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Sex-specific ecophysiological responses to environmental fluctuations of free-ranging Hermann's tortoises: implication for conservation

Sibeaux, Adélaïde, Michel, Catherine Louise, Bonnet, Xavier, Caron, Sébastien, Fournière, Kévin, Gagno, Stephane and Ballouard, Jean-Marie 2016, Sex-specific ecophysiological responses to environmental fluctuations of free-ranging Hermann's tortoises: implication for conservation, Conservation physiology, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 1-16, doi: 10.1093/conphys/cow054.

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Title Sex-specific ecophysiological responses to environmental fluctuations of free-ranging Hermann's tortoises: implication for conservation
Author(s) Sibeaux, Adélaïde
Michel, Catherine Louise
Bonnet, Xavier
Caron, Sébastien
Fournière, Kévin
Gagno, Stephane
Ballouard, Jean-Marie
Journal name Conservation physiology
Volume number 4
Issue number 1
Article ID cow054
Start page 1
End page 16
Total pages 16
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Oxford, Eng.
Publication date 2016-01-01
ISSN 2051-1434
Keyword(s) Body condition
corticosterone
population managment
reptile conservation
translocation methodology
Summary Physiological parameters provide indicators to evaluate how organisms respond to conservation actions. For example, individuals translocated during reinforcement programmes may not adapt to their novel host environment and may exhibit elevated chronic levels of stress hormones and/or decreasing body condition. Conversely, successful conservation actions should be associated with a lack of detrimental physiological perturbation. However, physiological references fluctuate over time and are influenced by various factors (e.g. sex, age, reproductive status). It is therefore necessary to determine the range of natural variations of the selected physiological metrics to establish useful baselines. This study focuses on endangered free-ranging Hermann's tortoises (Testudo hermanni hermanni), where conservation actions have been preconized to prevent extinction of French mainland populations. The influence of sex and of environmental factors (site, year and season) on eight physiological parameters (e.g. body condition, corticosterone concentrations) was assessed in 82 individuals from two populations living in different habitats. Daily displacements were monitored by radio-tracking. Most parameters varied between years and seasons and exhibited contrasting sex patterns but with no or limited effect of site. By combining behavioural and physiological traits, this study provides sex-specific seasonal baselines that can be used to monitor the health status of Hermann's tortoises facing environmental threats (e.g. habitat changes) or during conservation actions (e.g. translocation). These results might also assist in selection of the appropriate season for translocation.
Language eng
DOI 10.1093/conphys/cow054
Field of Research 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
060201 Behavioural Ecology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30102263

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.