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Effects of seasonal variation, group size and sex on the activity budget and diet composition of the addax antelope

Effects of seasonal variation, group size and sex on the activity budget and diet composition of... Behaviour and diet composition are critical elements in conservation biology within the scope of reintroduction programs. Here we focused on addax (Addax nasomaculatus), a Critically Endangered antelope species, in the Jbil National Park, Tunisia. In this study, we advanced the hypothesis that season, day period, sex and social structure have an effect on the activity budgets and diet composition of addax. Three groups were selected (large group, adult pair and solitary male). Resting, moving, grazing, vigilance and other behaviours were recorded during two seasons (dry and wet) and in the morning and the afternoon. In addition, faecal samples were collected. The results indicate that season and day period were the main factors affecting the activity budgets. The resting behaviour increased from the wet to the dry season, and from morning to afternoon. The grazing and moving behaviours increased during the wet season and decreased from morning to afternoon. Addax select a mixed diet composed of perennial and herbaceous plant species notably during the wet season. In addition, we observed that addax modify their behaviour according to the season and forage availability. This represents an adaptive strategy to survive in a desert climate with a stochastic low-resource environment and depending on ambient climatic conditions. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png African Journal of Range & Forage Science Taylor & Francis

Effects of seasonal variation, group size and sex on the activity budget and diet composition of the addax antelope

Effects of seasonal variation, group size and sex on the activity budget and diet composition of the addax antelope

African Journal of Range & Forage Science , Volume 35 (2): 12 – Jun 29, 2018

Abstract

Behaviour and diet composition are critical elements in conservation biology within the scope of reintroduction programs. Here we focused on addax (Addax nasomaculatus), a Critically Endangered antelope species, in the Jbil National Park, Tunisia. In this study, we advanced the hypothesis that season, day period, sex and social structure have an effect on the activity budgets and diet composition of addax. Three groups were selected (large group, adult pair and solitary male). Resting, moving, grazing, vigilance and other behaviours were recorded during two seasons (dry and wet) and in the morning and the afternoon. In addition, faecal samples were collected. The results indicate that season and day period were the main factors affecting the activity budgets. The resting behaviour increased from the wet to the dry season, and from morning to afternoon. The grazing and moving behaviours increased during the wet season and decreased from morning to afternoon. Addax select a mixed diet composed of perennial and herbaceous plant species notably during the wet season. In addition, we observed that addax modify their behaviour according to the season and forage availability. This represents an adaptive strategy to survive in a desert climate with a stochastic low-resource environment and depending on ambient climatic conditions.

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References (81)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2018 NISC (Pty) Ltd
ISSN
1727-9380
eISSN
1022-0119
DOI
10.2989/10220119.2018.1477831
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Behaviour and diet composition are critical elements in conservation biology within the scope of reintroduction programs. Here we focused on addax (Addax nasomaculatus), a Critically Endangered antelope species, in the Jbil National Park, Tunisia. In this study, we advanced the hypothesis that season, day period, sex and social structure have an effect on the activity budgets and diet composition of addax. Three groups were selected (large group, adult pair and solitary male). Resting, moving, grazing, vigilance and other behaviours were recorded during two seasons (dry and wet) and in the morning and the afternoon. In addition, faecal samples were collected. The results indicate that season and day period were the main factors affecting the activity budgets. The resting behaviour increased from the wet to the dry season, and from morning to afternoon. The grazing and moving behaviours increased during the wet season and decreased from morning to afternoon. Addax select a mixed diet composed of perennial and herbaceous plant species notably during the wet season. In addition, we observed that addax modify their behaviour according to the season and forage availability. This represents an adaptive strategy to survive in a desert climate with a stochastic low-resource environment and depending on ambient climatic conditions.

Journal

African Journal of Range & Forage ScienceTaylor & Francis

Published: Jun 29, 2018

Keywords: activity budgets; addax antelope; faecal microhistological analysis; Jbil National Park; seasonal variations

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