Dietary preference of the Rothschild’s Giraffes (Giraffa Camelopardalis Rothschildii) translocated to Ruma National park, Kenya

Without monitoring of animal behavior and the productivity of their environment, the success of a translocation cannot be properly ascertained, nor can important lessons be learned. This study investigated habitat utilization of the translocated Rothschild’s giraffes in Ruma National Park. Feeding giraffes were observed with an 8x40 pair of binoculars and plants eaten were collected, tagged, pressed and identified. For each plant species, “food- records” were summed and expressed as a percentage of all observations. Habitat preference and preference rating of plants were determined by the Nue et. al. method (1974). Fifty three woody plant species were recorded along transects using a modified form of the Point Centered Quarter technique. The giraffes ate forty two species but only eight were preferred. Preferred habitats were the Balanites aegyptiaca and the Acacia drepanolobium wooded grasslands (PR = 6.941; PR = 1.300 respectively). The Northern part of the Park had a much higher intensity of use indicating that the giraffes may adversely affect their food supply by over utilizing preferred food plants in their small home ranges. As wild populations continue to be limited in size and distribution, they will increasingly require the intensive levels of management commonly applied to only captive populations.

Last Updated
January 26, 2021
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