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Title: FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIURNAL ACTIVITY PATTERN OF THE GREVY’S ZEBRA (Equus grevyi, KENYA
Authors: STANISLAUS, MULU
Date Added: 3-Sep-2007
Abstract: The present study was carried out in Ngutuk Ongironi group ranch in Waso division and in Ngaroni and Barsilinga in Wamba division in Samburu district, Kenya during August to December 2005. The aims were to understand the diet, forage availability, sociality and diurnal activity pattern of Grevy's zebra at Samburu community grazing lands. Physical observation, step point method, clipping and weighing, focal animal sampling, scan sampling and direct count methods were employed to meet the study objectives. Inferential and descriptive statistics were applied in result analysis. Grevy’s zebra foraged on 31 different plant species. Indigofera spinosa and Indigofera circinella were the most important food resources, which had seasonal mean frequency of occurrence of 92.5% and 62.0%, respectively, and contributed high percentages in the diet. Among the important species, Sericocomopsis hildebrandtii and Cyperus rotundus were the most preferred species during the dry and wet seasons with preference index of 6.8 and 4.0, respectively. Browsing was higher than grazing and green plant parts were preferred over both seasons. Barsilinga had the highest grass and herb diversity as well as the highest amount and best forage over the study period. August and December had the highest forage over the dry and wet seasons, respectively. Mean group size was highest in Barsilinga (5.03 ± 2.41) and Ngaroni (13. 66 ± 5.35) over the dry and wet seasons, respectively. Group composition was dominated by stallions in Ngutuk Ongironi and by mares in Ngaroni and Barsilinga during both dry and wet seasons, respectively. Territorial males dominated in Ngutuk Ongironi and mixed herds in Ngaroni and Barsilinga over the wet season while during the dry season the former dominated in Ngutuk Ongironi and Barsilinga while the latter in Ngaroni. Feeding, resting, walking and vigilance were the most important activities of the Grevy’s zebra. Feeding was allocated more time than the rest of the activities during both seasons. Mares fed more than stallions and infants. The study concluded that Grevy’s zebras are more of browsers than grazers and feed on diverse plant species. Feeding is the dominant activity, and mares feed more than stallions and infants. Group size, composition and types are highly influenced by spatial and temporal availability of forage. The study recommends provision of conservation education to the local people to enhance their coexistence with Grevy’s zebras among others.
Description: Thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Department of Biology, Science faculty of Addis Ababa University in the partial fulfillment for the requirements of Degree in Masters of Science, Dryland Biodiversity
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/58
Appears in:Thesis - Biology

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