Advertisement

Central European Journal of Biology

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 427–433 | Cite as

Does handling reduce the winter body mass of the European hare?

  • Viktoria Takacs
  • Piotr Zduniak
  • Marek Panek
  • Piotr Tryjanowski
Research Article
  • 62 Downloads

Abstract

Winter body mass of the European hare Lepus europaeus Pallas 1778 was analyzed with a special focus on changes induced by handling. Data were obtained from large scale translocation (net catchments) during 1960–1980 in Poland. The influence of handling was compared using the mass of first-time captured and repeatedly-captured hares, and, in case of repeated capture, individuals’ mass changes were investigated. The average body mass ranged from 2.1 kg to 5.0 kg. Generally, fewer factors influenced the hare’s body mass than expected. Body mass was related to age and winter precipitation, while the date of catching, sex and temperature did not have an effect. Body mass of first-captured hares were significantly higher than the re-captured ones (3.99±0.42 vs. 3.88±0.48, mean ±SD). Body mass change between captures was related to the date of the first capture, and the duration between the first capture and re-capture. Following the initial capture, a slight (2.8±2.6), but significant decrease in body weight occurred. Thus, the handling of hares should be used with caution during studies or management of the species.

Keywords

Body mass Hare Farmland Lepus europaeus Handling effect 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. [1]
    Ponjoan A., Bota G., De La Morena E.L.G., Morales M.B., Wolff A., Marco I., et al., Adverse effects of capture and handling little bustard, J. Wildl. Manage., 2008, 72, 315–319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. [2]
    Macleod R., Gosler A.G., Capture and mass change: perceived predation risk or interrupted foraging?, Anim. Behav., 2006, 71, 1081–1087CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. [3]
    Rands, S.A., Cuthill, I.C., Separating the effects of predation risk and interrupted foraging upon mass changes in the blue tit Parus caeruleus, Proc. R. Soc. Lon. B. Biol. Sci., 2001, 268, 1783–1790CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. [4]
    Suazo A.A., Angelique T., Delong E.T., Bard A.A., Oddy, D.M., Repeated capture of beach mice (Peromiscus polinotus and P. niveiventrus) reduces body mass, J. Mammal., 2005, 86, 520–523CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. [5]
    Pearson D.E., Ortega Y.K., Ruggirro L.F., Trap induced mass declines in small mammals: mass as a population index, J. Wildl. Manage., 2003, 67, 684–691CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. [6]
    Pielowski Z., The effect of winter on the animal populations in 1970, Lowiec Polski, 1970, 5, 4–5, (in Polish)Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    Ergon T., Speakman J.R., Scantlebury M.I., Cavanagh R., Lambin X., Optimal Body size and energy expenditure during winter: Why are voles smaller in declining populations?, Am. Nat., 2004, 163, 442–457PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. [8]
    Bresiński W., Weather conditions vs. European hare population dynamics, In: Pielowski Z. (Ed.), Ecology and Management of European hare populations, Proceedings of European hare symposium, Poznań, Państwowe Wydawnictwo Rolnicze i Leśne, Warsaw, 1974, 105–115Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    Hodges K.E., Boonstra R., Krebs C.J., Overwinter mass loss of snowshoe hares in the Yukon starvation, stress, adaptation or artifact?, J. Anim. Ecol., 2006, 75, 1–13PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. [10]
    Cuthill I., Houston A., Managing time and energy, In: Krebs J., Davis N., (Eds.), Behavioural Ecology: an Evolutionary Approach, Blackwell Science, Oxford, 1997, 97–120Google Scholar
  11. [11]
    Blanckenhorn W.U., The evolution of body size: what keeps organisms small?, Q. Rev. Biol., 2000, 75, 385–407PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. [12]
    Marboutin E., Bray Y., Péroux R., Mauvy B., Lartiges A., Population dynamics in European hare: breeding parameters and sustainable harvest rates, J. Appl. Ecol., 2003, 40, 580–591CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. [13]
    Hansson L., Ultimate factors in the winter weight depression of small mammals, Mammalia, 1990, 54, 397–404CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. [14]
    Millar J.S., Hickling G.J., Fasting endurance and the evolution of mammalian body size, Funct. Ecol., 1990, 4, 5–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. [15]
    Lima S.L., Predation risk and unpredictable feeding conditions: determinants of body-mass in birds, Ecology, 1986, 67, 377–385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. [16]
    Brodin A., Mass-dependent predation and metabolic expenditure in wintering birds: is there a tradeoff between different forms of predation?, Anim. Behav., 2001, 62, 993–999CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. [17]
    Clark C.W., Dynamic models of behavior: an extension of life history theory, Trends Ecol. Evol., 1993, 8, 205–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. [18]
    Tkadlec E., Zbořil J., Losik J., Gregor P., Lisická J., Winter climate and plant productivity predict abundances of small herbivores in central Europe, Clim. Res., 2006, 32, 99–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. [19]
    Hik D.S., Does Risk of Predation Influence Population Dynamics? Evidence from the Cyclic Decline of Snowshoe Hares, J. Wildl. Res., 1995, 22, 15–29Google Scholar
  20. [20]
    Saarikko J., Risk of predation and foraging activity in shrews, Ann. Zool. Fenn., 1992, 29, 291–299Google Scholar
  21. [21]
    Edwards P.J., Fletcher, M.R., Berny P., Review of the factors affecting the decline of the European European hare Lepus europaeus Pallas, 1778, and the use of wildlife incidend data to evaluate the significance of paraquat, Agric. Ecosyst. Environ., 2000, 79, 95–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. [22]
    Báldi A., Faragó S., Long-term changes of farmland game populations in a post-socialist country (Hungary), Agric. Ecosyst. Environ., 2007, 118, 307–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. [23]
    Pielowski Z., Pinkowski M., Numbers and distribution of the European hare in Poland, In: Pielowski Z. (Ed.), Materials of the International Hare Symposium, Czempiń 1992, Polish Hunting Association, 1995, 54–82Google Scholar
  24. [24]
    Smith R.K., Jennings N.V., Harris S., A quantitative analysis of the abundance and demography of European hares Lepus europaeus in relation to habitat type, intensity of agriculture and climate, Mammal Rev., 2005, 35, 1–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. [25]
    Kuijper D.P.J., Beek P., van Wieren S.E., Bakker J.P., Time-scale effects in the interaction between a large and a small herbivore, Bas. Appl. Ecol., 2008, 10, 126–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. [26]
    Andrzejewski R., Jezierski W., Studies on the European hare XI. Estimation of population density and attempt to plan the yearly take of hares, Acta Theriol., 1966, 12, 433–448Google Scholar
  27. [27]
    Pielowski Z., The individual growth curve of the hare, Acta Theriol., 1971, 16, 79–88Google Scholar
  28. [28]
    Pielowski Z., Ecological characteristics of the European hare Lepus europaeus Pallas 1778 population, Roczniki Akademii Rolniczej w Poznaniu, 1975, 65, 1–33, (in Polish)Google Scholar
  29. [29]
    Pielowski Z., Pinkowski M., A 25-year study a hare population on the hunting grounds of the Research Station at Czempiń, In: Pielowski Z. (Ed.), Materials of the International Hare Symposium, Czempiń 1992, Polish Hunting Association, 1995, 143–156Google Scholar
  30. [30]
    Pielowski Z., Home range and degree of residence of the Europeran hare, Acta Theriol., 1972, 17, 93–103Google Scholar
  31. [31]
    Stroh G., Zwei sichere Altermerkmale eim Hasen, Berlin Tierarztl. Wschr., 1931, 12, 180–181, (in German)Google Scholar
  32. [32]
    Andersen J., Some studies on the hare populations, Dan. Rev. Game Biol., 1958, 3, 70–71Google Scholar
  33. [33]
    Cabon-Raczyńska K., Variability of the body weight of European hares, Acta Theriol., 1974, 19, 69–80Google Scholar
  34. [34]
    Flux J.E., Reproduction and body weights of the hare Lepus europaeus Pallas, in New Zealand, New Zeal. J. Sci., 1967, 10, 357–401Google Scholar
  35. [35]
    Frylestam B., Growth and body weight of European hares in southern Sweden, Holarct. Ecol., 1980, 3, 817–886Google Scholar
  36. [36]
    Gosler A.G., The effects of trapping on the perception, and trade-off, of risks in the great tit Parus major, Ardea, 2001, 89, 75–84Google Scholar
  37. [37]
    Hodges K.E., Sinclair A.R.E., Does predation risk cause snowshoe hares to modify their diets?, Can. J. Zool., 2003, 81, 1973–1985CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. [38]
    Jennings N. Smith R.K., Hackländer K., Harris S., White P.C., Variation in demography, condition and dietary quality of hares Lepus europaeus from highdensity and low-density populations, J. Wildl. Biol., 2006, 12, 179–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. [39]
    Hackländer K., Arnold W., Ruf T., Postnatal development and thermoregulation in the precocial European hare (Lepus europaeus), J. Comp. Physiol., 2002, 172, 183–190Google Scholar
  40. [40]
    Myrcha A., Caloric value and chemical composition of the body of the European hare, Acta Theriol., 1968, 13, 65–71Google Scholar
  41. [41]
    Gosler A.G., Strategy and constraint in the winter fattening response to temperature in the great tit Parus major, J. Anim. Ecol., 2002, 71, 771–779CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© © Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Viktoria Takacs
    • 1
  • Piotr Zduniak
    • 2
  • Marek Panek
    • 3
  • Piotr Tryjanowski
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Behavioral Ecology, Faculty of BiologyAdam Mickiewicz UniversityPoznańPoland
  2. 2.Department of Avian Biology and Ecology, Faculty of BiologyAdam Mickiewicz UniversityPoznańPoland
  3. 3.Polish Hunting Association, Research StationCzempińPoland

Personalised recommendations