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Actualizado: 8 feb 2021

Long term monitoring of the Bottom-up control in a Chamois population

Research Pathway: Wildlife Ecology and Management

Agreement bewteen Servicio de Ecopatología de Fauna Salvaje (SEFaS-UAB), and Departamento de Agricultura, Ganadería, Pesca, Alimentación y Medio Natural (Generalitat de Catalunya.

Period: Since 2009.

It is common to observe that food shortages and poor condition predisposes individuals to infection, which in turn further reduces host condition creating a vicious circle. But poor condition is not systematically linked to infection and often hosts can be quite healthy despite high pathogen burdens (principle of tolerance). All of this are mainly regulating by a bottom-up process, I mean by food availability, and the pathogen strategy (acute vs chronic infection).

Welcome to the B-Up MONITORING project. Since May 2009 we perform the monthly monitoring of a Chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica) population in the Freser-Setcases National Game Reserve, eastern Pyrenees, Catalonia Spain. Once a month, we collect fresh faecal samples and count chamois and livestock numbers in the area. The coprological and nutritional analysis of each faecal sample is systematically performed.

Our hypothesis is…

“Food shortages will drive the health status of our chamois population, but in particular coccidea and nematode burdens and concentration of faecal cortisol metabolites. These changes would be early detected by an unusual change in the proportion of nutritious food in faecal samples”

This plot represents the temporal variations of the NDVI recorded in meadows of the study area (right bottom corner) as well as the proportion of nitrogen (orange circles) and neutral detergent fibres (grey triangles) in chamois faeces collected in the same area. Data represent normalized data collected over 10 years.

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