PhD defence

Methods to improve forage quality for mammalian herbivores in nutrient poor savannas

PhD candidate mr. B (Bradley) Schroder
Promotor prof.dr. HHT (Herbert) Prins
Co-promotor F (Frank) van Langevelde
Organisation Wageningen University, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation

Mon 21 June 2021 13:30 to 15:00



This thesis aims to obtain a better understanding of the relationship between large free-roaming herbivores in a nutrient poor savanna and ways of improving the quality of the forage. My hypothesis is that a nutrient poor savanna can be forced from a state with low quality herbage (hardly serving as food for large free-roaming herbivores) to a state with high quality forage through management. In my thesis I show how adding nutrients to grazing lawns and offering feed-blocks with a polymer (polyethylene glycol, which has tannin binding capabilities) have positive effects on the intake and quality of forage available for large free-roaming herbivores in this type of savanna. This improves the understanding of the benefits of actively managing nutrient poor savannas, by unlocking the value of establishing and managing protected areas in regions with otherwise none or limited sustained profitability,  and hence enabling long-term nature conservation where land becomes scarce.