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Extension and cause of seasonal fluctuation of the energy household of Przewalski's Horse (Equus przewalskii)

Abstract
The primary area of circulation of the Przewalski's Horses is characterized by strong climatic alterations all over the year. It is known, that other feral herbivores reduce their metabolism dramatically. Mechanisms that cause this phenomenon have not been well understood for a until a short time ago. Due to newest success in research in course of the FIWI project that worked on red deers at the Veterinary University of Vienna, one can assume, that the reduction of the metabolism (via economized thermoregulation) is transferable to other hoofed animals.
There is not much information available about the energy household an seasonal changes in wild equines.
A capable object to study this questions is a group of Przewalski's Horses at the "Nationalpark Neusiedlersee". To determine the rate of metabolism via measurement of the heart's frequency, telemetric transmitters has been implanted in some individuals. With these transmitters, the pulse rate, body temperature and activity have been monitored over three years.
The main issues of the project are:
1) how does the metabolism's rate of Przewalski's Horses change during the course of the year?
2) do Przewalski's Horses show a similar tolerance of coldness at the periphery like described in red deers? Is this connected to a significant reduction of the needed energy?
3) What is the effect of the surrounding temperature on the rate of metabolism?
4) What is the effect of fodder-quality/availability on heart frequency and rate of metabolism?
5) What is the effect of burden due to sanguivorous insects on behavior, mainly uptake of nutrients, energy budget, and which changes throughout the year are observable?
Lemma
Przewalskipferde Seewinkel
Project leader
Walzer Christian
Duration
01.01.02-30.06.06
Type of Research
Basic research
Vetmed Research Units
Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology
Projekt partner
Tiergarten Schönbrunn, Maxingstraße 13b, A-1130 Wien, Austria
Funded by
BM für Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Umwelt und Wasserwirtschaft - Ö, Stubenring 1, 1012 Wien, Austria
Gesellschaft zur Förderung des Forschungsinstitutes für Wildtierkunde und Ökologie der Veterinärmedizinischen Universität Wien, , Austria
OeNB Österreichische Nationalbank, Otto Wagner Platz 3, 1090 Wien, Austria
Schönbrunner Tiergarten-Gesellschaft m.b.H., Maxingstraße 13b, 1130 Wien, Austria
9 Publications

Kuntz, R; Kubalek, C; Ruf, T; Tataruch, F; Arnold, W (2006): Seasonal adjustment of energy budget in a large wild mammal, the Przewalski horse (Equus ferus przewalskii) I. Energy intake. J Exp Biol. 2006; 209(Pt 22):4557-4565
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Arnold, W; Ruf, T; Kuntz, R (2006): Seasonal adjustment of energy budget in a large wild mammal, the Przewalski horse (Equus ferus przewalskii) II. Energy expenditure. J Exp Biol. 2006; 209(Pt 22):4566-4573
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Kuntz, R (2005): Ausmaß und Ursachen des saisonalen Energiehaushaltes bei Przewalskipferden (Equus ferus Przewalskii). Dissertation, Univ. Wien, pp. 78.

Kubalek, Chr (2004): Seasonal changes of behaviour and the energetic cost of dominance in Przewalski horses (Equus ferus przewalskii). Diplomarbeit, Univ. Wien, pp. 27.

Kuntz, R (2004): Seasonal variation of the energy budget of Przewalski´s horses: a presentation of a research project. EAZA Equid TAG Meeting,Hortobágy National, Hortobágy , 06.05.04. EAZA Equid TAG Meeting,Hortobágy National, Hortobágy , 06.05.04.

Kuntz, R (2004): Mongolische Urwildpferde im Nationalpark Seewinkel -Vorstellung eines Forschungsprojektes. Tiergarten Schönbrunn, Wien, Austria, 10.3.2004. Tiergarten Schönbrunn, Wien, 10.3.2004.

Kuntz, R (2003): Bestimmung von Nahrungsmenge und -zusammensetzung bei Przewalskipferden im Freiland. Möglichkeiten und Probleme der n-Alkanmethode. Seminar Ökologie und Naturschutz - Theorie und Praxis, Forschungsinstitut für Wildtierkunde und Ökologie, Wien, Austria, 12.7.2003. Seminar Ökologie und Naturschutz - Theorie und Praxis, Forschungsinstitut für Wildtierkunde und Ökologie, Wien, 12.7.2003.

Kuntz,R (2003): Ausmaß und Ursachen saisonaler Schwankungen im Energiehaushalt von Przewalskipferden (Equus ferus przewalskii). Informationszentrum Nationalpark Neusiedlersee/Illmitz, 23.8.2003. Informationszentrum Nationalpark Neusiedlersee/Illmitz, 23.8.2003.

Kuntz, R (2003): Ausmaß und Ursachen saisonaler Schwankungen im Energiehaushalt von Przewalskipferden (Equus ferus przewalskii). Informationszentrum Nationalpark Neusiedlersee/Illmitz, 27.03.2003. Informationszentrum Nationalpark Neusiedlersee/Illmitz, 27.03.2003.

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