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Vertical zonation of browse quality in tree canopies exposed to a size-structured guild of African browsing ungulates

We investigated whether the food quality of tree foliage for African savanna browsers varies across the feeding height range of the guild. This was to address the question of why giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) generally feed at a higher level in the canopy than is accessible to all other browsers. We defined a giraffe browse unit (GBU) as the length of twig corresponding to the average “bite” taken by giraffes from two staple browse plants: Acacia nigrescens and Boscia albitrunca. We

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The feeding behaviour of giraffe in Niger

The remaining West African giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) are found in Niger (62 individuals in January 1998). Their feeding behaviour was studied by direct observation during two periods of 6 and 12 mo. The giraffe’s diet is diverse: at least 45 plant species were eaten, depending on spatial arrangement and a given plant’s stage of growth. Time spent browsing during the dry season was twice that devoted to browsing during the rainy season (46 and 23 % respectively). Time spent feeding

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