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Donkey diet in a flemish coastal dune area in the first year of grazing
Hoffmann, M.; Cosyns, E.; Deconinck, M.; Lamoot, I.; Zwaenepoel, A. (2001). Donkey diet in a flemish coastal dune area in the first year of grazing, in: Houston, J.A. et al. (Ed.) Coastal dune management: shared experience of European conservation practice: Proceedings of the European Symposium Coastal Dunes of the Atlantic Biogeographical Region Southport, northwest England, September 1998. pp. 95-107
In: Houston, J.A.; Edmondson, S.E.; Rooney, P.J. (Ed.) (2001). Coastal dune management: shared experience of European conservation practice: Proceedings of the European Symposium Coastal Dunes of the Atlantic Biogeographical Region Southport, northwest England, September 1998. Liverpool University Press: Liverpool. ISBN 0-85323-854-5. XIII, 458 pp., more

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  • VLIZ: Open Repository 232881 [ OMA ]

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Abstract
    The composition of the diet of a small herd of donkeys in an 80ha nature reserve in the coastal dunes of Flanders (Belgium) was investigated in the first year after its introduction. The animals predominantly ate grasses with a clear preference for Festuca juncifolia, Elymus repens and Koeleria albescens and the sedge Carex arenaria. Calamagrostis epigejos and Ammophila arenaria appeared as only slightly desirable species. Apart from Hieracium umbellatum, characteristic herbaceous species of dune grassland (e.g. Galium verum) seem to be avoided. Browsing of woody species (which were dominant in much of the study area) was rather limited, although some non-native species (Syringa vulgaris, Fallopia aubertii) were eaten fairly frequently. Leaves are the preferred plant parts, while dead and shrivelled plant material forms a small minority of the diet as compared to fresh green plant material. Some seasonal trends in diet composition could be detected.

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