Feeding pattern of forest elephants in the Nki National Park and its environs, East Region, Cameroon

Collins Ndi Fai, Sylvie Fonkwo Nguedem, Rosemary Kinge Tonjock
2022 International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation  
Forest elephants play a vital role as keystone species in forest ecosystems, but little information is known on their feeding pattern which is a key concern for its conservation. This study was carried out in Nki National Park and the specific objective was to identify cultivated and non-cultivated plants eaten by elephants. Eleven 2 km line transects, and reconnaissance walk of approximately 40.16 km were used to identify all feeding signs of elephants. Also, administration of semi-structured
more » ... uestionnaires to 107 participants in 9 villages around the park was used to collect data on Human-Elephant Conflict mainly on crop raiding to identify cultivated plants eaten by elephants. Analysis was done using descriptive statistics in Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 23. Results showed that 25 wild and 18 cultivated plants from 24 families were consumed by elephants in the park and along its peripheries with diet preference of fruits (62%) and least being stems (6%). The most abundantly consumed plant families were Poaceae (Setaria palmifolia), Sapotaceae (Gambeya lacourtiana), and least being Pandaceae (Panda oleosa) among other families. This shows that elephants have a very diverse diet requirement which is important in the management and conservation of this critically endangered species.
doi:10.5897/ijbc2021.1528 fatcat:dvxvfru3uffcpkkckizistibby