Raj Kumar Koirala

Doctor of Philosophy, (Conservation Ecology)
Study Completed: 2018
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Nutritional Ecology of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) and Human-Wildlife Interactions.

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Mr Koirala's research investigated the diets and nutritional priorities of captive, domestic and wild elephants through the application of nutritional geometry models. Initially, he examined their food intake, food composition and the resultant dietary macronutrient and fibre intake. Geometric analysis showed that elephants ingest a phenomenal amount of carbohydrates and that fibre is vital in regulating the balance of protein in the diets of captive elephants. Many studies have shown that animals regulate the percentage of protein-energy in the diet, and to do so use various sources of non-protein energy interchangeably. Furthermore, unlike those studies which showed fats and carbohydrates to be regulated interchangeably, Mr Koirala has shown that fibre energy is also regulated as an interchangeable source of non-protein energy in the same way. This fibre regulation further extends the pattern to develop predictive models to understand the nutritional drive of human-elephant conflict.

Associate Professor Weihong Ji
Dr Jessica Rotham
Professor David Raubenheimer

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