Journal of
Ecology and The Natural Environment

  • Abbreviation: J. Ecol. Nat. Environ.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9847
  • DOI: 10.5897/JENE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 368

Article in Press

Population status, Habitat association and Feeding ecology of Defassa waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus defassa) in Nechisar National Park, Ethiopia

BirtukanTsegaye Demisse1*, and Sudarsan Reddy Malkireddy2

  •  Accepted: 07 January 2020
This study investigated population, habitat and feeding ecology of waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus defassa) in Nechisar National Park form November 2016 to August 2017 by total count and direct observation methods.The average population was 69±1.11 during wet and 61±0.93 dry season. The average number was 65 during both seasons. Out of population of both seasons N (30.8%) adult males, N(44.6%) adult females N(11.5%) sub adult males, N(10.8%) sub adult females and N(2.3%) juveniles were recorded. The population was female biased. The sex ratio of males to females was 1:1.16. Variation of different habitats was significant within seasons (χ2=15.97, df=3, p<0.05). Waterbucks were mostly grazers than browser. The plant species consumed by waterbucks was highly significant between seasons (χ2 =121.34, df=1, p<0.05). Out of 20 total plant species consumed; annual grass (11.5%), leersiavirginica (8.4%), Cynodondactylon (8.4%) but Tamarindusindica (2.9%), Balanites aegyptica (3.3%), Acacia polycantha (2.36%) were the least consumed food items. There was significant difference between plant species consumed during both seasons (χ2 =177.67, df=19, p<0.05). Young leaves are the largest proportion of plant part compared to other. There was highly significant difference in feeding plant parts in both seasons (χ2=88.5, df=7, P<0.05). Waterbuck spent more time on feeding in the morning and late afternoon during both seasons. The total number of waterbucks in the study areas varied due to food availability in different seasons. Different conservation measures should be taken against waterbuck reduction and create appropriate environment for waterbuck.

Keywords: Feeding ecology, Habitat association, Population status, Waterbuck.