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Title:Use of hair cortisol analysis for comparing population status in wild red deer (Cervus elaphus) living in areas with different characteristics
Authors:ID Caslini, Chiara, Dipartimento di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Celoria 10, 20133 Milan, Italy (Author)
ID Comin, Antonella, Dipartimento di Scienze degli Alimenti, Università degli Studi di Udine, Sezione Fisiologia Veterinaria e Nutrizione, Via Sondrio 2/A, 33100 Udine, Italy (Author)
ID Peric, Tanja, Dipartimento di Scienze degli Alimenti, Università degli Studi di Udine, Sezione Fisiologia Veterinaria e Nutrizione, Via Sondrio 2/A, 33100 Udine, Italy (Author)
ID Prandi, Alberto, Dipartimento di Scienze degli Alimenti, Università degli Studi di Udine, Sezione Fisiologia Veterinaria e Nutrizione, Via Sondrio 2/A, 33100 Udine, Italy (Author)
ID Pedrotti, Luca, Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio, Via De Simoni 42, 23032 Bormio (SO), Italy (Author)
ID Mattiello, Silvana, Dipartimento di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Celoria 10, 20133 Milan, Italy (Author)
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Language:English
Work type:Not categorized
Typology:1.01 - Original Scientific Article
Organization:UNG - University of Nova Gorica
Abstract:We tested a method to measure Hair Cortisol Concentration (HCC) in 174 red deer (Cervus elaphus) culled in the hunting season 2011/12 in four areas of Central Italian Alps, with different population densities (SPN, 11.8 deer/km2; HD-AV, 3.6 deer/km2; HD-SO, 2.1 deer/km2; HD-MO, 2.0 deer/km2) and environmental conditions. Our hypothesis was that higher population densities, associated with more difficult environmental conditions, may result in higher allostatic load for these wild ungulates. No significant differences in HCC were detected between sexes (males, 4.77 ± 0.69 pg/mg; females, 5.75 ± 0.63 pg/mg) nor among age classes (calves, 6.17 ± 0.66 pg/mg; yearlings, 4.47 ± 0.83 pg/mg; adults, 5.15 ± 0.74 pg/mg; least square mean ± SE), but HCC difference between calves and yearlings was close to statistical significance (P = 0.059). HCC showed high individual variation, but on average it was higher in areas with higher deer density (SNP, 7.45 ± 1.01 pg/mg; HD-AV, 6.07 ± 0.89 pg/mg; HD-SO, 4.67 ± 1.14 pg/mg; HD-MO, 2.87 ± 1.56 pg/mg), with significant differences between HD-AV and HD-MO (P = 0.01). Carcass weight was significantly lower in SNP (46.74 ± 1.49 kg) than in HD-MO (62.71 ± 4.01 kg), HD-SO (61.73 ± 2.9 kg) and HD-AV (62.07 ± 2.04 kg) (P < 0.001). These results seem to confirm our hypothesis that allostatic load is higher in areas with higher density and harder environmental conditions. We suggest that the methodology used in this study to measure HCC provides good information on long-term HPA axis activity and allostatic load and constitutes a highly promising, reliable and non-invasive method in wildlife management for assessing HPA axis activity over extended time periods.
Keywords:Red deer, Cervus elaphus, Hair, Cortisol, Allostatic load
Publication version:Version of Record
Year of publishing:2016
Number of pages:11
Numbering:2016
PID:20.500.12556/RUNG-2639 New window
COBISS.SI-ID:4515579 New window
DOI:10.1007/s10344-016-1049-2 New window
NUK URN:URN:SI:UNG:REP:TER9Q6XF
Publication date in RUNG:29.09.2016
Views:4625
Downloads:0
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Record is a part of a journal

Title:European Journal of Wildlife Research
Shortened title:Eur J Wildl Res
Publisher:Springer Verlag (Germany)
Year of publishing:2016
ISSN:1612-4642

Licences

License:CC BY-NC-ND 4.0, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Link:http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Description:The most restrictive Creative Commons license. This only allows people to download and share the work for no commercial gain and for no other purposes.
Licensing start date:29.09.2016

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