Determination of carnivores prey base by scat analysis in Samburu community group ranches in Kenya

Citation:
O DROGARAWILLIAM. "Determination of carnivores prey base by scat analysis in Samburu community group ranches in Kenya.". In: Journal. African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology; Submitted.

Abstract:

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William O. Ogara1, Nduhiu J. Gitahi1, Samuel A. Andanje2 , Nicholas Oguge3, Dorcas W. Nduati1 and Alfred O. Mainga1

1Department of Public Health, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nairobi, Kenya

2Kenya Wildlife services, Nairobi, Kenya

3Earthwatch Institute, Nairobi, Kenya

This study determined the prey base for four main carnivores found in Samburu Community group ranches and grazing area, Lion (Panthera leo), Leopard (Panthera pardus), Wild dog (Lycaon pictus) and Hyaena (Crocuta crocuta, and Hyaena hyaena). A total of 96 scat samples including, 8 from Lion, 16 Leopards', 2 Wild dogs', and 70 Hyaenas' were collected, identified and microscopically analyzed for prey hair characterisation. At least 50 different hairs from every scat sample were mounted on slides and microscopically characterized using details from reference hairs. Hairs from 18 depredated species both domestic and wild ungulates were recovered from the scat samples. Predated species were identified, as either domestic (Cow, Sheep, Goat, Donkey, and Camel) or wild ungulate prey (Grant's gazelle, plain zebra, Grevy's Zebra, Impala, Waterbuck, Dikdik, Eland, lesser Kudu, greater Kudu, Baboon, rock Hyraxes, Elephant and Oryx). The carnivores showed a relatively high kill of wild ungulate prey compared to domestic prey. Camel was the most preferred cow and donkey respectively. Grevy's zebra contributed highest to the lion's diet while the Plain zebra was most preferred by the leopard. Both the hyaena and Wild dog had a preference for the waterbuck. The Hyaena had the highest domestic depredation, while all the other big cats depredated more on wild ungulates.

Key words: Scat, group ranch, domestic, wild ungulate, prey, depredation.

Notes:

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