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Learn the scarcity of small mammals and the best conservation practices for various species in the ecosystem

Further study on small animals will recognize that there is a significant void in ecosystems caused by the loss of species that humans are unaware of. According to Mr. Méthode Majyambere, following a number of studies, scientists ought to educate the public, but funding for research is still scarce and most people are ignorant of the best practices for conserving small mammals.

Animals can interact ecologically with each other or with other groups of animals. Small mammals play an important role in the ecosystem the likes of; pollinating plants and animals, which in turn influences the dynamics of the forest. A specialist in this sector will shed more light on this. That is Methode Majyambere an assistant lecturer at the University of Rwanda and an Associate Researcher at COEB (Center of Excellence of Biodiversity and Natural Resources). He has been working on different research projects since 2009, especially on small mammals in different national parks and forests of Rwanda, he is doing his Ph.D. in biological science at the University of Rwanda where he acquired his bachelor’s and master’s in biodiversity conservation as well.

Methode Majyambere an assistant lecturer at the University of Rwanda and an Associate Researcher at COEB

In 2023 a researcher, Majyambere and his team discovered the mole shrew (a small insectivorous mammal resembling a mouse, with a long pointed snout and tiny eyes) in Busaga remnant forest located in the Muhanga District of the Southern Province, as that species used to be found only in Kenya now it can also be found in Rwanda, and they are looking forward to proving it by using the specimens they have collected, more specimen also have been collected in Nyungwe National Park. That is a sign that they may continue to discover new species as the specimens they have are not identifiable as Majyambere said. 

A discovered mole shrew  

Collected specimens demonstrated by Mr Methode Majyambere

Different species of animals are not well known by people, and this is a concerning issue because there might be some instincts without knowing them, and it is a loss in an ecosystem since they really play a big role in it. However, Majyambere said that they are hoping to discover many new species through the research they are hypothesizing and so the findings will be shared.

So many people may seem not to be interested in small mammals which results in very few people working in that field as well as conservation, but Majyambere apart from being a lecturer, also decided to be a mentor such that he can try his level best and train some students and individuals who want to learn more about small mammals. His assistant, Pacific Niyodushima confirmed that this field is so ignored but still important.

Left side: Pacific Niyodushima with Mr Methode Majyambere welcoming the MKUR & UR students in the zoology collection room

“I had no idea that I would end up working with small mammals, but shortly after I graduated, my lecturer called and asked me to come and work with him on a field project we had completed. Working with him piqued my interest because he is so passionate about what he does, and we have been working together for the past five months,” said Pacific Niyodushima.

Majyambere recommends that enforcing laws will minimize the disturbance by humans, especially in natural forests, and trying to improve the landfill and disposal of garbage and plastics so that small mammals will thrive in good condition could be some better calls to action in regard to the small mammals’ conservation and sustainability in the ecosystem, hence ensuring the long live of biodiversity as well.

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