Foraging ecologies of giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) and camels (Camelus dromedarius) in northern Kenya: effects of habitat structure and possibilities for competition?

Author(s)David A. O’Connor, Bilal Butt and Johannes B. Foufopoulos
Year Published2015
JournalAfrican Journal of Ecology
Page Numbers183-193
Size813.27 KB
Abstract:

The foraging ecologies of reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) and domestic camels (Camelus dromedarius) were examined in the Laikipia District of Kenya, where these species have recently become sympatric. Camels increased popularity in the region has lead to concerns about their environmental impacts and possible competition with wild giraffe for resources. We gathered foraging data on both species using 2-min group scans that recorded feeding heights and plant food preferences. Transects sampled the vegetation in areas where foraging observations were recorded. Giraffe females feed at lower elevations than males, while female camels feed below both sexes of giraffe. There was very little observed overlap in food preferences between the species. However, habitat type has an effect on foraging ecologies of both giraffe sexes, but habitat did not influence camel foraging. Camel herder husbandry techniques also influence camel foraging dynamics. These findings have important implications in achieving the twin objectives of wildlife conservation and pastoralist livestock production in northern Kenya.

Key words: camel, conservation, foraging ecology, giraffe, pastoralist

Authors: David A. O’Connor, Bilal Butt and Johannes B. Foufopoulos

Journal:  African Journal of Ecology


FileAction
2015O'Connor_Foraging ecologies of giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) and camels (Camelus dromedarius) in northern Kenya effects of habitat structure and possibilities for competition.pdfDownload 
Terms and Conditions: Any PDF files provided by the GRC are for personal use only and may not be reproduced. The files reflect the holdings of the GRC library and only contain pages relevant to giraffe study, and may not be complete. Users are obliged to follow all copyright restrictions.