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Reproductive Responses to Nutritional Stress in Adult Female Collared Peccaries

Robert L. Lochmiller, E. C. Hellgren and W. E. Grant
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 50, No. 2 (Apr., 1986), pp. 295-300
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3801916
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3801916
Page Count: 6
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Reproductive Responses to Nutritional Stress in Adult Female Collared Peccaries
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Abstract

The influence of nutrition on adult female collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu) breeding activity during the peak breeding season in Texas was studied under controlled conditions. Thirteen captive adults were fed either a high quality (15.2% crude protein and 3,300 kcal digestible energy/kg) or low quality (6.3% crude protein and 1,921 kcal digestible energy/kg) diet beginning 25 October 1983. The low quality diet simulated the energy and protein intake of an adult female during drought range conditions. During the peak breeding season (Jan-Feb) in 1985, a daily breeding program was implemented to monitor estrous behavior and fertility. All females were sacrificed after approximately 15 weeks. Three of 6 receiving the low quality diet showed no behavioral signs of estrus, whereas all females fed the high quality diet were bred. Duration of estrus averaged 1.3 and 3.5 days for cycling females on low and high quality diets, respectively. Only 1 of the 3 cycling females on the low quality diet became pregnant, whereas 6 out of 7 cycling females on the high quality diet became pregnant. Ovarian examination revealed ≤50% of the females receiving the low quality diet for 10 weeks entered the peak breeding season in an anestrous condition. This study suggests that prior nutritional stress among wild females will greatly influence the incidence of pregnancy and, hence, recruitment of young into the herd.

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