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Habitat Use, Diet Choice, and Nutritional Status in Female and Male Amboseli Elephants

Habitat Use, Diet Choice, and Nutritional Status in Female and Male Amboseli Elephants

Chapter:
(p.51) Chapter 5 Habitat Use, Diet Choice, and Nutritional Status in Female and Male Amboseli Elephants
Source:
The Amboseli Elephants
Author(s):
W. Keith Lindsay
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226542263.003.0005

Individual ranging patterns and demographic performance of elephants are both strongly influenced by foraging location and success. This chapter describes a study of the time spent feeding and the use of habitats in the Amboseli basin by adult female and male elephants during two years in the mid-1980s (1982–84) in relation to changes across the seasons. Choices between the broad food classes of grass and woody browse are examined in light of the contrasting plant abundance available in a year with higher than average rainfall and in a drought year, as well as differences between the sexes. Estimated intake of two critical nutrients, digestible energy and protein, are compared with calculated requirements for maintaining body condition and investing in offspring.

Keywords:   habitat use, diet choice, demographic performance, Amboseli elephants, rainfall, body condition

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