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Dietary overlap of wild ungulate Cuvier's gazelle with livestock (sheep and goats) in Djebel Messaad Forest, Algeria

Abstract : Studying the dietary habits of wild animals is essential for the efficient wildlife management. This paper presents the results of dietary overlap of Cuvier's gazelle (Gazella cuvieri) and two species of livestock to evaluate whether or not they compete for forage. The study was conducted from September 2016 to August 2017 in the Djebel Messaad Forest, Algeria, using microhistological analysis. The diet of Cuvier's gazelle and livestock maintained a high proportion of grasses, shrubs and trees. At Djebel Messaad Forest, of the total 48 food plant species identified in fecal samples, 39 of which were found in Cuvier's gazelle, 29 and 36 from domestic sheep and goats respectively; 20 genera occurred in the annual diets of both Cuvier's gazelle and livestock. The principal foods were browses (N% = 52.6) for Cuvier's gazelle, while the dominant forage species included Stipa tenacissima, Artemisia herba alba, Pistacia terebinthus, Stipa parvylora, Helianthemum sp. The food diversity was invariably high for Cuvier's gazelle in autumn and generally decreased from winter to summer, we conclude that this gazelle exhibited a higher dietary diversity than livestock. Shared species 21 represented a higher proportion of dietary items for Cuvier's gazelle (N%= 76.9) than for sheep (N%= 54.0). While shared 28 species, a very higher proportion of those used by Cuvier's gazelle (1\1% = 91.4) than by goats (N% = 61.2). Dietary overlap indices confirmed that, livestock had very similar diets. while, both of them had moderate diet overlap with Cuvier's gazelle.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, August 17, 2021 - 2:45:43 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 18, 2021 - 3:30:24 AM

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N. Benamor, F. Bounaceur, S. Aulagnier. Dietary overlap of wild ungulate Cuvier's gazelle with livestock (sheep and goats) in Djebel Messaad Forest, Algeria. Russian Journal of Theriology, 2021, 20 (1), pp.31-43. ⟨10.15298/rusjtheriol.20.1.05⟩. ⟨hal-03321343⟩



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