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On-line version ISSN 2007-3364


GALLINA, Sonia  and  BELLO, Joaquin. El Gasto Energético del Venado Cola Blanca (Odocoileus virginianus texanus) en Relación a la Precipitación en una Zona Semiárida de México. Therya [online]. 2010, vol.1, n.1, pp.09-22. ISSN 2007-3364.

The energetic requirements of animals are dependent upon their basal metabolism, behavior and physiological conditions. Every activity of the animal represents an energetic cost. It is unknown how deer deal with the thermal conditions in arid and semiarid areas where the air temperature is higher than 40°C and the precipitation is lower than 400 mm annually. Therefore, it is important to understand the energetic cost between sexes under different physiological conditions and in different years. This can also help us understand the response of individuals to annual variation in environmental changes such as the amount of precipitation that influences food availability and amount of protective cover. This research was carried out in Rancho San Francisco and Rancho Peñitas, in the Municipality of Lampazos, Nuevo León and Progreso, Coahuila, México. From 1995 to 1998, 10 bucks and 14 does with radiocollars (with activity sensor) were tracked. We were able to record three main activities: feeding, walking and resting. We found significant differences in each of the three activity patterns and found that the greatest energy expenditure occurs while the animal is resting. The energy expenditure of the white tailed deer in arid zones differs between sexes because males spent more energy (1726 ± 38 kcal/day/individual) than females (1556 ± 35 kcal/day/individual). We found significant differences between season-year interactions in the three activity patterns. However, the only difference we found between sexes was the energy expenditure while feeding. Deer in arid zones had less energetic expenditure in years with severe drought, when food was scarce, suggesting that they are capable of modifying their behavioral strategies in order to save energy when environmental conditions are unfavorable.

Keywords : energetic; physiological condition; metabolism; activity pattern; radiotracking; Mexico.

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