Does livestock influence the diet of Iberian ibex Capra pyrenaica in the Peneda-Gerês National Park (Portugal)?

Gisela Moço, Emmanuel Serrano, Margarida Guerreiro, Ana Filipa Ferreira, Francisco Petrucci-Fonseca, Daniel Santana, Ma João Maia, Ramón C. Soriguer, Jesús M. Pérez

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We carried out a pilot study about the influence of the domestic goat Capra hircus on the feeding ecology of the Iberian ibex Capra pyrenaica in the Peneda-Gerês National Park (PGNP, Portugal). We mapped the grazing areas of domestic goat flocks and determined their stocking rates in two mountains of PGNP, Gerês and Amarela, and we investigated the diets of both ungulates using fecal microhistology in an area where they partially overlapped during spring and summer. Diet composition, ligneous diversity, and ligneous trophic niche were compared seasonally. Although differences in ligneous components were observed, results revealed a considerable diet overlap mainly due to graminoids consumption, especially during autumn and spring. This suggests that direct or indirect foraging competition between the goat species should not be discarded if they spatially concur. Results also emphasized distinct summer feeding strategies of C. pyrenaica in the area, and the influence of cattle (Bos taurus) and horses (Equus caballus) were hypothesized. We recommend removing feral goats from the mountain environment and monitoring grazing areas of domestic flocks. Estimates of ecological carrying capacity and future diet studies should include cattle, horses, and improvement of herb identification. © 2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston 2014.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)393-399
    JournalMammalia
    Volume78
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2014

    Keywords

    • Capra hircus
    • domestic goat
    • feeding ecology
    • feral goat
    • potential competition

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