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Title: A seasonally dependent change in the distribution and physiological condition of 'Caiman crocodilus yacare' in the Paraguay River Basin
Contributor(s): Campbell, Hamish  (author); Micheli, Mariana A (author); Abe, Augusto (author)
Publication Date: 2008
DOI: 10.1071/WR07169
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Abstract: The distribution and physiological condition of 116 'Caiman crocodilus yacare' was assessed over one year in the Southern Pantanal. Body mass and intermediary plasma metabolites were measured at three different time periods, representing large differences in the abundance of surface water. During the wet season the study site was completely submerged under water and 'C. c. yacare' were distributed evenly throughout. High levels of [glucose] and [triglyceride] in the plasma indicated regular feeding. As the dry season progressed 'C. c. yacare' became increasingly crowded around the remaining ponds. They showed a reduction in plasma [glucose] and [triglyceride], and an increase in plasma [ß-hydroxybutyrate], signifying that they were feeding less and utilising fat reserves. At this sampling period, ~40% of the male 'C. c. yacare' that were >10 years old inhabited dry grassland and did not have access to water. These animals were significantly lighter than males of a similar length that had immediate water access, and plasma [uric acid] indicated that they had not fed for a long time and were metabolising tissue proteins. Essentially, the adult male 'C. c. yacare' that inhabited dry grassland were in a state of energy deficiency. This was so severe in some animals that recovery seemed unlikely. The study suggests that fluctuations in the abundance of surface ground water may influence the size and structure of the 'C. c. yacare' population in the Pantanal.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Wildlife Research, 35(2), p. 150-157
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Clayton, Australia
ISSN: 1035-3712
Field of Research (FOR): 060809 Vertebrate Biology
050206 Environmental Monitoring
060801 Animal Behaviour
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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