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Preliminary Report on Forage Availability and Resource Use by Reticulated Giraffe at Mugie Conservancy, Laikipia, Kenya

Main Findings To compare resource availability and animal diets, we conducted vegetation surveys and collected giraffe dung samples for diet analyses on the east and west sides of primary road C77 at Mugie Conservancy. The availability of tree resources differed on the east versus west sides of C77, where the more abundant species that we encountered in the East are likely to represent higher nutritional value to a giraffe than in the West. On the east side of C77, giraffe

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Effects of simulated shoot and leaf herbivory on vegetative growth and plant defense in Acacia drepanolobium

Plants have considerable ability to respond to herbivory, both with (above-ground) regrowth and with increased defense. We simulated both leaf and shoot herbivory in controlled, replicated experiments on individuals of Acacia drepanolobium in Laikipia, Kenya. These experiments were carried out on individuals that had experienced different, experimentally controlled histories of large mammalian herbivory. Both forms of simulated herbivory were associated with compensatory regrowth. Branches whose shoots had been removed grew significantly more over the next year than paired control branches,

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Effects of natural and simulated herbivory on spine lengths of Acacia drepanolobium in Kenya

We present experimental evidence supporting the hypothesis that increased spine length in acacia species is a defense induced by herbivory. Acacia drepanolobium is the dominant tree over large areas of East Africa. Each individual tree is occupied by one of four ant species at our study site. Using two types of electric fences, we have effectively controlled herbivory by megaherbivores (elephants and giraffes) and other large mammalian herbivores at a field site in Laikipia, Kenya since 1995. Mean spine lengths

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Foraging ecologies of giraffe and camels in Northern Kenya: Effects of habitat structure and possibilities for competition?

Domestic camels (Camelus dromedarius) have become increasingly popular livestock in arid regions of sub-Saharan Africa. However, little is known about the environmental impacts of these animals, and concern has been mounting about possible competition with wild native ungulates. Unlike the more traditional pastoralist livestock species, camels are large-bodied, long-necked browsers which increases the potential to overlap with wild giraffe foraging, especially as the space available for browsing decreases. Giraffe ecology and social dynamics are poorly understood; it is believed that

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