keywords: Distribution, abundance, squirrel species, crops, damage
The study focused on abundance and distribution of stripped ground squirrel (Xerus erythropus) in the ranges of Yola South local Government Area of Adamawa State, Nigeria. Understanding the distribution, abundance and habitats used by the biological species is pertinent for the proper understanding, development and management of any ecosystem, such had been very scarce on the species under study in the area. Three habitats (Farmland, mountainous area and stream valley) were purposely selected for data collection. Three transects of 1km length were established in each of the habitat for data collection on abundance and distribution of the squirrel species. Structured questionnaires were administered for data on socio-economic traits, crops planted by farmers and those damaged in the study area by stripped ground squirrel. Data collected were subjected to descriptive statistics. The result on socio-economic traits of respondents showed that majority were male (40%), married (86%), with family size of 6-10 individuals (78.67%), had secondary education (40%), within the age-group of 36-40 years (48.67%) and who are farmers by profession (80%). Result on habitat distribution of squirrel species showed that majority were sighted on the farmlands (56.67%), rated as being common (53%) and utilized farmland as preferred habitat (40%). The result equally revealed maize/sorghum as the major crop (30%) planted and mostly utilized (35%) by the species. Digging of planted seeds by the squirrel was the major damage (36%) done to crops in the study area. Dressing of seeds with appropriate pesticides before planting as well as monitoring the ecological activities of the species is recommended.