Evaluation of sexual behavior of housed male camels (Camelus dromedarius) through female parades: correlation with climatic parameters
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Camels are seasonal breeders, and their sexual behavior is influenced by environmental conditions, but the relationship between climatic factors and sexual behavior has been poorly described in the available literature. Nowadays, the male camel living habit is shifting towards captivity; thus, this study was carried out to evaluate the sexual behavior of housed male dromedary camel through female’s parades and to correlate it with climatic parameters. Four housed sires, reared for semen collection, and one dam were used and the trial lasted 8 weeks, considering the first week as control. Six days per week and during evenings, the female was brought near each males’ boxes, while two observers filled a behavioral sampling ethogram and scored the male sexual behavior. After this parade, blood samples were taken from the female to evaluate the estradiol concentration. In addition, the following meteorological parameters were recorded, everyday, at 9:00 a.m. and 19:00 p.m.: pressure, wind, temperature, humidity, and H-index. The correlation between sexual behavioral score and female estradiol concentration and climate parameters was analyzed. All the behavioral parameters showed a significant upward trend; female estradiol concentration varied during the period and picked at week 5. Male sexual behavior was negatively correlated with morning H-index, wind, and temperature, and positively correlated with pressure and evening humidity, whereas it was not correlated with estrogen. In conclusion, female parade was a successful method to evaluate and stimulate the occurrence of housed male dromedary camel sexual activity that resulted to be negatively affected by hot temperature, warm wind, and lack of rain.
KeywordsSexual behavior Climatic parameters Housed male dromedary camel
The authors are grateful with the Tunisian authorities and thank all technicians of the department for the valuable help provided during the work. The authors are grateful to Dr. Skidmore for her provision in writing assistance.
This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union through the “PROCAMED” Project: Promotion des systèmes camelins innovants et des filières locales pour une gestion durable des territoires saharienne: reference number: I.B/1.1/493. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of Livestock and Wildlife Laboratory, IRA Medenine, Tunisia and Veterinary Clinics and Animal Productions Unit D.E.T.O. Bari, Italy, and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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