Center National Detudes Et Of Recherche Appliquee Faune Of Montagne

Juvignac, France

Center National Detudes Et Of Recherche Appliquee Faune Of Montagne

Juvignac, France
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Arturo G.-C.,Grup de Recerca en Remugants | Diana G.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Ramon L.-O.J.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Gregorio M.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | And 9 more authors.
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2015

Faecal nitrogen (FN) - the combination of metabolic nitrogen and residual food nitrogen - has been used as a proxy for diet quality in wild and domestic ruminants for over half a century. However, a common misconception in some of these studies is that FN is a direct proxy for dietary N, in spite of experimental evidence that links FN to general diet digestibility. Additionally, gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) can alter N metabolism and increase FN by various mechanisms. To clarify the role of dietary N, fibre and GIN as a factor in FN excretion, 10 naturally parasitised sheep were fed two different isocaloric diets (LPF: low-protein, low-fibre; HPF: high-protein, high-fibre). One month after these diets began, a single anthelmintic treatment was applied to remove GIN, after which the sheep were kept on the same diet for an additional 2 weeks. Throughout the experiment, individual faecal samples were obtained to estimate both FN and GIN intensity (using faecal egg counts, FEC). In addition, two blood samples were taken before and after deworming to measure serum total protein concentrations (TP) as a proxy for protein absorption. In spite of the difference in dietary protein, FN was higher on an LPF diet, supporting the overall digestibility concept. The influence of GIN on FN was later revealed by the anthelmintic treatment, which led to a decrease of FEC and FN in both dietary groups. Serum total protein showed a slight but non-significant increase in both groups after the anthelmintic treatment. Our study supports not only the concept that FN is a proxy for diet digestibility, and not directly for dietary N, but also that gastrointestinal nematodes limit its use as a proxy for diet quality in ruminants, especially under high parasite loads (e.g., 1000 faecal eggs per gram of faeces). Such limitations should be considered before using FN for wildlife nutrition monitoring. Some recommendations are given to avoid misinterpretations. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Marchand P.,Center National Detudes Et Of Recherche Appliquee Faune Of Montagne | Marchand P.,CNRS Biometry and Evolutionary Biology Laboratory | Garel M.,Center National Detudes Et Of Recherche Appliquee Faune Of Montagne | Bourgoin G.,University of Lyon | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2014

Studies on habitat-performance relationships that require joint data on fitness and habitat use are still scarce in long-lived species. Using data from a southern French population of Mediterranean mouflon (Ovis gmelini musimon × Ovis sp.), we proposed an original approach for gaining information on this relationship by combining a fitness proxy (i.e., carcass mass) collected on harvested rams (n = 257) with knowledge on habitat use obtained from other rams (n = 13) fitted with Global Positioning System (GPS) collars. We first evaluated habitat characteristics encountered by harvested animals in hypothesized home ranges corresponding to circles centered on harvest locations. We set circle size to equal an average ram home range. We found that the carcass mass of harvested individuals decreased with aspect diversity (-16.0% from home ranges with the lowest to the highest diversity), mean slope (-9.3% between flat home ranges and steep ones), and decreasing abundance of open areas (-11.3% between the most and the least open areas). We then tested the robustness of our results by simulating circles with variable sizes and whose centers were randomly located around each harvest location. We found similar results confirming that some habitat characteristics that may be related to resource abundance and spatial structure were important drivers of ram carcass mass in this population. Finally, we showed that simulated circles of variable sizes and centered on GPS locations captured well the habitat composition of home ranges of GPS-collared rams. Combining different sources of information could hence allow drawing robust inference on key habitats in terms of performance, which is of particular interest when including a spatial component in wildlife management and conservation plans and deciding on appropriate habitat improvements. © 2014 The Wildlife Society.


Marchand P.,Center National Detudes Et Of Recherche Appliquee Faune Of Montagne | Marchand P.,CNRS Alpine Ecology Laboratory | Garel M.,Center National Detudes Et Of Recherche Appliquee Faune Of Montagne | Bourgoin G.,VetAgro Sup | And 4 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2014

Human disturbance is of growing concern owing to the increase of human activities in natural areas. Animal responses are manifold (immediate and/or delayed, short and/or long-lasting, with numerous behaviors affected) so that comprehensive studies are few. Here, we contrasted days with low or high tourism or hunting pressures to assess direct (daytime) and indirect (nighttime) responses of 66 GPS-collared Mediterranean mouflon Ovis gmelini musimon×. Ovis sp. from the Caroux-Espinouse massif (southern France) in terms of movement, habitat use and daily activity. We took advantage of the fact that both human activities occurred during different periods and with different intensities in 3 contiguous areas (among which a protected area without hunting and with limited tourism) to compare their influence on mouflon behavior. Mouflon response to tourism was limited to the area where tourism pressure was intense with a decrease in diurnal activity compensated during nighttime by an increase of nocturnal activity. Hunting had marked consequences in the two hunted areas, with a similar shift in activity between day and night, a decrease in movement sinuosity during daytime by females and an increase in nocturnal use of the best foraging habitats by males, all suggesting an increase in foraging activities during nights following disturbance. The diurnal activity of mouflon living in the protected area was also modified during hunting period, but without nocturnal compensation. These findings revealed that the impact of hunting was higher than tourism, with several components of animal behavior affected. This calls for further research on hunting side-effects in terms of disturbance, especially as it occurs during both the adverse climatic season and the breeding period. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Marchand P.,Center National Detudes Et Of Recherche Appliquee Faune Of Montagne | Marchand P.,CNRS Alpine Ecology Laboratory | Garel M.,Center National Detudes Et Of Recherche Appliquee Faune Of Montagne | Bourgoin G.,VetAgro Sup | And 4 more authors.
Animal Behaviour | Year: 2015

The balance between food and perceived predation risk has been revealed as one of the primary drivers of animal habitat selection. However, few studies have investigated how spatiotemporal scales and movement/activity patterns shape responses to this food/cover trade-off while accounting for individual characteristics (e.g. sex) and for variation in predation risk (e.g. hunting) and in resource abundance/quality. We hence studied temporal changes in habitat selection of 30 GPS-collared females and 15 males of Mediterranean mouflon, Ovis gmelini musimon×. Ovis sp., at two scales, i.e. 48. h home range selection within a subpopulation area (broad scale) and choice of movement steps (defined as the linear segment between two consecutive locations) according to activity state (fine scale), in southern France. During the hunting-free/food-abundant period, males selected at both scales the foraging habitats providing the best conditions for optimizing their future reproductive success and only selected areas perceived as safe during inactive steps. During the corresponding lambing period, and at both scales, females selected areas perceived as safe that should optimize lamb survival. They switched to the best foraging habitats only when lambs were weaned and only for active steps. By contrast, during hunting, when food was also scarce, both sexes selected home ranges with high proportions of the habitats perceived as safe, in which they performed all their activities. This result suggested that risk avoidance exceeded all the other individual and environmental factors in the hierarchy of the determinants of habitat selection during the hunting period. Coupling scale-specific habitat selection and activity patterns was hence decisive in disclosing how individuals fulfil their specific needs under seasonally changing levels of habitat attributes important for fitness. © 2015 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.


Marchand P.,Center National Detudes Et Of Recherche Appliquee Faune Of Montagne | Marchand P.,CNRS Alpine Ecology Laboratory | Garel M.,Center National Detudes Et Of Recherche Appliquee Faune Of Montagne | Bourgoin G.,VetAgro Sup | And 4 more authors.
Behavioral Ecology | Year: 2015

In the context of global warming, investigating how animals buffer against the hottest conditions is a crucial issue. We focused on habitat selection in a French Mediterranean mouflon population during 2010-2012 summers. Using locations and temperatures recorded on GPS-collared individuals, we assessed thermal cover provided by different habitats and analyzed sex- and scale-specific habitat selection and its thermal consequences for mouflon. At the home range scale, females (n = 26) avoided unsafe plateaux and selected steep refuges, trading off thermal cover with better conditions for lamb survival. Larger males (n = 18), not constrained by young rearing and expected to respond more strongly than smaller females to hot conditions, rather selected forests on plateaux providing thermal cover. In terms of movements, both sexes selected forests during hottest days. Males also took advantage of food and thermal cover provided by moorlands on plateaux until twilight, whereas females traded off food and thermal cover with refuges. Thermal cover significantly influenced habitat selection when temperature at the closest weather station exceeded 17.1 °C (95% confidence interval = 14.9-19.7) in males and 15.5 °C (95% confidence interval = 13.9-16.5) in females. Above these thresholds, ambient temperatures experienced by mouflon increased more slowly than temperatures at the weather station (males: 0.77 °C [95% confidence interval = 0.74-0.79] per 1 °C rise at the weather station, females: 0.75 °C [95% confidence interval = 0.73-0.76]) and more slowly than below these thresholds (males: 0.89 °C [95% confidence interval = 0.85-0.93], females: 0.94 °C [95% confidence interval = 0.89-0.98]). These findings suggested that habitat selection contributes to buffer mouflon against summer conditions but raised questions on energetic and fitness costs in areas where summer temperatures are predicted to increase further. © 2014 The Author 2014.


Garel M.,Center National Detudes Et Of Recherche Appliquee Faune Of Montagne | Gaillard J.-M.,Center National Detudes Et Of Recherche Appliquee Faune Of Montagne | Gaillard J.-M.,University of Lyon | Gaillard J.-M.,University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Mammalogy | Year: 2011

For species living in seasonal environments the understanding of demographic processes requires identifying the environmental factors during spring and summer that shape phenotypic variation. We assessed the effects of plant phenology and population abundance during springsummer on variation in autumn body mass among cohorts (1995-2006) of juvenile alpine chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra). We computed several metrics based on the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) to assess interannual variation in plant phenology and productivity. Body mass of both sexes decreased similarly during years with late springs (-20%) and with increasing population abundance (-15%), with no interactive effect. Our results also suggested that forage quality more than forage quantity influenced body mass of juveniles. Variation in body mass of juveniles thus can be used as an indicator of the relationship between chamois populations and their environment. This study also demonstrates the utility of satellite-based data in increasing our understanding of the consequences of springsummer conditions on life-history traits. © 2011 American Society of Mammalogists.


Garel M.,Center National Detudes Et Of Recherche Appliquee Faune Of Montagne | Garel M.,Center National Detudes Et Of Recherche Appliquee Cervides Sanglier | Gaillard J.-M.,CNRS Biometry and Evolutionary Biology Laboratory | Delorme D.,Center National Detudes Et Of Recherche Appliquee Cervides Sanglier | Laere G.V.,Center National Detudes Et Of Recherche Appliquee Cervides Sanglier
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2014

In most species of vertebrates, teeth play a central role in the long-term performance of individuals. However, patterns of tooth development have been little investigated as an indicator of animal performance. We filled this gap using data collected during long-term capture-mark-recapture monitoring of 1152 roe deer fawns at Chizé, western France. This population fluctuated greatly in size during the 27 years of monitoring, offering a unique opportunity to assess how the eruption patterns of front teeth perform as indicator of animal performance. We used three indices of the eruption of permanent front teeth, the simplest being whether or not incisor I2 has erupted, and the most complex being a 12-level factor distinguishing the different stages of tooth eruption. We also assessed the relevance of these indices as compared to fawn body mass, a widely used indicator of animal performance of deer populations. Dental indices and body mass were positively correlated (all r > 0.62). Similarly to body mass, all indices based on tooth eruption patterns responded to changes of population size and can be reliably used to assess the relationship between roe deer and their environment. We found a linear decrease in body mass with increasing population size (r2 = 0.54) and a simultaneous delay in tooth development (r2 = 0.48-0.55 from the least to the most accurate indicator). However, tooth development would be not further delayed in years with the highest densities (>15 adult roe deer/100 ha). A path analysis supported the population density effect on tooth eruption patterns being mainly determined by the effect of population size on body mass. Our study provides managers with simple indices (e.g., presence-absence of I2) that provide a technically more easy way to standardize measurements of deer density-dependent responses over large geographical and temporal scales than would be possible with body mass. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Marchand P.,Center National Detudes Et Of Recherche Appliquee Faune Of Montagne | Marchand P.,University of Savoy | Redjadj C.,Center National Detudes Et Of Recherche Appliquee Faune Of Montagne | Redjadj C.,University of Savoy | And 4 more authors.
Mammal Review | Year: 2013

We reviewed data on the diets of mouflon (Mediterranean island populations Ovis gmelini musimon and introduced hybridized populations Ovis gmelini musimon×Ovis sp.) from 33 field studies (comprising 51 independent data points suitable for analysis) to detect general patterns in the botanical composition of the diet and identify ecological factors explaining its variation. We expected mouflon, generally classified as grazers, to include botanical entities other than grass in their diet, especially when they are forced to do so by low resource availability, and in certain seasons. Diet composition was investigated based on samples of rumen content and faeces. We combined these data with environmental characteristics at each site using a co-inertia analysis. As expected, grass often constituted the highest proportion in the diet (in 28 of the 51 data points) and represented on average 35% (range=0-91%) of mouflon diet, confirming the importance of this food for the species. However, referring strictly to commonly used thresholds (>75% or >90%) shows that the classification of mouflon as grazers could be questioned. Indeed, forbs and shrubs constituted 24% (range: 0-93%) and 16% (range: 0-55%) of their diet, respectively, so that mouflon should at least be considered as variable grazers. Forbs represented a high percentage of the overall diet in the Kerguelen Archipelago, southern Indian Ocean (autumn and winter: 73%) and Teide National Park, Canary Islands, Spain (autumn and winter: 83%), whereas shrubs represented a high proportion of the overall diet in Mediterranean areas (19%). Diet composition varied with spatio-temporal variation in forage availability (documented as habitat related or seasonal variation), confirming that mouflon are able to feed on a large variety of plants. Further investigations concerning both digestive morphology and consequences of the inclusion of browse in the diet on population dynamics of mouflon are needed to understand the persistence of this species over a wide range of habitats despite a potential mismatch between its digestive ability and its observed diet. © 2013 The Mammal Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Martinez-Guijosa J.,University of Murcia | Martinez-Carrasco C.,University of Murcia | Lopez-Olvera J.R.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Fernandez-Aguilar X.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | And 11 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2015

Background: Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica pyrenaica) is a nearly monomorphic mountain ungulate with an unbiased sex-specific overwinter adult survival. Few differences in gastrointestinal parasitism have been reported by coprology as yet. This study aims to assess diversity, prevalence, intensity of infection and aggregation of gastrointestinal nematodes in male and female adult chamois. We expect no differences in the parasite infection rates between sexes. Findings: Gastrointestinal tracts of 28 harvested Pyrenean chamois in the Catalan Pyrenees (autumn 2012 and 2013) were necropsied and sexual differences in the diversity and structure of parasite community, prevalence, intensity of infection, and richness were investigated. We found 25 helminth species belonging to 13 different genera. Conclusions: Contrary to our expectations, male chamois showed different parasite communities, higher prevalence, intensity of infection and richness than females. Such sexual differences were clear irrespective of age of individuals. Hence, male chamois must cope with a more diverse and abundant parasite community than females, without apparent biological cost. Further research will be required to confirm this hypothesis. © 2015 Martínez-Guijosa et al.; licensee BioMed Central.


PubMed | Center National Detudes Et Of Recherche Appliquee Faune Of Montagne, Universtita Of Turin, University of Murcia and Autonomous University of Barcelona
Type: | Journal: Parasites & vectors | Year: 2015

Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica pyrenaica) is a nearly monomorphic mountain ungulate with an unbiased sex-specific overwinter adult survival. Few differences in gastrointestinal parasitism have been reported by coprology as yet. This study aims to assess diversity, prevalence, intensity of infection and aggregation of gastrointestinal nematodes in male and female adult chamois. We expect no differences in the parasite infection rates between sexes.Gastrointestinal tracts of 28 harvested Pyrenean chamois in the Catalan Pyrenees (autumn 2012 and 2013) were necropsied and sexual differences in the diversity and structure of parasite community, prevalence, intensity of infection, and richness were investigated. We found 25 helminth species belonging to 13 different genera.Contrary to our expectations, male chamois showed different parasite communities, higher prevalence, intensity of infection and richness than females. Such sexual differences were clear irrespective of age of individuals. Hence, male chamois must cope with a more diverse and abundant parasite community than females, without apparent biological cost. Further research will be required to confirm this hypothesis.

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