Abstract # 2546 Poster # 50:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 19, 2009 06:30 PM-09:00 PM: Session 5 (Mission Bay Ballroom CDE) Poster Presentation


TANA RIVER, KENYA, YELLOW BABOON (PAPIO CYNOCEPHALUS) DIET: COMPARISON OF NUTRITIONAL DATA FOR FOREST VS. SAVANNAH FOOD SPECIES

V. Bentley-Condit1 and M. Power2
1Grinnell College, Department of Anthropology, Grinnell, Iowa 50112, USA, 2Nutrition Laboratory, Conservation Ecology Center, National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20013
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Relatively little is known regarding Kenya’s Tana River Primate National Reserve yellow baboons’ nutritional ecology. Here, we present data for nutrient content of plant foods consumed by the Mchelelo troop [n=75] based upon observational data from Jan88-Oct92 (875 days; 4893 hourly scans) and chemical assays to determine fiber, protein, mineral and gross energy (GE) content. These results are based upon 24 samples/17 species of forest foods and 10 samples/7 species of savannah foods. The Mchelelo baboons spend considerable time [42.43% of observations] within a relatively small strip of riverine forest; forest foods consumption accounts for 37.88% of the observations. We predicted that the forest species should have higher GE and lower fiber than the savannah species as more of the forest species consumed are fruits/seeds (e.g., Phoenix, Hyphaene) while more of the consumed savannah species are grasses/corms (e.g., Cyperus). The GE of the forest species [mean=4.71 kcal/g] was significantly greater than that of the savannah species [mean=4.48 kcal/g][t(28.3)=2.37, p=0.025]. However, there were no significant differences in neutral detergent fiber [NDF: forest=50.81%, savannah=60.3%; t(16.5)=-1.58, p=0.13] or acid detergent fiber [ADF: forest=46.02%, savannah=45.7%; t(21.7)=0.062, p=0.95]. While more detailed analyses are in progress, these results suggest that the Mchelelo troop of “savannah baboons” acquire much of their energy from forest foods and that the riverine forest is key to baboon survival in this habitat.