Habitat use and diet preference of extralimital giraffes in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

 

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dc.contributor.advisor February, Edmund C en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Viljoen, Storme en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2015-09-15T10:32:46Z
dc.date.available 2015-09-15T10:32:46Z
dc.date.issued 2013 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Viljoen, S. 2013. Habitat use and diet preference of extralimital giraffes in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/14013
dc.description.abstract Extralimital giraffe introductions in the south-western region of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa, may result in changes to the vegetation structure for the region through overutilization of two keystone tree species in the area. In the areas where giraffe density was highest, I determine the relative abundance of giraffe; their diet preference and the potential reasons for this preference. Using both spoor and dung counts as indicators of giraffe presence, transects were carried out over approximately 20 km of the Auob River. Percentage occurrence was plotted onto a map of the river, along with the location of boreholes that supply the only surface water. Little trend could be seen, although occurrence appeared slightly higher near boreholes. The two trees that most commonly occur in the Auob duneveld, Acacia erioloba and Acacia haematoxylon, were examined for nutritional content, and both chemical and physical defences - all of which are thought to affect herbivore selection. Stable isotope analysis and linear mixing model were used to determine the proportion of each species in the diet of giraffe using the leaves of both species and giraffe dung. The majority of the giraffe's diet consists of A. haematoxylon (mean = 79 %, s.d. = 20.5 %) despite having less crude protein and similar condensed tannin content. Relative lack of physical defences appears to encourage giraffes to exploit A. haematoxylon, which has shorter, weaker thorns. Without management intervention, A. haematoxylon could suffer selective mortality through the impacts of giraffe browsing, resulting in a loss of species and structural diversity of the landscape. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Biological Sciences en_ZA
dc.title Habitat use and diet preference of extralimital giraffes in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park en_ZA
dc.type Bachelor Thesis
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Science en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of Biological Sciences en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Honours
dc.type.qualificationname BSc (Hons) en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image
dc.identifier.apacitation Viljoen, S. (2013). <i>Habitat use and diet preference of extralimital giraffes in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park</i>. (Thesis). University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Science ,Department of Biological Sciences. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11427/14013 en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitation Viljoen, Storme. <i>"Habitat use and diet preference of extralimital giraffes in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park."</i> Thesis., University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Science ,Department of Biological Sciences, 2013. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/14013 en_ZA
dc.identifier.vancouvercitation Viljoen S. Habitat use and diet preference of extralimital giraffes in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. [Thesis]. University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Science ,Department of Biological Sciences, 2013 [cited yyyy month dd]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/11427/14013 en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Thesis / Dissertation AU - Viljoen, Storme AB - Extralimital giraffe introductions in the south-western region of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa, may result in changes to the vegetation structure for the region through overutilization of two keystone tree species in the area. In the areas where giraffe density was highest, I determine the relative abundance of giraffe; their diet preference and the potential reasons for this preference. Using both spoor and dung counts as indicators of giraffe presence, transects were carried out over approximately 20 km of the Auob River. Percentage occurrence was plotted onto a map of the river, along with the location of boreholes that supply the only surface water. Little trend could be seen, although occurrence appeared slightly higher near boreholes. The two trees that most commonly occur in the Auob duneveld, Acacia erioloba and Acacia haematoxylon, were examined for nutritional content, and both chemical and physical defences - all of which are thought to affect herbivore selection. Stable isotope analysis and linear mixing model were used to determine the proportion of each species in the diet of giraffe using the leaves of both species and giraffe dung. The majority of the giraffe's diet consists of A. haematoxylon (mean = 79 %, s.d. = 20.5 %) despite having less crude protein and similar condensed tannin content. Relative lack of physical defences appears to encourage giraffes to exploit A. haematoxylon, which has shorter, weaker thorns. Without management intervention, A. haematoxylon could suffer selective mortality through the impacts of giraffe browsing, resulting in a loss of species and structural diversity of the landscape. DA - 2013 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PB - University of Cape Town PY - 2013 T1 - Habitat use and diet preference of extralimital giraffes in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park TI - Habitat use and diet preference of extralimital giraffes in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/14013 ER - en_ZA


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