Assessment of Food and Feeding Habit of Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) in Sumu Wildlife Park of Ganjuwa Local Government Area of Bauchi State, Nigeria

The study assessed the food and feeding habit of giraffes in Sumu Wildlife Park of Ganjuwa Local Government Area of Bauchi State, Nigeria. The forage (woody plants) mostly preferred by the species and time used in consuming each food have not been ascertained despite the giraffe’s population in the study area hence, the need for this study which assessed the food and feeding habit of giraffe in the study area. The entire area was sub-divided into four (4) plots of one hectare each randomly selected across the study area. Data on the plant species eaten by giraffes were obtained through total counting of all individuals within the 1 hectare plots. Woody plant species mostly preferred by giraffes were obtained by ocular method measuring time spent (5 to 10 minutes and 30minutes to 1 hour) browsing each species. Data on the nutritive content (water, crude protein, crude fibre, nitrogen free extract, fats and ash) of the preferred woody plant species was gathered through laboratory analysis of the plants parts following Association of Analytical Chemist (AOAC) methods. Data collected were subjected to descriptive statistics (Tables of frequency, percentages, mean). The result obtained indicated that 17, 17, 19 and 17 different woody individuals were identified to have been eaten by giraffes in the 4 plots. Acacia sayel is the dominant species (24.24%, 27.59%, 27.63% and 24.06%) while Ziziphus spina-christi is the least (0.75%, 1.38%, 1.32% and 0.75%) in the 4 plots selected. 7 woody plant species were identified as the most preferred forage by the giraffes in the area. Acacia sayel formed the majority (33.17%) while Combretum apiculatum is the lowest (4.67%). Results of the nutrient value of the preferred species consumed by giraffes showed that Acacia sieberiana had the highest (62.10%) mean water content value and Combretum imberbe had the lowest (50.20%) mean value. Acacia sieberiana had the highest (30.60%) mean value of crude protein while Combretum molle had the lowest (10.30%). Combretum imberbe had the highest (27.60%) crude fibre and Acacia nilotica had the least (13.70%) mean value. Acacia nilotica had the highest (32.20%) nitrogen free extract (NFE) and Acacia sieberiana had the least 18.70%) mean value. (62.10%). Combretum molle had the highest (5.40%) mean fat value and Combretum apiculatum had the least (2.60%) mean value. Acacia nilotica had the highest (1.10%) mean ash and Acacia senegal the lowest (0.40%). Further research on the status of all the available forage plants and establishment of the species plantations are recommended.

Last Updated
March 17, 2021
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