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Energetics of chamois and human disturbance impact

Abstract
To evaluate the impact of human disturbance on chamois, faecal cortisol and heart-rate measurements under controlled conditions were compared. Four chamois (3 males, 1 female) at Salzburg Zoo, Austria. were equipped with
implantable biotelemetry devices to measure continuously heart rate and body temperature. Additionally, faecal samples were collected to determine cortisol secretion on an individual and pooled basis, respectively.
Preliminary results show distinct seasonal variations in both resting heart rate and cortisol secretion. While cortisol concentrations revealed a pronounced maximum in February and a minimum in August, average resting
heart rates were lowest in December and highest in June. Following disturbances the subsequent increase in heart rate, body temperature and faecal cortisol concentration was monitored. The increase of all variables was significantly correlated with stressor events. While heart rate is a suitable short term stress indicator, the faecal cortisol response showed a low temporal resolution with significantly increased concentrations on day 1 and 2 following the disturbance event. In a second project phase the method will be applied to free-living chamois in the Berchtesgaden National Park, Germany.
Project leader
Arnold Walter
Duration
01.01.99-31.12.02
Type of Research
Applied research
Vetmed Research Units
Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology
Projekt partner
Contact: Prof.Dr.F. Schwarzenberger
Ludwig Boltzmann Institut für Veterinärmedizinische Endokrinologie, Veterinärplatz 1, A Wien, Austria
Zoo Salzburg
Funded by
Gesellschaft zur Förderung des Forschungsinstitutes für Wildtierkunde und Ökologie der Veterinärmedizinischen Universität Wien, , Austria
4 Publications

Hoby, S; Schwarzenberger, F; Doherr, MG; Robert, N; Walzer, C (2006): Steroid hormone related male biased parasitism in chamois, Rupicapra rupicapra rupicapra. Vet Parasitol. 2006; 138(3-4):337-348

Thaller, D; Schwarzenberger, F; Bögel, R; Slotta-Bachmayr, L; Walzer, C; Arnold, W (2004): Seasonal variation in cortisol secretion in chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra). Meeting of the European Association of Zoo- and Wildlife Veterinarians (EAZWV), Ebeltoft, Dk, 19.05.-23.05.2004. Meeting of the European Association of Zoo- and Wildlife Veterinarians (EAZWV), Ebeltoft, Dk, 19.05.-23.05.2004.

Thaller, D; Schwarzenberger, F; Bögel, R; Schober, F; Fluch, G; Arnold, W; Walzer, C (2002): Assessing the impact of disturbances in chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) by faecal cortisol analyses and heart rate measurements under controlled conditions. Third World Conference on Mountain Ungulates, Saragossa (Aragon, Spain), June 10-15, 2002. Third World Conference on Mountain Ungulates, Saragossa (Aragon, Spain), June 10-15, 2002.

Thaller, D; Schwarzenberger, F; Bögel, R; Arnold, W; Walzer, C (2002): Disturbance evaluation in chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra). Combined meeting of the European Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians (EAZWV) and the European Wildlife Disease Association (EWDA), Heidelberg, Germany, 8. - 12. Mai 2002. Combined meeting of the European Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians (EAZWV) and the European Wildlife Disease Association (EWDA), Heidelberg, Germany, 8. - 12. Mai 2002.

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