We studied seasonal changes in fecal cortisol metabolites (FCM), which have been widely used as indicators of stress, in a population of Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica pyrenaica) in the Cadí Range of northeastern Spain. We collected fecal samples from 2001 to 2003 in 3 particular locations with different altitudes and male or female presence, and we analyzed them for FCM and fecal nitrogen as an indicator of diet quality. We observed a clear seasonal pattern, with the highest FCM in winter, and we obtained correlations between FCM and monthly mean minimum temperatures and fecal nitrogen. We observed no effects of tourism presence, trophy hunting, or rut season on FCM. Analysis of cortisol metabolites in feces can be a good measure of winter stress in Pyrenean chamois.
- Cadí-Moixeró Nature Reserve
- Cortisol metabolites
- Hunting reserve
- Rupicapra pyrenaica pyrenaica
- Seasonal rhythm