Food Selection by Transvaal lowveld giraffe as determined by analysis of stomach contents

Food selection by giraffe in the Transvaal lowveld was studied by identifying plant fragments from stomach contents over a 1 year period. Large fragments were randomly taken from the material while small fragments were taken from a 50 ml sample. Identifications were based on diagnostic keys and over 8000 fragments were classified. The validity of the samples was tested and found to be satisfactory. Giraffe were found to subsist mainly on leaves of trees and shrubs. Fruit, flowers and twigs were also seasonally utilized. There was a marked seasonal change in the plant species selected. During the wet season and the cool dry season the giraffe subsisted mainly on evergreen species. Seasonal changes in diet were apparently influenced by availability of plant species.

Last Updated
January 26, 2021
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10.68 MB