Iberian Red Deer
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PLoS ONE ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 16 (4) ◽  
pp. e0249540
Author(s):  
F. J. Pérez-Barbería ◽  
I. Arroyo-González ◽  
A. J. García ◽  
M. P. Serrano ◽  
L. Gallego ◽  
...  

Climatic models predict scenarios in which ambient temperature will continue increasing worldwide. Under these climatic conditions, fitness and animal welfare of many populations are expected to suffer, especially those that live in captive or semi-natural conditions, where opportunities of heat abatement are limited. We undertook an experimental design to assess the effect of heat abatement that water sprinkling might have on Iberian red deer calf growth and behaviour from birth to weaning (135 days). One group of ten mother-calf pairs lived on plots with water sprinkling (treatment) available during summer’s hottest time of the day, while the control group (nine mother-calf pairs) occupied plots with no available water sprinkling. Treatment and control groups were fed ad libitum and swapped between plots every seven days to minimise any plot effect. Body weight was monitored weekly and individual behaviour was recorded once or twice a week at mid-day. We observed that calves had showers under the sprinklers and wallowed in mud puddles. The results clearly indicated that calves of the treatment group showed a significant increase in body weight at weaning in comparison with the control group, with no differences between sexes (treatment: male = 56.5 kg, female = 50.3 kg; control: male = 50.3 kg, female = 46.5 kg). Mother weight and mother age effects were negligible on calf body weight at weaning. The heavier the mother the faster was the rate of growth of its offspring, irrespective of calf sex. The model indicated that although males grew significantly slower than female calves in the control group, males grew faster than females when exposed to the treatment. Calves of the treatment group spent less time drinking, less time in the shade, similar time eating and more time in motion than calves of the control group. There were no behavioural differences between calf sexes of treatment and control groups. The results indicate the importance of providing animals with opportunities of heat abatement in hot environments to improve animal growth and welfare in farmed Iberian red deer.


PLoS ONE ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 16 (1) ◽  
pp. e0244802
Author(s):  
Marina F. Millán ◽  
Juan Carranza ◽  
Javier Pérez-González ◽  
Juliana Valencia ◽  
Jerónimo Torres-Porras ◽  
...  

In the last decades, climate change has caused an increase in mean temperatures and a reduction in average rainfall in southern Europe, which is expected to reduce resource availability for herbivores. Resource availability can influence animals' physical condition and population growth. However, much less is known on its effects on reproductive performance and sexual selection. In this study, we assessed the impact of three environmental factors related to climate change (rainfall, temperature and vegetation index) on Iberian red deer Cervus elaphus hispanicus reproductive timing and sexual behaviour, and their effects on the opportunity for sexual selection in the population. We measured rutting phenology as rut peak date, the intensity of male rutting activity as roaring rate, and the opportunity for sexual selection from the distribution of females among harem holding males in Doñana Biological Reserve (Southwest Spain), from data of daily observations collected during the rut over a period of 25 years. For this study period, we found a trend for less raining and hence poorer environmental conditions, which associated with delayed rutting season and decreased rutting intensity, but that appeared to favour a higher degree of polygyny and opportunity for sexual selection, all these relationships being modulated by population density and sex ratio. This study highlights how climate change (mainly rainfall reduction in this area) can alter the conditions for mating and the opportunity for sexual selection in a large terrestrial mammal.


Animals ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
pp. 224
Author(s):  
José Antonio Ortiz ◽  
Olga García-Álvarez ◽  
Mariano Amo-Salas ◽  
Alejandro Maroto-Morales ◽  
María Iniesta-Cuerda ◽  
...  

The aim of this study was to assess the effect of melatonin implants on the reproductive performance of yearling Iberian red deer (Cervus elaphus hispanicus) hinds. It also explored exogenous melatonin administration as a tool to minimize the negative effect of a low yearling hind’s liveweight on their reproductive efficiency. In addition, the effect of melatonin-treated yearling hinds on non-treated hinds was studied in order to provide a practical and economical protocol to improve farms’ productivity. A total of 4520 Iberian red deer hinds belonging to the same farm were included in this study. Melatonin (108 mg/hind) implants were administered three-fold every 30 days before the breeding season. Fertility rates, calves’ weights and calving dates were registered for each hind. The results showed that exogenous melatonin increased significantly (p < 0.05) the calves’ weight (32.39 ± 1.07 kg vs. 27.65 ± 1.11 kg for Weight 1calf (July) and 46.59 ± 1.50 kg vs. 41.79 ± 1.54 kg for Weight 2calf (August, at weaning)) and advanced the calving date by 15 days in yearling hinds compared to the non-treated group. In addition, the administration of melatonin implants before the breeding season was able to minimize the negative effect of low yearling hinds’ liveweight (Weight 1hind) on their future reproductive outcomes, as the fertility rates increased by 46% and the calves’ weight increased by 7 kg after the melatonin treatment, regardless of the yearlings’ weight. Finally, when both experimental groups (melatonin and non-treated) were kept separate, higher fertility rates (76.73 ± 7.18% vs. 66.94 ± 7.41%) were observed for the melatonin-treated hinds compared to the non-treated hinds. However, when both groups of yearling hinds were maintained together, no significant differences were observed in their fertility outcomes (78.13 ± 21.26% vs. 78.12 ± 23.32%). Therefore, melatonin implants may be used in yearling Iberian red deer hinds as a management tool to improve their reproductive productivity.


Meat Science ◽  
2020 ◽  
Vol 168 ◽  
pp. 108189 ◽  
Author(s):  
Almudena Soriano ◽  
Pablo Murillo ◽  
Martín Perales ◽  
Carlos Sánchez-García ◽  
José Antonio Murillo ◽  
...  

2020 ◽  
pp. 255-269
Author(s):  
L. Castillo ◽  
M. Del Rio ◽  
J. Carranza ◽  
C. Mateos ◽  
J. J. Tejado ◽  
...  

Deer antlers can be used as an index of individual performance both in ecological and productive contexts. Their quality is often measured only by their biometrical features, such as size, asymmetry or weight. Mechanic characteristics cannot normally be measured without destroying the antler and hence losing the commercial value of the trophies. Here, we studied ultrasonic velocities, density, and tensile strength across various sections of cast antlers of Iberian red deer (Cervus elaphus hispanicus). We found that the speed value depended on the section of the antler and the propagation direction. For antler sections, velocities were lowest for mid–beam and highest for brow tine. Results were similar for density and indirect tensile strength, probably related to differences in functionality among antler sections. Density explained most of the variability of ultrasound–speed. The time elapsed from antler shed affected density more than ultrasound speed. The indirect tensile strength showed a non–linear, decelerating relationship with ultrasound speed. We discuss the applications of ultrasound speed as a non–invasive tool to measure density and physical properties of antlers and antler sections, and their potential use as an index of quality.


2020 ◽  
Vol 15 (4) ◽  
pp. 262-275 ◽  
Author(s):  
Eva DE LA PEÑA ◽  
José MARTÍN ◽  
Isabel BARJA ◽  
Raúl PÉREZ‐CABALLERO ◽  
Isabel ACOSTA ◽  
...  

Animals ◽  
2020 ◽  
Vol 10 (5) ◽  
pp. 763 ◽  
Author(s):  
Irene Sánchez-Ajofrín ◽  
María Iniesta-Cuerda ◽  
Patricia Peris-Frau ◽  
Alicia Martín-Maestro ◽  
Daniela-Alejandra Medina-Chávez ◽  
...  

A major limiting factor for the development of in vitro embryo production (IVP) in wild species, such as Iberian red deer, compared to livestock animals is the poor availability and limited access to biological material. Thus, the use of post-mortem ovaries from slaughtered animals represent a source of oocytes for the large scale production of embryos needed for research and to improve the efficiency of IVP. However, these oocytes are not as developmentally competent as their in vivo counterparts. Moreover, oocytes are usually obtained from ovaries that have been transported for long distances, which may also affect their quality. In order to overcome the issues associated with prolonged storage times of post-mortem material, in this study we examined the effect of melatonin supplementation to the ovary transport medium on oocyte quality, embryo yield, and blastocyst quality in Iberian red deer. When necessary, sheep was used as an experimental model due to the large number of samples required for analysis of oocyte quality parameters. Oocytes were in vitro matured and assessed for early apoptosis; DNA fragmentation; reactive oxygen species (ROS); reduced glutathione (GSH) content, mitochondrial membrane potential, and distribution; and relative abundance of mRNA transcript levels. After in vitro fertilization, embryo rates and blastocyst quality were also investigated. The results revealed that melatonin treatment significantly increased intracellular level of GSH in sheep oocytes. Moreover, the percentage of cleavage and blastocyst yield in red deer was greater compared to the Control group and there was lower abundance of oxidative stress- and apoptosis-related SHC1, TP53, and AKR1B1 mRNA transcripts in blastocysts for the Melatonin group. In conclusion, the supplementation of melatonin to the ovary storage medium had a positive effect on the developmental competence and quality of resulting blastocysts in Iberian red deer.


Animals ◽  
2020 ◽  
Vol 10 (1) ◽  
pp. 83
Author(s):  
Martina Pérez Serrano ◽  
Andrés José García ◽  
Tomás Landete-Castillejos ◽  
Jamil Cappelli ◽  
José Ángel Gómez ◽  
...  

This study describes the effects that Cu supplementation of late-gestating and lactating females (hinds) of Iberian red deer fed a balanced diet have on milk production, composition, and somatic cell count (SCC). Experimental hinds (n = 9) were subcutaneously injected every 42 days with Cu (0.83 mg Cu/kg body weight) from day 202 of gestation until the end of lactation (week 18). Control hinds (n = 8) were injected with a physiological saline solution with the same volume and at the same frequency as the experimental group. Copper supplementation decreased the SCC from 1.64 to 1.36 log 10/mL (p = 0.003) and modified the milk mineral profile. In particular, milk from hinds supplemented with Cu had more Ca (p = 0.02), Mg (p = 0.06), and K (p = 0.03) than milk from control hinds. However, Cu supplementation did not influence the Cu content of milk. Therefore, it can be concluded that Cu supplementation of hinds fed a balanced diet from late-gestation to the end of lactation could be a good strategy to reduce SCC and modify the mineral profile of milk increasing its Ca content.


2019 ◽  
Vol 54 ◽  
pp. 69-71 ◽  
Author(s):  
María Iniesta-Cuerda ◽  
Irene Sánchez-Ajofrín ◽  
Olga García-Álvarez ◽  
Alicia Martín-Maestro ◽  
Patricia Peris-Frau ◽  
...  

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