The Suitability of Habitats and the Effects of Human Activities in Osupuko and Olepolos Wildlife Sanctuaries on Maasai Giraffes
Date of Award
Undergraduate Honors Thesis
Bachelor of Arts in Biology
Shem Mwasi Ph.D.
Terry Bird Ph.D.
Daniel Kaka Bsc.
Habitat quality and resource availability within wildlife dispersal areas in the Amboseli ecosystem are experiencing degradation due to pastoralism and agriculture by humans, which negatively affects the wildlife species that utilize these dispersal areas. Maasai giraffes are a common species that utilize these areas, but information on how human activities and the presence of domestic livestock affects the Maasai giraffe is limited. This study was conducted in two wildlife sanctuaries: Osupuko and Olepolos. Habitat condition assessment was done to determine the quality of habitats found within each sanctuary. The Point-Centered Quadrat Method was used to determine the number of five major and common species found in a giraffe’s diet. Animal Counts were conducted to determine the number and habitats that giraffes and livestock utilize. Results show that despite the high extent of damage, closed bushland was utilized by Maasai giraffes regardless. There is a high number of Acacia tree species with the least amount of vegetation damage, but Grewia bicolor was one of the least abundant tree species with the most vegetation damage. The number of shoats and giraffes observed in different habitat types in both sanctuaries was not significant (r = - 0.816, P-value = 0.1.84, N=4; r = -0.889, P-value = 0.111, N=4). The number of cattle and giraffes observed in different habitat types in both sanctuaries was not significant (r = 0.775, P-value= 0.225, N=4; r = 0.949, P-value=0.051, N=4). Our results suggest that Maasai giraffes are less vulnerable to habitat degradation, there is adequate food supply to sustain a viable giraffe population, and the presence of livestock does not affect the presence of giraffes in different habitats.
Digital USD Citation
Davis, Sydney P., "The Suitability of Habitats and the Effects of Human Activities in Osupuko and Olepolos Wildlife Sanctuaries on Maasai Giraffes" (2015). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 11.
Data of PCQ, Animal counts, Habitat Condition Assessments in Olepolos Wildlife Sanctuary
Osupuko ALL DATA.xlsx (38 kB)
Data of PCQ, Animal counts, Habitat Condition Assessments in Osupuko Wildlife Sanctuary
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