Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Diet of capybara Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris (Rodentia: Hydrochaeridae) in Caño Limón, Arauca, Colombia.

Abstract

We studied the composition and seasonal variation of the diet of the capybara (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris) in the flooded savannas of Caño Limón, Colombia. This was achieved by direct observation of the consumption patterns of these animals. The capybaras only consumed plants, and their diet included 89 species of 22 families. Sixty three percent of these plant species had not been reported before. The most commonly consumed plants (94% of the diet), belonged to the Poaceae, Cyperaceae, Leguminosae and Pontederiaceae. Only seven species represented 60% of the total diet: the grasses Hymenachne amplexicaulis (16.9%), Digitaria bicornis (4.5%) and Panicum maximum (4.4%) and the Cyperaceae Rhynchospora corymbosa (4.4%). There was seasonal variation in the diet composition of capybaras.