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Seasonal and geographical influences on the feeding ecology of giraffes in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia: 1973–2014

Obtaining longitudinal data about the feeding ecology of long-lived iteroparous mammals is rare, but enhances our understanding of how the environment influences niche breadth and dietary diversity within a species. We analysed forty years of feeding records obtained from a population of Thornicroft’s giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis thornicrofti) living in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia. Giraffes are browsers that have been reported to feed primarily upon Acacia leaves, but their feeding ecology in some locations conflict with this interpretation. Giraffes in the

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Trypanosome diversity in wildlife species from the Serengeti and Luangwa Valley Ecosystems

The trypanosomes include a number of species that cause disease in livestock. In recent years, several trypanosomes have been identified which do not fit into the classic trypanosome classification system. However, previous work has focused on trypanosomes identified in the tsetse vector, with little information available on trypanosomes found in their natural hosts, wildlife. We studied trypanosome sequences from wildlife in Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and the Luangwa Valley in Zambia and found a number of trypanosome species pathogenic

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Social and demographic influences on the feeding ecology of giraffe in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia: 1973–2014

Body size influences metabolic rate, which impacts feeding ecology. Body mass differs by sex in size-dimorphic species, such as giraffes, and also by age. Giraffes reside in a fission–fusion social system, which influences feeding ecology due to frequent changes in group size and composition. We analysed 40 years of feeding records collected from a population of Thornicroft’s giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis thornicrofti) living in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia. We examined the influence of herd composition, age and sex on diet. Solitary males

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Reproductive life history of Thornicroft’s giraffe in Zambia

Knowledge of the reproductive life history of giraffe in the wild is sparse. Giraffe have two fairly unusual reproductive patterns among large mammals: they can become pregnant while lactating, and calf mortality is extremely high. Longitudinal records are largely absent, so tracking reproductive parameters tends to combine information from captive and field studies. In this study, we examine longitudinal data obtained over a 33-year period in one population of Thornicroft’s giraffe in order to chart their reproductive careers. We found

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Range movements of giraffe in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia

The range movements of a small population of giraffe in the Luangwa Valley in eastern Zambia were studied over a period of 4.5 years. The majority of the adults of both sexes were found to move over distances in excess of 40 km though only two, both males, moved farther than 50 km. The average home range size was 82 km^2 for males and 68 km^2 for females respectively though these figures are regarded as conservative. Twelve crossings of the

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