat (Assogbadjo et al. 2005). Nonetheless, Stahl (1982) indicates that approximately 67-76% of a rodent is edible, so they can contribute significantly to the meat diet when they are caught in abundance. ...
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The expansion of the caravan trade in eastern Africa during the nineteenth century is considered to have had significant ecological, economic and social consequences. While available historical documentary and oral sources provide valuable evidence concerning the scale, timing and spatial extent of these, as well as information about some of the key actors and agents, there remain significant gaps that have the potential to be filled by targeted archaeological research. This paper presents one such study, which aims to establish how influential the expansion of the caravan trade was on local animal economies, with particular reference to a sample of known caravan halts on the northern route on the Pangani River, Tanzania. The results of zooarchaeological analysis of faunal assemblages recovered from four sites suggest that the impacts may have been less than has often been argued by some historians. The study also provides fresh insight on the continuing importance of wild resources, especially rodents, in local diets in the late nineteenth century and on local herd management strategies.
... But hunting is carried out all the year round by the populations in Lama Forest Reserve. The people around the Lama Rainforest consider all types of bushmeat edible despite government restrictions on hunting [24] . About twenty species are mainly hunted in the Lama Forest Reserve [25] . ...
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Protected areas play an important role in the sustainable conservation of biodiversity. In southern Benin Republic, the Lama Forest Reserve is a refuge for wildlife. It also generates significant incomes for the local population. However, anthropogenic activities together with uncontrolled hunting are increasingly threatening the sustainability of these resources. The study aims at investigating the hunting activities characteristics and the morphometric traits of hunted species in the Lama Forest Reserve. Snowball method has been used to constitute the sample of field respondents. Descriptive and inference statistics have been carried out to show results and analyze data. The results show that twenty-three species are mainly hunted, more for trade than for subsistence, with a dominance of mammals. It should be noted that hunting activities don't have the same level among hunted games, species and sexes although this is not generally significant statistically. Keywords: Wildlife, bushmeat, morphometric traits, conservation, Semi-deciduous forest
... Venter, unpublished data). This pattern is also observed in West and East Africa (Assogbadjo et al., 2005;Assogbadjo et al., 2008), although quantifying the differences in fruit production between individual trees has not been done. Trees that are known to produce very few fruits are called "male" trees by local people and are regarded as less important than producer ("female") trees (Venter and Witkowski, 2011). ...
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The long observed disparity in fruit production among individual trees of the iconic African baobab, Adansonia digitata L. presents a potential challenge for the supply of fruit and seeds for food, medicinal and cosmetic purposes. Moreover, this disparity presents an unsolved mystery with ecological as well as economic implications. African baobabs are hermaphrodites where flowers have both male and female reproductive organs within the same flower. Here we evaluate the reproductive features, pollen-pistil interactions, and pollinator-attractant traits from South African baobabs to investigate whether trees with different fruit production levels have different floral features. We show that morphological traits highlight functional sex differences that match with average fruit production data of our sampled trees. Trees that produce more fruit comprised more functionally female flowers, whereas more functionally male flowers were characteristic of trees that did not produce many fruits. This difference may signify a shift in sex allocation in African baobabs, which suggests that baobabs might be functionally, or cryptically, dioecious. Collectively our data suggest that maintaining both tree types within a landscape is paramount for long-term sustainable harvesting of baobab fruit and seeds.
... Availability of additional specimens from the whole range could be crucial to increase our understanding of the species' variability in Africa. This is also urgent given that the crested porcupine is a valuable species for local communities providing both meat and quills for traditional medicine (Assogbadjo et al., 2005;Mouzoun et al., 2018). 12 Figure 7. From top to bottom, skulls of: Hystrix cristata cristata -n. ...
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The crested porcupine Hystrix cristata is one of the most well-known members of the Family Hystricidae, yet very little is known regarding its geographic variability in Africa. Two alternative hypotheses exist; pre-1940s classical taxonomy supported the existence of a distinct Eastern African species, Hystrix galeata, whereas recent molecular data seem to support only a North-South separation inside one single species, with the geographic-ecological barrier represented by the Sahara desert. Our morphometric data support the recognition of Hystrix cristata senegalica Cuvier, 1822 as the sub-Saharan representative of the species with a clear morphological difference between the North African and sub-Saharan crested porcupines, which seem re-conductible mostly to size difference. Within H. c. senegalica, our analysis seems to support a weak separation between the West African and the East African samples. Owing to considerable qualitative skull differences and overlooked molecular data, the taxonomic status of H. galeata remains uncertain as well as the status of porcupines of North-East Africa (Nubia). Our results also highlight the role of North Africa (mainly the Maghreb) as a refuge for the nominal taxon. This suggests that intraspecific variability is presently overlooked and that further integrative studies and more samples are needed to adequately assess the geographic variability of sub-Saharan crested porcupines.
... Rodents are vital components of food web in the ecosystem that provide the main supply of fresh food for many predators [4,5], important sources of food or fur for humans [6,7], serve as biological control agents [8], social and cultural values [9] and educational and research model [7,10]. Rodents are the most successful mammals adapted to wide range of environments in the world and show great diversity in their ecology, morphology, physiology, behavior and life history strategies [11]. ...
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Background: The species composition, relative abundance and distribution of rodents were studied in Wof-Washa Natural State Forest, Ethiopia from December 2016 to May 2017 during dry and wet seasons. A total of 49 Sherman live traps were set per grid at 10 m intervals in permanent 4900 m² (70mx70m) live trapping grids established in intact forest, disturbed forest, Erica woodland, plantation forest and Farmland habitats. Result: A total of 621 individuals of rodents were captured in 2,560 trap nights by using both live traps and snap traps. Seven species of rodents in family Muridae were recorded. Out of the total rodents caught in the study period, Stenocephalemys albipes, Pelomys harringtoni and Lophuromys flavopunctatus are endemics to Ethiopia. Plantation forest had the highest mean trapping success whereas the lowest trap success was in the Erica woodland. The distribution of rodent species was significantly differed (P<0.05) among studied habitats. Higher trap success was recorded in dry season (26.2) than the wet season (24.4). The highest value of Shannon index was recorded in plantation forest (H’ = 1.82) followed by farmland habitat (H’ =1.67) during the wet season and the lowest value was observed in the intact forest (H’ = 0.67) and Erica woodland (H’ = 0.67) during the dry season. From the total catch, adults comprised 260(41.9%), sub-adults 248(39.9%) and juveniles 113(18.2%). Conclusion: The present study provides the first valuable demonstration on the species composition, relative abundance and distribution of rodents in the WWNSF. Further monitoring and inventory of small mammals is warranted to document and conserve the different endemic and endangered rodent species to designing important biodiversity management plan in the area.
... Wildlife has been an important protein source for many West African countries over centuries [8]. Rodents are known to be the most preferred and commonly consumed bush animals and remain as the main source of protein for developing countries [9,10]. Rural dwellers depend mostly on bush meat as an economic and protein source for livelihood [11]. ...
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Amino acids composition of Thryonomys swingeria nu s is reported. Whereas protein values (g100g ⁻¹ ) were liver (74.1), kidney (91.5), heart (84.6); corresponding total amino acid values were 93.5, 83.2 and 80.6. True protein from the crude protein of the samples ran thus: liver>kidney>heart. Of the twenty parameters reported on, liver was best in 12/20 (60.0%), kidney and heart both shared the second position of 4/20(20%) each. Among the essential amino acids, leucine predominated in both liver (7.96g100g ⁻¹ protein) and kidney (8.11g100g ⁻¹ protein) but valine (6.21g100g ⁻¹ protein) predominated in the heart. The P-PER values were; P-PER 1 : 2.78 (liver), 2.91(kidney), 0.716 (heart) and P-PER 2 : 2.71 (liver), 2.90 (kidney), 0.564 (heart). However, there was a reverse between liver and kidney in the EAAI values with liver (92.0) > kidney (90.2) > heart (87.6) with corresponding BV values of 88.5 > 86.6 > 83.7. In the amino acids scoring pattern, Ser was limiting in liver (0.533) and heart (0.394) but Thr (0.490) in kidney in whole hen’s egg score comparison; in FAO/WHO scoring standards, Thr was limiting in liver (0.988) and kidney (0.625) but Leu (0.459) in heart. In pre-school requirements, liver recorded no limiting amino acid whereas Thr was limiting in kidney (0.735) and Leu was limiting in the heart (0.486). T. swingerianus red viscera was compared with the red viscera of livestock animals (cattle, sheep and pork) as well as FAO/WHO/UNU standards for total essential amino acids. Our results when compared with the livestock red viscera (without Trp) and FAO/WHO/UNU (g100g ⁻¹ protein), we have heart: grasscutter/cattle/sheep/pig:45.3 /46.0/42.7/46.6; kidney: grasscutter/cattle/sheep/pig: 47.6/43.8/42.5/46.7; liver: grasscutter/cattle/sheep/pig: 50.7/47.7/41.5/47.5 and grasscutter liver/kidney/heart/ FAO/WHO/UNU:50.7/47.6/45.3/32.8 showing that all the red viscera values in T. swingerianus were better than the essential amino acids in the FAO/WHO/UNU standards and livestock red viscera. Statistical values showed that significant differences existed among the samples at r = 0.01 .
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African baobab (Adansonia digitata) is an agroforestry species used by local people for many purposes such as food, medicine, craft, etc. It is uncertain how climate change will impact the suitability of the habitat for the species in Benin. This study aimed to assess the present-day distribution and forecast the probable impact of future climate, and provide sustainable management strategies for the species in Benin. Records of the species were gathered both from fieldwork and through available databases. Environmental data comprised both climatic and soil layers. We transferred the present-day models into future climates under two scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5) using Maxent software. Our results showed high suitability of the Benin territory for African baobab in the present. In addition, high stability of suitable areas was observed for the species in the future across Benin. However, some protected areas are predicted not to effectively conserve the species in the future. We believe that both ex-situ and in-situ conservation measures will help to maintain the African baobab population in the future.
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La viande de l’aulacode est très appréciée mais s’obtient à un prix très élevé. Le marché de viande d’aulacode serait suffisamment fourni si l’on pouvait obtenir cet animal sauvage domestique à un prix concurrentiel de celui du poulet. Actuellement le coût de production est suffisamment élevé. Des recherches à long terme sont indispensables pour optimaliser cette production et la faire adopter par les fermiers. A ce titre, un programme d’amélioration génétique, de l’alimentation et de la conduite de l’élevage de ce rongeur sauvage est en cours d’expérimentation au Bénin.
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Grasscutters or cane rats (Tryonomys spp) are widelly distributed and valuable animals in West and Central Africa. Research has been caried out over the last 15 years to select and improve stock in order to select their adaptability to a restricted life in captivity and to develop rearing programmes in rural and peri-urban areas of Africa. The biology of these rodents and the current status of grasscutter production are reviewed. The cultural and nutritional value of grasscutter meat, compared with those from other domestic animals is underlined. Diverse economical, nutritional ane environmental arguments for implementing grasscutter rearing in rural development programms in Africa are listed and a method to develop grasscutter farming in any given country is suggested.
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This field guide begins with a checklist. The main part of the volume consists of entries for each species. Each entry provides information on common names, measurements, recognition, geographical distribution (plus map), habitat, diet, behaviour, adaptations and conservation status. Illustrations are also included. Brief notes are also provided on the African environment (physical, climate and vegetation) and palaeoecology (habitats and species). Finally a short section examines African wildlife conservation.
Biodiversity and domestication of 'non-conventional' species : a worldwide perspective
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L'élevage des rongeurs : une possibilité pour résoudre le problème alimentaire en Afrique
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Biodiversity and domestication of 'non-conventional' species : a worldwide perspective. 7 th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production
  • O G A Hanotte
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HANOTTE, O. & G.A. MENSAH (2002). Biodiversity and domestication of 'non-conventional' species : a worldwide perspective. 7 th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, 19-23 August, 2002, Montpellier, France, 30 : 543-546.