||Stable Carbon Isotope Analysis of the Diets of West African Bovids in Pendjari Biosphere Reserve, Northern Benin..
DJAGOUN CHABI A.M.S. ,
CODRON D ,
SEALY J. ,
MENSAH GUY APOLLINAIRE ,
SINSIN Brice A. ,
||South African Journal of wildlife research
||Bovid diets have been studied for decades, but debate still exists about the diets of many
species, in part because of geographical or habitat-related dietary variations. In this study
we used stable carbon isotope analyses of faeces to explore the seasonal dietary preferences
of 11 bovid species from a West African savanna, the Pendjari Biosphere Reserve (PBR),
along the browser/grazer (or C
) continuum. We compare our carbon isotope values with
those for eastern and southern African bovids, as well as with dietary predictions based on
continent-wide averages derived from field studies. Oribi and reedbuck, expected to be grazers
were found to be predominantly C
-feeders (browsers) in the PBR. Bushbuck, common
duiker and red-flanked duiker consumed more C
grass than reported in previous studies.
When comparing wet and dry season diets, kob, roan and oribi showed the least variation
plant consumed proportions, while red-flanked duiker, bushbuck, reedbuck and
waterbuck showed the most marked shifts. This study shows that animals in the betterstudied
eastern and southern African savannas do not exhibit the full range of possible
dietary adaptations. Inclusion of data from a wider geographical area to include less
well-studied regions will inform our overall picture of bovid dietary ecology.
||diet, bovid, graze, browse, savanna.
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