Context Human activities can induce behavioural and stress responses in wild animals. Information is scarce on the effects of culling on anti-predator behaviour and endogenous stress response of wild ungulates. Aims In a Mediterranean area, we evaluated the effects of culling on vigilance, foraging and endogenous stress response of female fallow deer (Dama dama). Methods Effects of culling were evaluated through behavioural observations and hormone analyses of faecal samples. Key results In an area where culling occurred (C), individuals showed significantly greater vigilance rates and foraged closer to wood than in an area with no culling (NC). In C, 24h after culling, faecal cortisol concentrations were greater than those recorded in NC, but they decreased significantly to values comparable to (48h post-shot) and lower than (72h post-shot) those observed in NC. Conclusions Most likely, culling determined behavioural responses in female fallow deer, but did not trigger long-term physiological effects. Implications Increased anti-predator behaviour may complicate the implementation of long-term culling programs.
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|Titolo:||Effects of culling on vigilance behaviour and endogenous stress response of female fallow deer|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|
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