We analysed faecal stable carbon isotope ratios in eland (Taurotragus oryx) in the Suiker-bosrand Nature Reserve, Gauteng, South Africa, in order to determine the relative contributions of browsing and grazing to their diet. Plants with C3 photosynthetic pathways comprised 95% of eland diet in March (late wet season) and June (early dry season), indicating almost exclusive browsing during both these periods. Our results are qualitatively similar to several other studies of eland diet in savanna and semi-arid habitats in South Africa. Observations of eland feeding behaviour suggested that the small non-C3 diet component may not necessarily reflect grazing, but rather feeding on Aloe marlothii.
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Vol. 37 • No. 2