The effects of mineral deficiencies are often sub-clinical, and the importance of mineral status is often underestimated in wildlife populations. To our knowledge, this is the first study that gives reference intervals of hepatic minerals for Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica). We determined macro and trace mineral concentrations in liver samples from 100 animals (44 healthy and 56 sick) collected in the Catalan Pyrenees (NE Spain) from 1995 to 2008. After wet digestion, we determined Na, K, Ca, P, Mg, S, and Fe concentrations by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) and Cu, Zn, and Mo concentrations by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). We observed low hepatic concentrations of Cu in a considerable percentage of chamois, without evidences that these low concentrations increased their susceptibility to infectious diseases. The group of sick chamois had very similar percentage of animals (10/56) with low concentration of Cu (<20 ppm DW) than the group of healthy chamois (9/44). On the other hand, we observed that infectious diseases increased significantly the hepatic concentrations of Na, Ca, Mg, Fe and Zn, very likely, as a consequence of processes associated with the acute phase inflammatory response. The obtained values of liver mineral levels and their sources of variation, such as sex, age and disease, mostly fall within the range of those described for other ruminants, but possible deficiencies and differences between individuals and populations require further study. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
- Pyrenean chamois
- Rupicapra pyrenaica