Seasonal Diets of Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) in the Llano Uplift Ecological Region of Texas
I investigated the seasonal diets of greater kudu at Mason Mountain Wildlife Management Area (MMWMA) from May 2001 to February 2002 using microhistological analysis of fecal material. Forty-six fecal samples were collected during spring 2001 with 50 samples collected in each of the remaining seasons. Browse was the primary forage class utilized each season by greater kudu. Annually, the bulk of the diet was comprised of Texas/blackjack oak (Quercus spp.), live oak (Q.fusiformis), Ashe juniper (Juniperus ashez), mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa), prickly pear (Opuntia spp.) flameleaf sumac (Rhus lanceolata), and Texas persimmon (Diospyros texana). Vegetational analyses were conducted simultaneously with the fecal collection. Herbaceous plants were sampled using the Daubenmire method. Woody plants were sampled using the lineintercept method. Plant use by greater kudu was compared with the availability of plants at MMWMA to determine if greater kudu were selective in feeding. I used loglikelihood chi-square tests with Bonferroni corrected confidence intervals and Manly's alpha preference indices to test for selective foraging by greater kudu. During spring 2001, purple horsemint flowers (Monarda citriodora), Canada wild.rye (Elymus canadensis), mesquite, and flameleaf sumac were selected. In summer 2001, greater kudu selected Texas/blackjack oak and mesquite. Greater kudu selected flameleaf sumac during autumn 2001. In winter 2002, greater kudu foraged selectively for Ashe juniper. The browse forage class composed the vast majority of plants consumed by greater kudu; thus, greater kudu could compete with other browsers, such as white-tailed deer, on a range site.
Greater kudu, Animals, Wildlife management areas, Texas, Mason County
Gray, S. (2002). <i>Seasonal diets of greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) in the Llano uplift ecological region of Texas</i> (Unpublished thesis). Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.