Small Mammal in the Volta Region of Ghana
We examined small mammal (insectivores, bats and rodents) diversity in community and legally protected forest remnants in the Ghana-Togo Highlands of the Volta Region of Ghana, West Africa, a zoologically understudied area compared to neighboring Togo to the East, or Ghana west of the Volta River. We recorded 34 small mammal species: three species of shrews (Soricidae Fischer, 1815), 12 species of rodents, one primate (Galagidae Gray, 1825) and 17 species of bats (Chiroptera Blumenbach, 1779). The rodent Stochomys longicaudatus (Tullberg, 1893) appears to be a first record for Ghana. Two shrew, three rodent and one bat species were first records for the Volta Region. By comparing our small mammal captures and limited microhabitat data from 1999 and 2001 to forest cover change maps for the period 2000-2015 we discuss trends in species community changes due to forest cover loss and other disturbance regimes. Aside from contributing to our understanding of the distribution of several small mammal species, the study demonstrates the progressive loss of forest habitat in the Volta Region.