A preliminary investigation into comparative foraging ecology of reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) and domestic camels (Camelus dromedarius) in Laikipia Kenya

Author(s)David A. O'Connor
Year Published2011
JournalUnknown (Brief Report)
Page Numbers1-6
Size4.64 MB

Female camels actively browse over a wide range of heights, from ground level up to 3 meters. Traditionally, due to their being browsers, their dispersal ability and elevated foraging level, giraffes have been thought to be able to co-exist with traditional pastoralist livestock specieis. However, with the introduction of the larger and taller browsing camels, could this alter the status quo, and potentially affect giraffes' ability to co-exist with livestock?

Due to time and budget constraints, this study gathered baseline preliminary data on the foraging ecology of camels and giraffe at Mpala ranch to try to understand whether there are indicators of overlap in their resource utilization.

Data were gathered on: the foraging ecology and activity budgets of camels and giraffe in different habitats and vegetation structure, giraffe photo data to identity individuals based on neck patterning, and camel resource usage distribution through GPS collars. Additionally, by using the GPS locations of giraffe encounters, the density of giraffe at Mpala may also be elicited.

Keywords: preliminary investigation, reticulated giraffe, Kenya, camel, browsing, browser competition, foraging, feeding height

Author: David A. O'Connor

Journal: Unknown (Brief Report)

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