European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 59, Issue 1, pp 115–121

Predicting seasonal and spatial variations in diet quality of Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica pyrenaica) using near infrared reflectance spectroscopy

  • Arturo Gálvez-Cerón
  • Emmanuel Serrano
  • Jordi Bartolomé
  • Gregorio Mentaberre
  • Xavier Fernández-Aguilar
  • Laura Fernández-Sirera
  • Nora Navarro-González
  • Diana Gassó
  • Jorge Ramón López-Olvera
  • Santiago Lavín
  • Ignasi Marco
  • Elena Albanell
Short Communication

DOI: 10.1007/s10344-012-0672-9

Cite this article as:
Gálvez-Cerón, A., Serrano, E., Bartolomé, J. et al. Eur J Wildl Res (2013) 59: 115. doi:10.1007/s10344-012-0672-9

Abstract

Monitoring nutritional status of wildlife is key to understanding the population response to changes in food availability. Several direct and indirect methods have been proposed for such purposes, but faecal nitrogen (FN) is by far the most commonly used indirect non-invasive indicator of free-ranging ruminant diet quality. In this work, two methods were used to estimate the FN content in 291 pellet samples of Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica pyrenaica) collected during a 2-year period (May 2009 to May 2011) in two chamois populations from the Catalan Pyrenees, Spain: the Dumas LECO analyzer and near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS). In order to optimize further FN estimations we performed three different NIRS calibrations: (1) general, across year, season and populations; (2) population-specific; and (3) season-specific, i.e., different periods of vegetation growth. FN ranged from 1.66 % to 2.85 % (dry matter basis) and was higher in the main vegetation growing season than in winter. Concerning NIRS calibration, our study confirmed that FN of Pyrenean chamois can be accurately determined by NIRS, since the general calibration was accurate enough to predict FN. It is concluded that NIRS represents a non-destructive, emission-free and low-cost analytical technique which may reduce the use of conventional laborious methods for estimating FN in long-term wildlife monitoring.

Keywords

Foraging ecologyFaecal nitrogenNIRSSouthern chamois

Supplementary material

10344_2012_672_MOESM1_ESM.doc (55 kb)
S1Full list of references used in Table 1. (DOC 55 kb)
10344_2012_672_MOESM2_ESM.doc (777 kb)
S2Descriptive statistics of samples for both calibration and validation equations for estimating FN and linear regressions between FN and NIRS predicted values. (DOC 777 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arturo Gálvez-Cerón
    • 1
  • Emmanuel Serrano
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jordi Bartolomé
    • 1
  • Gregorio Mentaberre
    • 2
  • Xavier Fernández-Aguilar
    • 2
  • Laura Fernández-Sirera
    • 2
  • Nora Navarro-González
    • 2
  • Diana Gassó
    • 2
  • Jorge Ramón López-Olvera
    • 2
  • Santiago Lavín
    • 2
  • Ignasi Marco
    • 2
  • Elena Albanell
    • 1
  1. 1.Grup de Recerca en Remugants. Departament de Ciència Animal i dels AlimentsUniversitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Servei d’ Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge, Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia AnimalsUniversitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)BarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Estadística i Investigació Operativa, Departament de MatemàticaUniversitat de LleidaLleidaSpain