We studied food composition and overlap among sympatric Przewalski's gazelle (Procapra przewalskii), Tibetan gazelle (P. picticaudata), and Tibetan domestic sheep (Ovis aries) in the Upper Buha River, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, using microscopic fecal analysis. The 2 gazelles forage mainly on plants from Leguminosae and Compositae families and domestic sheep feed mainly on Gramineae and Cyperaceae. The dietary overlap index between the 2 gazelles and Tibetan domestic sheep increased from 0.43 to 0.58 during the plant-growing period to 0.76–0.77 during the plant-withering period, which indicated competition for foods intensified during the food-limited season. Although the 2 gazelle ate similar diets, they might avoid food competition by occupying different foraging areas. We suggest reducing numbers of overwintering Tibetan domestic sheep on pastures to lessen survival pressure on the endangered gazelles during winters.
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Vol. 72 • No. 4