Aim of this investigation was to compare different indices for evaluating nutritional conditions of red deer (Cervus elaphus) in alpine environment during the autumn, in order to detect the most convenient for management purposes in our specific situation. Body conditions of 274 red deer were evaluated using kidney fat index, back fat index and body condition scores. Body Condition Scores was the easiest but less reliable method. Both kidney fat index and back fat index were significantly affected by age- and sex-class (always lower in younger animals) and, in females, also by lactation status. In stags, a negative regression effect of culling date on both kidney fat index and back fat index was observed. A significant positive correlation between kidney fat index and back fat index was recorded. Both kidney fat index and back fat index were objective indicators of nutritional status and sensitive to changes in physical conditions, but back fat index was quicker and easier to be measured. As a direct implication, we suggest that back fat index can be a practical and reliable indicator for monitoring red deer conditions in alpine areas during the autumn, provided that the effects of sex, age and date of culling are taken into account.

How to evaluate body conditions of red deer (Cervus elaphus) in an alpine environment? / S. Mattiello, E. Andreoli, A. Stefanelli, A.F.A. Cantafora, A. Bianchi. - In: ITALIAN JOURNAL OF ANIMAL SCIENCE. - ISSN 1594-4077. - 8:4(2009), pp. 555-565. [10.4081/ijas.2009.555]

How to evaluate body conditions of red deer (Cervus elaphus) in an alpine environment?

S. Mattiello
Primo
;
E. Andreoli
Secondo
;
A.F.A. Cantafora
Penultimo
;
2009

Abstract

Aim of this investigation was to compare different indices for evaluating nutritional conditions of red deer (Cervus elaphus) in alpine environment during the autumn, in order to detect the most convenient for management purposes in our specific situation. Body conditions of 274 red deer were evaluated using kidney fat index, back fat index and body condition scores. Body Condition Scores was the easiest but less reliable method. Both kidney fat index and back fat index were significantly affected by age- and sex-class (always lower in younger animals) and, in females, also by lactation status. In stags, a negative regression effect of culling date on both kidney fat index and back fat index was observed. A significant positive correlation between kidney fat index and back fat index was recorded. Both kidney fat index and back fat index were objective indicators of nutritional status and sensitive to changes in physical conditions, but back fat index was quicker and easier to be measured. As a direct implication, we suggest that back fat index can be a practical and reliable indicator for monitoring red deer conditions in alpine areas during the autumn, provided that the effects of sex, age and date of culling are taken into account.
Back fat; Body condition score; Kidney fat index; Physical conditions; Ungulate management
Settore AGR/19 - Zootecnica Speciale
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/72752
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