Drivers of diet selection of critically endangered Western Derby eland during the food shortage period within conservation breeding in Senegal
|Kateg. publikace||Vědecké publikace impaktované|
Browsers represent a challenge for breeding facilities because of their sensitivity to nutritional management. Western Derby eland (Tautrotragus derbianus derbianus, WDE) is a large browsing antelope with a very diverse diet. Because of its critically endangered status, a small WDE population is kept for conservation purposes in the fenced Fathala reserve (Senegal) and during the critical, hot dry season, the animals are offered supplementary Acacia albida pods. We aimed to identify which woody plant species were preferentially selected/avoided by WDE during the period of food shortage, which plant nutritional properties were drivers of animals’ diet selection, and how this selectivity was affected by supplemental feed. The animals were selective for certain plant species, most for Piliostigma thonningi pods. Preferences decreased with a feed supplement, while avoidances remained intact. Diet selection was connected with chemical traits, mostly by negative correlations to N, Mg, Ca and hemicellulose, which disappeared or were weaker when supplemental feed was offered. Our findings indicate that large browsers during periods of food shortage must cope with inappropriate chemical composition in regard to nutrition and seek to alleviate them not only by diversification of plant species in the diet, but also by adjusting chemical diet quality as a whole.
|Projekt||Rozvoj hospodářských zvířat v multifunkčním zemědělství|
|Oddělení||Výživa a krmení hospodářských zvířat|
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