Feeding behaviour of Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) in Mokolodi Nature Reserve, Botswana

Feeding patterns of twelve giraffes were documented during the wet season from February to April in Mokolodi Nature Reserve in southeastern Botswana. The general aim of the study was to better understand how the giraffes sustain themselves in the Reserve. More specifically the study addresses different aspects of feeding modes and feeding preferences, time allocation between different activities and differences between males and females. We used focal-animal sampling and scan sampling to obtain relevant data. It was found that the giraffe mainly utilizes the canopy above two metres from the ground and that the Acacia zone was the most commonly used habitat. Spirostachys africana, Combretum imberbe and Pelthopherum africanum were the most highly preferred species in the different habitats. A significant difference between males and females was found for stripping rate where males had the lower rate, probable due to bigger size of male strippings. As we followed the giraffes in the reserve, a significant difference in time allocation to different activities was found between juveniles and adult giraffes. The juveniles tended to spend more time walking and playing around.

Last Updated
January 26, 2021
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