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Research Article Open Access
Mastomys natalensis is among the most important rodent pests in Sub-Saharan Africa. This study investigated the population dynamics and breeding patterns of this mouse in system rice intensification (SRI) and in conventional cropping systems in irrigated rice ecosystem in eastern Tanzania. The Mastomys natalensis population varied with years and season, but not with either SRI or conventional cropping system which would be expected as the all fields are in the same area. The highest population peak was observed during the dry season i.e., August to September. Breeding patterns of this rodent pest was not influenced by the cropping system or season, indicating that M. natalensis is sexually active throughout the year and does not be affected by the rice production systems. Regular control and sustainable operations, such as the use trap barrier system (TBS), are therefore essential if the populations are to be kept within tolerable limits.
Mastomys natalensis, Population dynamics, Breeding patterns, SRI, Conventional cropping system, Rice Economics, Rice Production, Rice Research