Diet of the helmeted guineafowl (Numida meleagris galeata Pallas) in the Waza region of North Cameroon

Authors


HANSON LANGMIA NJIFORTI Centre for Environmental Studies and Development in Cameroon (CEDC), Post Box 410 Maroua, Cameroon.

Abstract

Through laboratory and field experiments, we investigated the effect of food availability and food nutritive value on food selection by helmeted guineafowl (Numida meleagris galeata Pallas) during the dry season in the Waza region of North Cameroon. Field study and crop analysis shows that a wide variety of food types are eaten by guineafowl during the dry season. Analysis of 101 crops from wild birds reveals a statistically significant positive correlation between the sodium and water content of food items and the quantity found in the crops. Rhizomes of Stylochiton lancifolius and termites form the bulk of the diet of this species during the dry season. It is concluded that the selection of water-rich food may be an adaptation to dry environment.

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