Spatio-temporal variations in camel (Camelus dromedarius) foraging behaviour on rangeland ecosystem of semi-arid north western Nigeria
A considerable number of the dromedary camels are found in the semi-arid part of Northern Nigeria. Apart from the wide use of the camel as a draught animal it now serves as a source of milk, meat and hide in this region. This paper examines the foraging behaviour of the camel on the rangeland in order to determine its major daily activities as influenced by season, sex and age to enable us improve the biodiversity of our rangelands. Four categories of animals (Adult male, Adult Female, Young Male and Young Female) were followed for three consecutive days in both dry and rainy seasons. The result indicates that the time spent by the camels in the two seasons (Wet and Dry) and between Male and Female on various activities were significant (P<0.05). However, there was also a significant difference between the behaviour of the adult and younger camels. In can be concluded that camel spends most of its time grazing during the day and the grazing time is higher in the wet season which is related to the forages availability and that the behaviour is influenced by age rather than sex.
Keywords: Behaviour, Camel, Ecosystem, Foraging, Rangeland