Re-introduced Przewalski horses in Hustai National Park, Mongolia could suffer from food competition with other herbivore species through food resource depletion. Diet composition of the Przewalski horse (Equus ferus przewalskii), red deer (Cervus elaphus) and four livestock species (sheep, goat, cattle and horse) were studied, using micro histological analysis of faecal samples in the summer of 2005 and winter of 2006 ¿ 2007. We expected that herbivores become less selective in food choice in winter regarding to summer, resulting in a larger diet breadth, a larger similarity in diet and a larger dietary overlap in winter, potentially triggering exploitative competition by depletion of shared resources. Vegetation biomass decreased during winter, and the different herbivores species in HNP changed their diet from summer to winter. As expected diet breadth, diet similarity and dietary overlap were significantly larger in winter in comparison to summer. The existence of competition by resource depletion between the different species cannot be ruled out. Vegetation biomass was probably not a limiting factor according to the correlation between annual rainfall and herbivore species biomass, however the forage quality may be limiting, triggering competition.
|Journal||Mammalian Biology - Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|
- equus ferus przewalskii
- mixed forest edge
- red deer hinds
- habitat use