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Zoological Research
Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
ISSN: 2095-8137
Vol. 27, No. 6, 2006, pp. 561-568
Bioline Code: zr06080
Full paper language: Chinese
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Zoological Research, Vol. 27, No. 6, 2006, pp. 561-568

 en Influence of Climate and Daylength on the Activity Budgets of Feral Goats ( Capra hircus check for this species in other resources ) on the Isle of Rum, Scotland
SHI Jian-bin, Robin Dunbar, LI Di-qiang, XIAO Wen-fa


Daytime activity budgets of feral goats ( Capra hircus check for this species in other resources ) were studied in 1981, 1982 and 2000 on the Isle of Rum, northwest Scotland. This paper analyzes the influence of key weather variables (temperature and rainfall) and seasonal variations in daylength on daytime activity budgets. This study showed that the percentage of daytime spent in feeding by feral goats on Rum Island decreased with average monthly temperature, while the percentage of daytime spent in lying increased and rainfall had no significant effects on the percentage daytime spent in feeding or lying. The daylength varied greatly from January to December with the longest daylength being in June and July, and the shortest one in December and January. The amount of daytime spent feeding decreased from summer to winter, although the percentage of daytime spent feeding increased greatly from summer to winter. The seasonal variations in daylength seem to be an important factor in constraining feral goats' activity, especially in the cold and wet winters when forage biomass and quality are both at their lowest level. We discuss the influence of such constraining effects on the forage intake of these goats and their winter survival rate, as well as its implication for population regulation of these goats.

Weather; Activity budget; Daylength; Feral goat; Rum Island

© Copyright 2006 Kunming Institute of Zoology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences
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